By: Charles Booth
Last month I did a post or two on some possible offseason moves the Jaguars could make in free agency, which has now come and gone. One of the teams that had to make some crucial offseason moves of their own was the Baltimore Ravens, and lucky for our viewers we have the right person to talk about it in our latest contributor Charles. Here he breaks down the top additions of the Ravens offseason, and the top in-house moves the organization made as well. I must say I enjoyed this one myself as it was very insightful, and in all likelihood you all will too….unless your a bitter AFC North rival.
It’s almost draft time, which makes it a perfect time to give you all an offseason preview of all the moves the Baltimore Ravens have made so far throughout this period. Like most teams, the Ravens have had many key additions as well as losses which we will take a look at here. Let’s start with breaking down the additions:
- Steve Smith
Smith was signed after being released by the Panthers last month, and his addition makes sense for two main reasons: to provide the Ravens with a reliable pass catcher over the middle and to help out in run blocking. He also gives the Ravens a second target to take pressure off Torrey Smith that they haven’t had since Anquan Boldin was traded to the 49ers. Lastly, Smith adds a veteran presence for progressing receivers such as, Marlon Brown and others.
Zuttah is a very versatile lineman that the Ravens acquired for almost nothing from the Bucs. He will challenge Gino Gradkowski for the starting center job and should be a significant upgrade. Furthermore, he brings versatility to the offensive line because he can play guard as well. This would give the Ravens the luxury of siding him over if they decide to draft a center or there is an injury within the interior OL.
- Owen Daniels
Owen Daniels is a classic Ozzie Newsome pickup. After being cut by the Texans, his familiarity with Gary Kubiak’s playbook made him a no brainer to sign. Daniels is a proven pass catcher and blocker who allows the Ravens to run a two tight end set with Torrey and Steve Smith as the outside receivers.
- Justin Forsett
This is really just a depth signing as insurance just in case Ray Rice is disciplined for his offseason fiasco. He can also be used if Bernard Pierce’s injury issues flare up again.
- Darian Stewart
He is another depth signing who can also mentor Matt Elam and any other safety the Ravens decide to draft. He can also help the team out on special teams
On to the Resignings.
- Terrell Suggs
This team friendly deal worth $28.5 million over the course of 4 years. Retaining Suggs is a win-win for both parties as it allows them to keep one of their dynamic pass rushers, while allowing him to retire as a Raven. Most importantly, his pay cut freed up a bit of cap space and which allows the Ravens to add more free agents if needed.
- Eugene Monroe
Re-signing Monroe was a necessity for the Ravens. He was their best offensive lineman and seems to be the first long-term solution in protecting Flacco’s blindside since Jonathan Ogden retired. The Ravens were able to sign him to a 5 year team friendly deal as well, worth $37.5 million.
- Jacoby Jones
Even though this may look like a luxury signing but it is more important than some people may believe. Jacoby is a dynamic playmaker that is instrumental to the offense and special teams unit. If you look at tape from any of the Ravens big games you’ll see at least one or two key plays from Jones.
- Dennis Pitta
Pitta was another guy who had to be re-signed. His rapport with Flacco is very important and he is another guy who seems like he will thrive in Kubiak’s system being that he is a tight end with the skills of a slot receiver and the ability to make any catch on the field.
- Jeromy Miles and Albert McClellan
These three can be kind of lumped together because they are all role players on defense and special teams but none of them will be starters.
My Overall Thoughts on the Offeseason. Overall this was a solid offseason for the Ravens. They filled a few of the holes that they went into the offseason with and will try to finish filling those holes through the draft. The Ravens kept their goal of resigning their own players with the biggest loss being safety James Ihedigbo to the lions. They acquired savvy veteran pickups that can hopefully help their 120 million dollar man, Joe Flacco, unleash his full potential. That being said, the Ravens still have some holes heading into the draft. The most apparent holes are at safety, cornerback, inside linebacker, and guard. Also depending on whom you ask some people also believe that the Ravens should also add another running back. Based on recent draft success I believe that the Ravens will do just fine filling these holes. A few holes (mainly at inside linebacker and cornerback) may be filled by the development of Arthur Brown and Chykie Brown, if they can step in and become serviceable players. I fully believe that these are positions that will be very easy to address in a draft as deep as this one. As always, in a Ravens offseason all you simply need to do is sit back and believe in the wizard, Ozzie Newsome.
As usual, we appreciate each and every one of our viewers. Also special thanks to Charles for his contribution. Please feel free to follow him under the Twitter handle of @Chat_with_chuck . Feel free to follow him and interact with him on the latest in Baltimore sports news. I’m also proud to announce that he’s also going to be contributing some MLB content in the near future for our baseball viewers out there, so be on the lookout for that as well folks!