The Baltimore Ravens won’t have a ton of money to spend when NFL free agency opens up in another few weeks, but they could still figure to be major players in the market considering some of their bigger needs.
After last season’s stunning playoff exit, the Ravens need some more juice this offseason in several key spots in order to perhaps get them over the hump. So what should the team do? Eric DeCosta has spent wisely before in the offseason, and adding any one of these names or combination would serve as a significant boost for the future.
Here’s a look at the best targets the team could have for 2020 on the open market.
Jadeveon Clowney, DE, Seattle Seahawks
Obviously, adding Clowney to the front would be a huge move for the Ravens. The defensive end has been a force in the league for a long time, with 236 tackles and 32 sacks to his credit. His addition would be a huge plus for the team’s defense considering the role he played for the Houston Texans and later Seattle Seahawks. Perhaps the only question is could the team afford Clowney. If they made a corresponding move with Matt Judon, it would merely be swapping one major pass rusher contract for another in the end. It would be a huge splash, but one that would directly address the team’s top weakness.
Shaquil Barrett, DE/OLB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
No matter how he would be used by the Ravens, Signing Barrett would be a significant move for the team’s defense. He burst on the scene last year leading the league in sacks, and has always been a dangerous player with 209 tackles and 33.5 sacks through his career. It also probably doesn’t hurt that he’s from Maryland, too, which could only serve to make the fit more natural. This could be a savvier addition than adding a high priced item like Clowney that could pay off just as much for the team.
Jimmy Smith, CB, Baltimore Ravens
Smith is a homegrown player, and the Ravens have made a habit of drafting and developing their own players through the years. It’s been a trend that has kept them on top the NFL. While it’s not as exciting as going out and signing a brand new name, and while Smith does come with his share of injury concerns, it’s not as if he’s been a liability through the years for the team. Smith reportedly wants to test free agency, and while the Ravens could ponder other changes in their secondary, it seems as if keeping the veteran around would be a good start for the team. Baltimore should let Smith test, but make him an offer to return on the back end for 2020.
Dez Bryant, WR, Dallas Cowboys
It’s been a while since Bryant has seen an NFL field, which means he could have had the perfect amount of time to rest up and recharge his batteries. Obviously, there’s no questioning the fact that Bryant has been one of the better wideouts in the game. In his career with Dallas, Bryant put up 7,459 yards and 73 touchdowns in his career with the Cowboys, which spanned from 2010-2017. Bryant was a dominant red zone player and a guy who could match up with anyone physically. He has been vocal about wanting a Ravens workout, so the team should give it to him and eventually sign him. If Bryant is ready to go, this would be the most explosive veteran wideout the team could add for Lamar Jackson this offseason. Arguably, he could do for the wideouts what Mark Ingram did for the running back room in 2019.
Graham Glasgow, OG, Detroit Lions
Glasgow is going to want to get paid in a big way, but if the Ravens don’t retain the services of 35 year old veteran Marshal Yanda, suddenly, guard would be a huge need. Glasgow is going to be one of the best players to hit the market, and would be worth the money the Ravens would spend on him. Baltimore’s line has been good, but if they show some age, it could harm the development of Jackson at quarterback. Better for the team to try and keep things trending in the right direction, and signing Glasgow to fill an interior need would be a major plus for the Ravens and their front. If Yanda retires, Baltimore needs to make a huge play in the guard market.