The Baltimore Ravens could be tight to the cap this offseason, and if they are, the chance exists for the team to make a few savvy moves in order to free up some money for their other needs.
Recently, Pro Football Focus took a look at some potential moves teams can make this offseason and some possible cuts that could happen, and when it came to the Ravens, cornerback Brandon Carr was the pick of writer Anthony Treash. As Treash writes, the Ravens could save $6 million by cutting Carr, which would allow them a bit more wiggle room to fix some of their other needs.
Here’s what he wrote:
“The two primary areas the Ravens should focus on improving this offseason is their wide receiver unit and their pass-rush. Edge defender Matthew Judon is hitting the market after having the best season of his career as a pass-rusher (77.0 pass-rush grade), but he was still not nearly as productive on a play-for-play basis as what his projected contract might say. Most of Judon’s pressures were unblocked or a cleanup, and he ended up winning at a rate that ranked just 51st. He’s projected to get $13.5 million per year and comes in as the 78th best free agent in PFF’s eyes — Judon is not worth that kind of cheddar. Using that on a guy such as Shaquil Barrett would be the better option. The Ravens’ wide receivers combined to form the 28th best receiving grade in the NFL. Lamar Jackson utilized his tight ends heavily in the passing game, but he could sure use another weapon.”
Obviously, if the team loses Carr, they will have to prioritize some sort of replacement in the defensive backfield, as they are likely to see another veteran cornerback test free agency this offseason.
Ravens’ Jimmy Smith Likely Free Agent
According to ESPN’s Jamison Hensley, the Ravens expect Jimmy Smith to explore free agency. As Hensley said, general manager Eric DeCosta confirmed last week that he believes Smith will be looking at becoming a free agent.
If Smith exits, the Ravens will have a hole on the back end and will likely be part of the mix to sign a cornerback, but the team could net a compensatory pick from Smith’s departure as well.
Currently, there are no shortage of teams hunting for a reliable cornerback on the market, so Smith could be someone who is in demand for a team in need of a veteran. It will be interesting to see if the Ravens can keep him as he shops around, and if they are motivated to do so.
Ravens 2019 Defensive Statistics
Baltimore’s defense was a top group in the league this season. They were rated the No. 3 defense in terms of total yards allowed (300.6), the No. 6 defense in terms of passing yards per-game (207.2), and the 5th ranked rush defense in the league with 93.4 yards per-game.
A key point? Baltimore also piled up 37 sacks on the season, with Matt Judon accounting for 9.5 in 2019. Obviously, the defense is solid as a whole and has plenty to like moving forward, but the team would have to find a suitable replacement for Judon somewhere considering his overall talent if he were to leave. That’s been rumored so far this offseason. In terms of the defensive backfield, the Ravens collected 13 total picks last season which was a solid number.
The Ravens could be looking to add a new face if they end up losing Smith and cut a guy like Carr, and in the case that both end up leaving, the team will no doubt have to seriously chase a cornerback.