Analyst Suggests Ravens Make ‘Bold Move’ by Cutting $99 Million All-Pro

Ravens OT Ronnie Stanley celebrates touchdown with QB Lamar Jackson.

Getty Ravens OT Ronnie Stanley celebrates touchdown with QB Lamar Jackson.

The Baltimore Ravens came up short of their ultimate goal of winning a Super Bowl with the loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship game. However, they have a core that is still one of the most talented in the league and they should compete for a Super Bowl during the 2024 season.

ESPN’s Aaron Schatz suggested the Ravens make a “bold move” to “cut OT Ronnie Stanley.”

Schatz wrote, “Once upon a time, Stanley was a first-team All-Pro, one of the best left tackles in the league. But that was five years ago.”

Stanley has unfortunately become a shell of the All-Pro player he was in 2019 and has not lived up to the 5-year, $98.75 million contract the Ravens gave him in 2020.

“Stanley struggled last season for the Ravens, and they rotated him with Patrick Mekari,” Schatz explained. The rotation was towards the end of the season and was reasoned as a way to keep Stanley healthy, which has been a major concern since he signed his contract.

Schatz wrote, “Stanley hasn’t played a full season since that 2019 All-Pro year, and he ranked 38th in pass block win rate (87.2%) among tackles in 2023.” The 13 games the veteran played this season were the most he played since 2019 but he still dealt with injuries forcing him to miss games.

In four seasons the former All-Pro has only been able to play 31 total games. Moving on from Stanley would signal a change of the offensive line makeup.

Cutting Ronnie Stanley Provides Financial Wiggle Room

The Ravens received some good news on Friday, February 23 when the new salary cap was announced. NFL network’s Tom Pelissero posted, “The NFL announced today that the 2024 Salary Cap will be $255.4 million per club.”

The record increase gives the Ravens $16.1 million in cap space according to OverTheCap. However, they still have to address key free agents DT Justin Madubuike, LB Patrick Queen and safety Geno Stone.

Cutting Stanley would give general manager Eric DeCosta further resources to address those players. Stanley currently has the second highest cap hit on the roster only behind QB Lamar Jackson.

Schatz wrote, “Cutting Stanley before June 1 would save $8.3 million on the salary cap but would leave $17.8 million in dead money for 2024. A post-June 1 cut would save $15 million with $11.2 million in dead money for 2024 and additional dead money in 2025.”

A post-June 1 cut would result in about $31 million in cap space. The Ravens also want to add a big-time running back so the extra financial flexibility could be the difference.

Replacing Ronnie Stanley Could Be Obstacle

Ronnie Stanley was drafted in the first round of the 2016 draft to be the cornerstone left tackle of the offensive line, so replacing him is easier said than done.

“There’s no clear replacement for Stanley on this roster. Mekari is considered more of a swing tackle, a stellar backup but not a starter capable of protecting Lamar Jackson’s blind side for 17 games,” Schatz explained.

The Ravens have OT Morgan Moses, he has played both tackle positions, and he performed extremely well this season for the Ravens. However, he will be 33 years old by the start of the 2024 season and will be entering the final year of his contract.

Schatz advised, “The Ravens are probably going to need to find a replacement for Stanley this offseason, so they might as well get some cap relief while finding a more trustworthy left tackle.”

The Ravens could address the position in the draft. NFL network’s Daniel Jeremiah projected the Ravens to draft Georgia OT Amarius Mims in his latest mock draft.

Mims is a top tackle prospect and if the Ravens were able to select him at No. 30 it would make moving on from Stanley hurt a lot less.

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