The Baltimore Ravens have gotten off to a fast start this offseason, and have remade their defense with a few big moves.
Baltimore reached an agreement with Michael Brockers, a free agent defensive lineman. ESPN’s Bill Barnwell recently put together a piece grading some moves early in free agency, and liked the addition of Brockers in Baltimore. He gave it a B- and said it was good for the team.
Here’s what he wrote:
“What do you do when you get out of Joe Flacco-induced cap hell? For Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta, the answer seems to be build one of the league’s most intimidating defensive lines. After trading for Calais Campbell, the Ravens added another piece up front by signing Brockers from the Rams on a deal with $21 million guaranteed. In doing so, Baltimore likely waved goodbye to former starter Michael Pierce, who seems set to leave for another team in free agency.
Pierce is an incredibly talented nose tackle, but the Ravens should be just fine in the short-term by adding Brockers and Campbell to their rotation. As is the case with Campbell and incumbent Brandon Williams, Brockers has the size and athleticism to play multiple techniques and positions along the line for the Ravens, including the nose. All three might be best at defensive end, as is the case for fellow returnee Chris Wormley, but I would expect the Ravens to draft a big body to compete with 2019 fifth-rounder Daylon Mack for those moments when a 340-pounder is needed to two-gap. Also, Brockers has missed just two games since the end of his rookie season, which can go a long way in making this type of midtier deal work.”
Obviously, the move of the team to beef up their defensive line is seen as huge, and Brockers is a solid addition for the team to note.
Michael Brockers Coming to Ravens
The team has reportedly reached an agreement with Michael Brockers, formally of the Los Angeles Rams.
The news was first revealed by Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, who revealed that Brockers would be signing a 3 year, $30 million dollar contract in Baltimore.
Brockers is a big addition for the Ravens, given 342 tackles, 23 sacks and 9 pass deflections with the Los Angeles Rams. He’s active in the middle, and the former LSU product is just 29 years old and is in his prime.
Ravens Offseason Needs
The Ravens are seemingly in a decent spot in terms of both sides of the ball thanks to the fact that they have a young roster, but there’s little question that the team needs to make a few well placed additions, especially on offense, as Eric DeCosta hints. Baltimore could use another receiving threat to help Lamar Jackson, and depending on what happens with some of the team’s own free agents, cornerback and linebacker could be on the docket as well.
Baltimore shouldn’t need many dramatic moves, but should continue to lock up their own talent while looking to make a few well-placed additions to the mix.
Adding Brockers to the mix after trading for Calais Campbell could be seen as an excellent move for the Ravens to re-shape their needy front.
Ravens Could Trade Matt Judon
Now that Campbell and Brockers are in the mix, the Ravens could look to move one of their other high priced defensive ends, and it seems a virtual certainty that this will get done. Judon, who’s a homegrown talent for Baltimore, has a contract deadline he’s facing with the team. The Ravens, after watching some of the deals play out with other pass rushers on the market, could jump at the chance to get some draft picks or assets for Judon this offseason.
Recently, ESPN’s Adam Schefter broke the news that the Ravens could look to move on from Judon, and Schefter explained that the defensive end could be franchise tagged, then traded. Here’s a look at what he wrote on the case:
“Ravens defensive end Matthew Judon is a candidate for Baltimore’s franchise tag and trade inquiries from other teams, league sources tell ESPN, potentially continuing the recent trend of offseason trades featuring high-profile pass rushers.
Other teams have noticed the impacts that Dee Ford and Frank Clark have had in San Francisco and Kansas City, respectively, and a contending team could try to pry Judon loose from the Ravens.
Judon is scheduled to become a free agent this offseason, and the Ravens would like to bring him back, but they also are likely to listen if another team expresses interest in trading for him, according to sources.”
Plenty of teams could be looking to fill a void at pass rusher this offseason, and players who can pressure the quarterback well are always in high demand. The Ravens’ decision with Judon will be telling, as he is a key young player for their defense.
As Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network tweeted in the aftermath, it will be interesting to see if the Ravens decide to move on now.
With Campbell working to be extended and Brockers in the mix, that might only be more of the case. The analysts like the move so far.