Will the Ravens cut Ronnie Stanley after 2023 season?

Baltimore Ravens v Los Angeles Chargers
Baltimore Ravens v Los Angeles Chargers / Katelyn Mulcahy/GettyImages

This is nothing new, but the conversation is gaining traction and the possibilites are growing in probability each passing day: Ronnie Stanley might be wearing the purple and black for the last few weeks as we're writing this.

A few weeks ago, before we hit mid-November, we already reported some rumors about the potential cut of Stanley considering his injuries and his struggles when on the field, putting Lamar Jackson in danger more often than not with his degrading skill set and level of play.

Brad Gagnon of Bleacher Report first mentioned the possibility of an eventual cut, which would save Baltimore more than $8 million if it comes to happen next offseason.

Well, the voices echoing similar vibes are now much more respected around the NFL nation. Ravens beat reporter Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic wrote a column on Wednesday touching on this ongoing story.

"Cutting Stanley pre-June 1 would trigger $8.3 million of cap savings and $17.8 million of dead money. That would hardly be ideal. The Ravens probably need to find an heir apparent to Stanley this offseason, but that’s a concern for another day. Right now, the focus is on making sure Jackson’s blindside is secure for the rest of the season. The Ravens need their Pro Bowl left tackle to get right, and fast."

Jeff Zrebiec, The Athletic

As he points out, Stanley has come from not allowing a single sack in 2019 and being named an All-Pro member, just a few years ago, to a menace to Jackson's health and game-to-game security.

"Stanley allowed six quarterback pressures and committed two penalties [against the Los Angeles Chargers]," Zrebiec reported. "He’s been called for eight penalties and allowed four sacks this season in eight games, and he left two of those games early with a knee sprain."

As the writer pointed out in his story, Stanley has two years remaining in his deal, which amounts to nearly $100 million over five years (signed in 2020) right before suffering "a career-threatening ankle injury a few days after the extension," per Zrebiec.

"Stanley has been unable to play in 36 of Baltimore’s last 63 games," Zrebiec researched. "He’s admirably persisted through the knee injury, initially sustained in Week 1 and aggravated in Week 10, but the results have been mixed."

As the reporter cleverly questioned, the Ravens must take this bye week to ask themselves something: "Will the bye week and the current stretch of just one game in 23 days help Stanley get closer to his pre-injury form, or is this essentially who he is as a player with the injuries having taken a toll?"

The problem, of course, is that there is no smooth replacement if Stanley leaves. Patrick Mekari is just a super-sub, but not considered a one-for-one replacement right now (and probably never going forward). Daniel Faalele is simply not good enough to start in an NFL line.

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If the Ravens cut Stanley, they will save $8.3 million while getting a hit of $17.8 million in dead money, per Zrebiec.

Will those figures be enough to convince Baltimore to pull the trigger? Only Stanley can prevent that from happening, and that means he must level up his game for the remainder of the regular season and through the postseason. Here's hoping!

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