Veterans Ravens defensive piece sends clear message before free agency

Baltimore will need to pay up to keep this veteran.

Baltimore Ravens v San Francisco 49ers
Baltimore Ravens v San Francisco 49ers / Robin Alam/ISI Photos/GettyImages

Decision-making will be the theme of the 2024 Baltimore Ravens offseason, as they will need to figure out which complementary pieces must be retained for yet another championship push and which can be let go. Smack in the center of this debate is versatile linebacker Kyle Van Noy.

After being signed off his couch with minimal expectations of being a transformative piece, Van Noy put together one of his finest statistical seasons at 32 years old. In terms of pure value for how much he was being paid, Van Noy was one of the best moves Baltimore made all year long.

After signing a deal worth just over $1 million, Van Noy played more than well enough to earn a proper NFL contract with some quality compensation. he has made it very clear the Ravens are not going to get a discount if they want to run it back with the same linebacking corps.

Van Noy, per Sarah Ellison of The Vault, said his potential return to the Ravens depends on GM Eric DeCosta. Van Noy had one of the best years of his long career on a very cheap deal last season, and he is well aware of the fact Baltimore will need to pay up if they want to keep him.

Kyle Van Noy won't take discount to sign with Baltimore Ravens

Van Noy finished with nine sacks while playing in 52% of snaps. After some less-than-stellar years outside of Bill Belichick's scheme with the New England Patriots, Van Noy fit Mike Macdonald like a glove. With so many free agents on defense, Baltimore won't be able to get Van Noy on a minimum deal again.

The pro-Van Noy camp will point to how tremendous he was last season while singing the praises of his versatility. New defensive coordinator Zach Orr is a former Ravens linebacker, and having that area of expertise could be enough to help Van Noy and Roquan Smith replicate their career years from 2023.

Those against signing Van Noy for another season will claim that they need to prioritize other defenders before getting far enough down on the list to secure the former BYU star. Even with Patrick Queen also hitting free agency, the presence of former Clemson star Trenton Simpson gives the Ravens a very clear succession plan.

While the Ravens need to figure out what is happening with Justin Madubuike, Queen, and Jadeveon Clowney before they address Van Noy, they shouldn't discard someone who made big play after big play last year.