Ravens Named Trade Deadline ‘Loser’ Over Missed RB Deal

Colts Marlon Mack

Getty Indianapolis Colts running back looks on before a 2019 game against the New Orleans Saints.

Despite several rumored trade targets, the Baltimore Ravens opted to stand pat at the NFL’s November 2 trade deadline, leaving some fans disappointed that the Ravens didn’t make any acquisitions.

Many league observers were expecting the Ravens to trade for a running back to bolster their backfield, with Ronald Jones II of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Miles Sanders of the Philadelphia Eagles listed as potential additions.

But rumors quieted after Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians said that a trade offer for Jones would have to be “extraordinary” in order to pry the young running back away from Tampa Bay.

Indianapolis Colts running back Marlon Mack had been linked with the Ravens several times, but he stayed put despite the Ravens’ clear need at the position and Mack’s publicly known availability via trade.

Ravens Earn ‘Loser’ Designation

But the Ravens’ failure to make a move did earn them some criticism, especially given Mack’s apparent availability and the low-risk, high-upside nature of his acquisition.

Nora Princiotti of The Ringer listed the Ravens as one of her trade deadline losers, writing:

The Ravens were heavily linked to running back Marlon Mack ahead of the deadline, a pairing that made nothing but sense. Mack was buried on the depth chart in Indianapolis and had come to an agreement with Colts brass to find a trading partner. The Ravens are a run-heavy team that lost their top three backs during the preseason. But the Colts wound up needing depth at running back and held onto Mack. The Ravens, meanwhile, despite making real strides in their passing attack, didn’t do anything to shore up their shortcomings at running back or offensive line.

With 10 draft picks in 2022, including nine in the first four rounds, the Ravens certainly had the assets required to trade for Mack.
Were the Ravens right to hold on to their 2022 draft picks?x
Even if Indianapolis was seeking a fourth-round pick for Mack–who himself was taken in the fourth round of the 2017 NFL draft–Baltimore could have asked for a sixth- or seventh-rounder to maximize the value of the deal.

But it was apparent an hour before today’s deadline that Mack would be staying in Indianapolis, with head coach Frank Reich telling The Athletic’s Stephen Holder, “if something was going to happen, I would imagine it would have happened by now.”

Not getting Mack is hardly going to torpedo the Ravens’ season, but it still seems like a trade for the 25-year-old could have been beneficial to all parties.

Harbaugh: ‘I Like Our Team’

Baltimore’s lack of action is surprising for a team with a history of making high-profile deals at the deadline. Last year, the Ravens traded for defensive end Yannick Ngakoue, and in 2019, they acquired All-Pro cornerback Marcus Peters.

But head coach John Harbaugh indicated on November 1 that the Ravens wouldn’t be making a splash before the trade deadline passed at 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday.

“We’ve made trades before, so anything’s possible,” said Harbaugh, “But, I’m not really counting on it.”

Harbaugh seemed satisfied with the current state of his roster, especially with multiple starters expected to return from injury soon.

“I like our team. We have everything we need,” he continued, adding “But if we can be improved & it’s mutually beneficial to both teams, you’re excited about something like that.”

But the Ravens’ longtime head coach wisely didn’t hold his breath waiting for a new player in Baltimore.

Instead, he’s focused on his team’s upcoming matchup against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 9.

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Chris Licata
8 months ago
With 10 draft picks in 2022, including nine in the first four rounds, the Ravens certainly had the assets required…" Read more »

They likely could’ve gotten Mack for a late-round pick, which would’ve been a worthwhile gamble for a Super Bowl run!

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