With the unceremonious fall from grace, the Baltimore Ravens finished last in the AFC North in 2021. What will they have to do to return to the AFC Title Conversation once again?
2021 Record: 8-9 (4th in AFC North)
GM: Eric DeCosta
HC: John Harbaugh
OC: Greg Roman
DC: Mike Macdonald
2021 Statistical Leaders
Lamar Jackson: 246-382, 64.4% 2,882, 16-13 (12 games)
Mark Andrews: 107-1361-9
Marquise Brown: 91-1008-6
Patrick Queen: 98 Tak, 2.0 Sak
Anthony Averett: 54 Tak, 3 Int
Tyus Bowser: 59 Tak, 7.0 Sak
Notable Free Agents:
Pos, Name, Age, Contract Status, 2021 Snap Count
IDL - Calais Campbell (36), UFA, 56.7% of Snaps
Edge - Justin Houston (33), UFA, 53.2%
CB - Anthony Averett (28), UFA, 74.3%
(10) Projected Cost of Rookie Picks in 2022: $5.1m
Round 1 #14
Round 2 #45
Round 3 #76
Round 3 #99
Round 4 #109
Round 4 #118
Round 4 #127
Round 4 #139
Round 4 #141
Round 6 #195
Compensatory Picks: 3rd (David Culley), 4th (Matt Judon), 4th (Yannick Ngakoue)
The Ravens find themselves in a unique position holding 6 picks from 99-141 due to their compensatory picks and the loss of David Culley, so they could take volume here to fill out their roster with some solid players. Even if half of those picks end up being productive players for the Ravens, they will have had a successful draft.
The Ravens are in a tight spot heading into free agency with only 8.7m in cap space however they do have 53 players currently under contract for 2022. With the "looming" contract of former NFL MVP Lamar Jackson on the horizon, the Ravens could cut or release some more notable players that are currently on their roster to sign their star Quarterback. Picking up Jackson’s 5th-year option (23.1m guaranteed) put them in a tough spot, but the Ravens could extend him to give themselves some cap relief at least for this season.
Ronnie Stanley renegotiated an extension in 2020 to the tune of a 5-year 98.7m (64m in guarantees) so the likelihood that he would restructure his deal is low, however, the way that most of these contracts go, they could push some of his base salary to a bonus and prorate it to the end of the contract. He is currently on the books until 2025 where he will be 31. Since inking his deal he has only played 7 games and coming off season-ending ankle surgery.
Marcus Peters is entering the last year of his 3-year, 42m extension, and has amassed 86 tackles and 9 interceptions in 30 games for the Ravens. They could also look to restructure his 15.5m deal and give him an extension again.
With their 10 picks projected to cost 5.1m (calculation taken from overthecap.com) in 2022 as of today (2/19/22), the Ravens would barely be able to sign those picks because they are only 8.7m under the cap. Expect GM Eric DeCosta to make some financial moves with the Lamar Jackson extension and restructuring Peters and Stanley so they can leave with high volume at the draft. The Ravens joined the Raiders and Falcons as the few teams where their tight ends were their leading receivers (by yards) and they have tried to address the need for a receiver opposite Marquise Brown in free agency, however with the volume of picks that they have in the middle rounds they could find another receiving threat for Jackson going into the 2022 season.