Ravens Could Add Pro Bowl Edge Rusher After 2nd Visit: Report

Ravens Jason Pierre-Paul

Getty Former New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul celebrates during a 2014 game.

The Ravens are hosting three-time Pro Bowler Jason Pierre-Paul on his second visit to Baltimore, per NFL insider Jordan Schultz, indicating the team is closer to adding edge-rushing depth after yet another injury at the position.

Pierre-Paul visited the Ravens back in June, but did not sign with the team.

Veteran outside linebacker Steven Means was ruled out for the season with a torn Achilles on Monday, joining Vince Biegel and Daelin Hayes on injured reserve.

The earliest that either Tyus Bowser or David Ojabo could return is Week 5, but neither has returned to practice in any capacity heading into Week 3.

The Ravens have reached the point of desperation at the position – their only outside linebackers are 33-year-old Justin Houston and 2021 first-round pick Odafe Oweh.

Malik Harrison, Patrick Queen and Calais Campbell have all taken snaps on the edge of the defensive line, but none of the three are ideal for the position in Mike Macdonald’s defense.

That’s especially true of the pass rush, where Macdonald focuses on winning individual matchups and getting pressure with four or five defenders.

Pierre-Paul would fold in nicely there, as long as he’s fully-recovered from last year’s shoulder injury. He tried to play through it and it showed, with just 2.5 sacks in 12 starts. But in the previous four seasons, he recorded 39 sacks to go along with nine forced fumbles.

If the former Tampa Bay Buccaneer can return to pre-injury form as a sack artist in Baltimore, the Ravens’ pass rush might be able to hold up long enough for reinforcements in the form of Bowser and Ojabo to arrive.

Ravens Host Blake Martinez For Visit

Schultz also reported that former Green Bay Packers and New York Giants linebacker Blake Martinez is visiting the Ravens on Tuesday as well.

Martinez started three games for the Giants in 2021 before tearing his ACL and did not make their 53-man roster this year. He has limited experience at outside linebacker, where the Ravens need the most help, but undrafted rookie Josh Ross was also placed on injured reserve on Monday, leaving Baltimore with another spot to fill.

The six-year veteran began his career as a 2016 fourth-round pick in Green Bay, where he developed into a coverage specialist by the end of his rookie contract. Martinez then signed a three-year, $30 million contract with the Giants that was cut short in September.

What Could Martinez Bring to Baltimore?

The 27-year-old played in the preseason without issue, so his ACL appears to be healed enough to play. If that’s the case, he could be a sneaky-good signing for a Ravens defense that just surrendered 469 yards and six touchdowns to Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.

Somewhat unusual for a potential Ravens linebacker is that Martinez has never been a core special team contributor in his career, with just two special teams snaps in his last full season in 2020. Baltimore has devoted several roster spots to special teamers in recent seasons, but their continued injury crisis is likely forcing some changes to that practice. They can instead rely on the combined prowess of Justin Tucker and Jordan Stout to limit return opportunities for opponents.