How can the Baltimore Ravens address it’s offseason needs? Well, for one, it finally happened! Lamar Jackson won a playoff game! With that monkey finally off his back, Jackson and the Ravens can finally stop hearing how they can’t win in the postseason. Now, it’s time for the offseason. Just like the last two years, Baltimore will be one of the top teams in the AFC next season. However, the AFC North is suddenly a three team race. Before, it was just Baltimore and Pittsburgh. Now, put the Cleveland Browns in that mix. How exactly can Baltimore improve enough to regain the AFC North crown next season?
This is Eric DeCosta, the general manager of the Baltimore Ravens. DeCosta replaced the iconic Ozzie Newsome after the 2018 season when Newsome stepped down. DeCosta has big shoes to fill and so far it’s been average. Yes, the Ravens have Lamar Jackson who took the NFL by storm in 2019 (named MVP that season). But, there’s still some work to do. The good news for DeCosta is that the Ravens are on the plus side of the cap. Baltimore is going to have just over 19 million, so DeCosta has some money to spend. But who exactly will DeCosta spend money on?
It’s time for Baltimore to break their norm. Baltimore doesn’t need a number one receiver. But, they need Marvin Jones. Jones can be a number one receiver for this Ravens offense. The Ravens can afford him too. Plus, Jones is looking to go to a Super Bowl contender. Is Baltimore a contender right now? No. But, with Jones they can be. Last season Jones had 76 receptions, 978 yards and nine touchdowns. Jones should be at the top of the Ravens list of players they should be in contact with once free agency opens up.
Curtis Samuel will be a hot commodity. With Carolina having DJ Moore and Robby Anderson, Samuel became the forgotten man last season. However, he has improved every year since being drafted in 2017. Many teams will be going after Samuel so Baltimore should be aggressive. Samuel last year had 77 receptions for 851 yards and three touchdowns. Baltimore could form a three headed monster with Samuel, Marvin Jones and Hollywood Brown. If this happens, watch out for that Ravens offense next season.
The NFL is a pass friendly league. Yes, Baltimore has Chuck Clark and DeShon Elliott. But, Baltimore lacks someone who can truly cover any part of the field. Tre Boston is one of the top free safties that will be available when free agency starts. Boston had a combined total of 95 tackles last season as well as one sack and one interception. He also had four passes defended, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery. As a safety, he’s a tackling machine and can cover the field. He is exactly the kind of player Baltimore needs.
Veteran presense. That is what Tashaun Gipson brings. Gipson will most likely move on from being in Chicago and Baltimore could use someone like Gipson to show their young safeties how to be the best. Gipson was part of that 2017 Cinderella Jacksonville Jaguars team that almost made it to the Super Bowl. So, with that being said, Gipson knows what it takes to be a top defense in the league. He can help bolster that secondary big time.
This is a no brainer. Do. Not. Let. Him. Leave. Matt Judon is by far Baltimore’s best pass rusher. If they lose Judon, they will be left scrambling to find another pass rusher that is just half as good as Judon. They could bring back Derrick Wolfe but Wolfe wouldn’t bring the same kind of ability to the defensive line compared to Judon. Judon last season had six sacks and 51 combined tackles. Judon is a monster in the making and is now entering his prime years. Baltimore should not miss out on Judon.
Possibly, but highly unlikely! If anything, Baltimore could make a trade for bench players to come in for the starters, or in simple terms, special teams players. Baltimore for the most part really doesn’t need to make a trade unless something pops up in during the offseason like injuries to starters.
This is Jevon Holland, a safety from Oregon. Baltimore needs help in the secondary. It doesn’t hurt to have options at the safety position. If Baltimore strikes out on top safety talent, expect to see Holland in purple next season. Holland opted out this past season, but in his final season he played with Oregon, he reocrded 40 total tackles, four interceptions and four passes defended. Holland is a player to keep your eyes on!
Baltimore will be right back in the thick of things next season. The NFL will be put back on notice by Baltimore next season. The Ravens will have an improved team from last year and they should be one of the favorites to win the AFC and Lamar Jackson will be one of the favorites to win MVP once again next season. Look out for the Ravens!
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-Matt Burnett (@mattthew_jordan on Twitter)