The Baltimore Ravens free agents offer some interesting possibilities:
The season isn’t over, but the offseason is still a big thing for Ravens fans to think about. The Ravens have a fairly long list of free agents at the end of the year but it boils down to three names: C.J. Mosley, John Brown and Za’Darius Smith.
Mosley is the biggest name on this list but John Brown is the most important player the Ravens can bring back. This organization has shown that finding quality receivers is a burdensome task. Brown is flourishing as a member of the purple and black. Brown has caught 34 passes for 601 yards and four touchdowns. He has had a reception over 40 yards in four games this season, including two 70 yard receptions.
Brown serves a critical role in the offense. He is a deep threat and a reliable all around target. This is the kind of player the Ravens need, whether it’s for Joe Flacco or the beginning of the Lamar Jackson experience. If the Ravens do go with Jackson as their 2019 starter it would be unforgivable to let a weapon like Brown leave.
Of the free agents Baltimore has to try and retain, Brown is the hardest to replace. Eric DeCosta may be about to become a new general manager, but he’s been part of the fold for a long time. Baltimore has a track record for finding linebackers. Kenny Young, Zach Orr and Matt Judon are examples of this.
Za’Darius Smith would be hard to say goodbye to. Smith is having the best year of his career. He has 5.5 sacks and he has proven to be one of the hardest Ravens to block. It might be insane to say this but Mosley could be third on the pecking list.
The Ravens won’t be able to sign Mosley without forking over big time money. He is their highest profile free agent and losing him would be less than ideal. His estimated market value on Sportrac.com is about $10 million per season. Mosley is a Pro Bowl level linebacker. The Ravens have found good linebackers in the NFL draft, but a rookie linebacker wouldn’t be at Mosley’s level no matter how good he is. The Ravens just have to be careful with the details. Mosley is a very good player who could easily get overpaid.
Re-signing Brown and Smith and having some cap space to work with doesn’t sound bad for a Ravens team that needs to rebuild. Baltimore has to consider a scenario in which Mosley doesn’t return. It seems like blasphemy and it’s not ideal, but it could be a situation the Ravens get stuck in.
If history repeats itself Za’Darius Smith will move on in free agency. He will be looking for his first big pay day in the NFL and he could follow in the line of Arthur Jones and Pernell McPhee. I think the Ravens work out a deal with C.J. Mosley and John Brown and doing so will make attacking free agency harder.