Analyst Calls Ravens ‘Intriguing Option’ for $45 Million Sack-Artist

Bengals DE Carl Lawson chases down Ravens QB Lamar Jackson.

Getty Bengals DE Carl Lawson chases down Ravens QB Lamar Jackson.

Free agency was tough sledding for the Baltimore Ravens and their fans as they had what felt like a mass exodus of players across the board. One area that felt particularly affected was on the defensive line where the Ravens pass-rush seems to have taken a major hit.

In order to account for this, BR NFL Scouting Department covered every team’s biggest needs on Monday, May 13 and wrote, “Carl Lawson is an intriguing option that makes sense.”

Lawson played for the New York Jets from 2021 t0 2023 when he signed a 3-year, $45 million contract to bolster the Jets pass-rush.

However, as BR points out, “He dealt with a back injury for much of the 2023 campaign and was stuck in a deep defensive line rotation.”

Lawson was buried on a Jets defensive line that was one of the more talented groups in the NFL and only played 6 total games and had 5 combined tackles. It was the first season that the pass-rusher did not have a sack when he was able to play at least one game.

“He’s only 28 and has solid production in previous seasons,” BR points out. Lawson could be a low-risk, high-reward type player at this point for GM Eric DeCosta to take a flyer on as his cost would most likely be minimal.

Carl Lawson Looking to Revitalize Career

Lawson had a bright start to his career after being drafted in the fourth round of the 2017 draft by the Cincinnati Bengals. Lawson had a strong four years with the Bengals putting up 20.0 sacks and 83 QB hits in four years.

Last Word on Sports’ David Latham covered the possible connection and wrote, “The Auburn product cashed in with a three-year, $45 million deal in free agency. Unfortunately, the injury bug bit shortly thereafter, as a torn Achilles kept him off the field in 2021.”

Lawson missed his first year with the Jets due to the Achilles injury but came back and was effective in 2022 with 7.0 sacks for the Jets.

2023 was another story though as Latham explained, “Lawson hardly saw the field even when he was healthy, finishing the season with just five tackles and no sacks.”

Luckily for Lawson, he is only 28 years old and will be 29 by the time the season starts, so he still has plenty of time to turn it around.

“The Ravens won’t be the only ones interested in free agent Carl Lawson. While nobody is getting into a bidding war over the former fourth-round pick, several teams should be interested in bringing him in to see what he has left in his tank,” Latham wrote.

Latham pointed out the Atlanta Falcons, New Orleans Saints, Detroit Lions, Carolina Panthers and Kansas City Chiefs as other possible destinations.

Ravens Pass-Rush Took Major Hit This Offseason

The Ravens lost two of their top-5 sack leaders in free agency in Jadeveon Clowney and Patrick Queen.

BR wrote, “Defensively, Patrick Queen and Jadeveon Clowney were among their most productive players, but they’ll be wearing different colors this season.” Queen left for the division rival Pittsburgh Steelers while Clowney returned to his hometown Panthers.

Latham wrote, “Clowney had a season to remember in 2023, recording 9.5 sacks, 43 tackles, nine tackles-for-loss, and 19 quarterback hits while appearing in every game.” Clowney was another veteran that revitalized his career in Baltimore after joining late in training camp.

DeCosta could look to do something similar with Lawson by bringing him in on a one-year deal. The GM did address the position in the draft with BR explaining, “Third-round pick Adisa Isaac could help matters.”

However, the Ravens will potentially look for a more veteran presence. DeCosta did not let all the pass-rush production go as Latham wrote, “Baltimore retained Kyle Van Noy,” however he could be looking for more.

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