Ravens must stay away from declining free agent pass rusher despite links

The Ravens would be unwise to make this move.
Baltimore Ravens v Tennessee Titans
Baltimore Ravens v Tennessee Titans / Ryan Pierse/GettyImages

The Baltimore Ravens made the decision to bring back Kyle Van Noy and commit to former first-round pick Odafe Oweh. While the pass rusher room seems to be set in stone to some degree, Baltimore could also be in the market for one more big name as they try to reinforce their depth.

The Ravens could look to the free agent market, as Eric DeCosta has typically made a habit of waiting until the later stages of the offseason to add veteran talent. Bringing this player on board, however, could be a serious lapse in personnel judgment.

Bleacher Report connected the Ravens to defensive end Carl Lawson, calling him an "intriguing option" despite the fact he is coming off an extremely disappointing tenure with the New York Jets. Lawson still hasn't found a third team despite only being 28 years old.

There are quality veteran free agents out there, and there are pass rushers who could make a tangible impact on how Baltimore runs their defense. Lawson is not one of them, and the sooner the Ravens realize that, the better. Letting the younger rushers cook is a much more prudent strategy,

Baltimore Ravens must pass on Carl Lawson in free agency.

Lawson's three-year, $45 million deal with the Jets was all over the place. His torn Achilles right after signing the contract in 2021 immediately sucked out all the momentum he picked up with the Bengals. While he tallied seven sacks in 2022, he was outplayed by every active Jets pass rusher and amassed just five tackles in 2023.

Lawson has injury problems and exactly one good season with fans in the stands since 2019. On top of the fact he has never been more than a slightly above-average run defender, the path to playing time in this Ravens rotation would seem to be very rocky.

The Ravens have their presumed starting duo in Van Noy and Oweh, with two promising young players in David Ojabo and third-round rookie Adisa Isaac ready to use their speed to great effect. Lawson, who was beat out by Will McDonald and Solomon Thomas last year, may find it hard to crack that rotation.

If the Ravens sign Lawson to a one-year, minimal deal with the goal of providing depth, it might not be the worst thing in the world. However, if he is brought in to be the No. 3 pass rusher in the rotation behind Oweh and Van Noy, the Ravens could be in for some rough sledding.