Welcome to the Game Changer Sports Network Free Agency Preview series. This is the Baltimore Ravens Free Agency Preview. In this series we will be looking at all 32 teams over the next few months and breaking down their key free agents going into the off-season. We will also predict if they re-sign or walk to go get paid.
The Ravens wasted no time with the offseason as they released running back Mark Ingram and Quarterback Robert Griffin III the day after the Super Bowl. Baltimore is currently 12th in the league in cap space with $30 million to use.
Baltimore Ravens Free Agency Preview: Key Free Agents
LB Matt Judon (29 Years Old)
Judon has to be the Baltimore Ravens top potential free agent this year. Patrick Queen became everything that the Ravens wanted him to become this season leaving Judon in a very awkward spot. He did not replicate the success that caused him to get the franchise tag for the 2020 season. He finished this year with 29 solo tackles and 6 assists. His Profootballfocus grade for 2020 was 59.4. This was down from 70.5 in the 2019 season in which he had 38 solo tackles and 9.5 sacks. Another huge difference between 2019 and 2020 was that he forced four fumbles compared to 0.
Matt Judon played this season on the franchise tag. This tag payed him $16.8 million over the course of the season. It’s very unlikely that he will be tagged for a second strait season. At 29 years old he has the chance to hit the open market. Even with the drop in production it is very likely that a team will still want to pay Judon. Expect Tampa Bay’s Shaq Barrett to set the market for Linebacker’s this off-season, Judon’s contract will fall around one or two million less than that.
Prediction: Free Agency
WR Willie Snead (29 Years Old)
While only starting in 8 games this season and playing in 13 he only caught 33 receptions. Those 33 receptions went for 432 yards and 3 touchdowns. His numbers were mostly up from 2019. Wide receivers are not a focal point in the Baltimore offense. They don’t need to have flashy numbers to be effective. His 69% catch percentage is probably the most important stat for the Ravens. Snead is not a WR1 type guy no matter what team he is on.
Snead is coming off a one year, $6 million contract extension. It’s very likely that he could see a pay raise if he decides to skip town. If he stays in Baltimore then he will probably stay around that number again for this season. Another team will likely offer him close to a three year, $25 million deal. If he goes to a decent passing team then he could fall into a solid WR2 role.
DE Yannick Ngakoue (26 Years Old)
Statistically speaking, Ngakoue had his worst season in the league to date. Before the season he was traded by Jacksonville to the Minnesota Vikings. After the Vikings got off to a terrible start to the season, they then decided to trade him to Baltimore. Even after coming to Baltimore, he wasn’t much of a threat on the front seven for them. In his five year career he does have 45.5 sacks, 18 forced fumbles, 3 fumble recoveries, and 96 QB hits. Ngakoue only played in 33% of Baltimore defensive snaps this year. He only played in 51.6% of all snaps after he joined the team. From the start the trade made very little sense given they clearly didn’t know how to use him.
The trade with Minnesota gave him a one, $12 million deal. His market value looks to be near $16 million per year. Baltimore is going to let him test free agency. It’s very unlikely that he doesn’t find a suitor for his services and takes a short term, low money deal.
Prediction: Free Agency
C Matt Skura (27 Years Old)
The 27 year old center has played in 51 career games and all of them have been for the Baltimore Ravens. In his career he has committed 11 penalties and given up 5 sacks. Profootballfocus grades his career at a 57.9 average over the four years he’s been in the league. He is not really starter material in the NFL in 2020 and likely won’t be starting for anyone in 2021.
Skura is coming off of a one year, $2.1 million deal. This deal was given to him after the best season of his career. That success was not repeated in 2020 however with the shape of the league he will still be due a giant pay raise. This is based on the history of his position and previous contracts of similar players at his age and his production level. He will more than likely land a three year deal in the ballpark of $10 million per year.
RB Gus Edwards (25 Years Old)
The emergence of J.K. Dobbins towards the end of the season meant that one of the Running Backs on roster was taking a back seat. From weeks 10 through 15 it looked like it was going to be Edwards. He only had 42 attempts for 250 yards and three touchdowns. As the season went on he became the clear number two back as Mark Ingram was used less and less. He isn’t much of a duel threat type of back like many other running backs around the league. On the season he played in all 16 games where he rushed for 144 attempts that netted him 723 yards and 6 touchdowns. As a second option for the team he finished 19th in the league in rushing yards and touchdowns.
Edwards will be a very attractive name on the market due to the mileage on his legs and his age. Baltimore signed him to a one year, $570K contract last off-season as one of their restricted free agents. This year he will be an unrestricted free agent and will be able to test the open market. If he doesn’t sign a contract with Baltimore I would look at a team that would offer him a two year deal in the ballpark of $5 million per year on average.
Baltimore Ravens Free Agency Preview: Everyone Else
Offense: WR Chris Moore, WR Dez Bryant, WR De’Anthony Thomas, WR DeAndrew White, WR Antoine Wesley, G D.J. Fluker, C Trystan Colon-Castillo
Defense: DT Justin Ellis, DE Derek Wolfe, DE Jihad Ward, OLB Tyus Bowser, LB Pernell McPhee, LB Kristian Welch, LB Chris Board, CB Tramon Williams, CB Khalil Dorsey, CB Davontae Harris, SS Anthony Levine
Special Teams: P Johnny Townsend, LS Morgan Fox
Other Free Agency Previews:
*All Contract and Cap Room numbers provided by www.spotrac.com/nfl/*
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