Baltimore Ravens Offseason Outlook: Free Agency Offense

Featured, Sports and Bets — March 7, 2013 at 1:26 pm by

The March 12th date that marks the beginning of NFL free agency is quickly approaching, so we’ll take a  snapshot look at the Ravens team needs. Note that this is only taking into account returning players under contract.  This is a position -by- position breakdown of the Ravens current roster.  Today we will just look at the offensive side of the ball.  We’ll put each position into three categories, 1. Solid (No FA upgrade needed), 2. Upgrade Luxury (FA would be nice, but not a priority.), and 3. Upgrade Priority (New Player Needed.)

QB- Joe , Tyrod Taylor -(Upgrade Luxury: Backup)-  We have been extremely lucky that Joe has never missed a start since we’ ve skated by without a notable backup.  However another year of Tyrod would save us a good bit of cap space (just hope we don’t need him.).

RB- Ray Rice,  Bernard Pierce,  Anthony Allen, Bobby Rainey-(Solid)- The Ravens are blessed to be one of the deepest teams at running back in the league with the explosive and durable Rice backed up by Pierce, who would no doubt start on ten teams in this league (hell two of them in our division.). Allen and Rainey provide depth along with quality special teams play.Ray Rice

FB- Vonte Leach-(Solid) As of press time we have the best in the business in Vonte as he as been to two Pro Bowls in each of his first two seasons as a Raven. He paves the way for “our move the chains” approach to the running game. However, in today’ s game his contributions are a major luxury that may not be feasible for the Ravens since he is a 4.3 million dollar cap hit this year. Depending on how things shake out in free agency, Leach might end up a luxury the Ravens simply can’t afford.

WR-Anquan Boldin, Torrey Smith, Jacoby Jones, Tandon Doss, LaQuan Williams, Deonte Thompson,Tommy Streeter-(Solid)This group in theory will be back in tact barring any cap casualties. Boldin and Jones count over 10 million against the cap but both proved to be invaluable down the stretch last year. I don’t really see any need to add a veteran WR at this point because it seems that they can add some youth through the draft.

TE-Dennis Pitta Ed Dickson-(Upgrade Luxury) Both players are restricted free agents which means they will most likely be back with the team. Pitta proved himself a big time playmaker and deserves a long-term deal. He is a very solid starter although the Ravens do need to add a TE who specializes in inline blocking. Dickson provides some value as a second TE but he has never shown the consistency to be considered a quality starter. (Possible low-cost free agent to bring in as a blocking specialist: Gary Barnridge)

Tackle- Michael Oher, Jah Reid-(Upgrade Priority)  The Ravens currently have a glaring hole at left tackle with Bryant McKinnie a free agent.  Oher is best suited at right tackle,  though he can play a serviceable left tackle, and Jah Reid is best suited as a sixth lineman with the ability to play tackle or guard.  This is a tricky situation for Baltimore because left tackles usually command top dollar since they are the most high-profile  protector of your biggest investment: the quarterback.  Best possible scenario is to resign McKinnie to a short-term incentive laden deal and draft a tackle to groom to eventually play the left side.

Guard- Marshall Yanda, Keleche Osemele(Solid)- If this pair is able to stay at guard then the  Ravens have themselves one of the best guard tandems in the league. Yanda has established himself as a perennial pro bowler and K. O. is a straight up mauler who is best suited to play guard, although he does have  the ability to kick out to right tackle if needed.  However, some depth is needed here, and a solid reliable veteran would be a nice addition here;  in the same way Bobbie Williams was for the Ravens last year.  Let us not forget that Ozzie is the master at finding those kind of veterans.

Center- Gino Gradkowski-(Upgrade Priority, at least for depth) The Ravens liked him enough to spend a fourth round pick on him in the hopes that he would eventually take over for Matt Birk.  Well that time has come.  Gino is a bit undersized, but hopefully he makes up for it with quickness and tenacity. When playing in the AFC  North you have to deal with some pretty imposing nose guards, so adding a veteran as insurance may prove a prudent move.  A possible addition could be the long time Patriot Dan Koppen, who should come at a reasonable price.





One Comment

  1. Great insight with regard to your analysis.Now let,s talk defense next time

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