Last week, the Baltimore Ravens lost their starting right tackle of the last three seasons, Rick Wagner, to the Detroit Lions in free agency. Since then, there hasn't been any reported interest by the Ravens when it comes to the tackle market as a potential replacement. On Thursday however, a name popped up with serious connections on the inside of the Owings Mills complex. On Monday, The Los Angeles Chargers released offensive tackle King Dunlap, as reported by Fox Sports 1's Peter Schrager.
The Los Angeles Chargers will be releasing OT King Dunlap. @gmfb @NFLonFOX— Peter Schrager (@PSchrags) March 13, 2017
The move saves the Chargers $4 million in cap space, and this comes after the team signed Russell Okung to a 4-year, $53 million contract. Dunlap originally signed a 4-year, $28 million contract extension two years ago.
Dunlap is a swing tackle and has started both on the left and right side of the offensive line in his career with the Philadelphia Eagles and Chargers. Which leads to the connections on the Ravens. The first is Eric Weddle, who played with Dunlap for three seasons from 2013-2015. After Dunlap's release was announced, Weddle took to Twitter and went to bat for his former teammate:
Sorry to hear about my boy King. Doesn't suprise me tho, that's how they treat the good players there. https://t.co/VMdrVoO33e— Eric Weddle (@weddlesbeard) March 13, 2017
The other set of connections is on the coaching staff with offensive line coach Joe D'Alessandris and offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg. D'Alessandris was the Chargers offensive line coach from 2013-2015 and helped Dunlap produce to his potential, and was named the teams offensive linemen of the year in 2014. Mornhinweg coached Dunlap from 2008-2012 in Philadelphia, and according to Yahoo Sports Eric Edholm, he "banged on the table" for Dunlap to start.
And with Marty Mornhinweg, who banged on the table for him to get a chance in Philly. https://t.co/lveZkY7YSN— Eric Edholm (@Eric_Edholm) March 13, 2017
Dunlap had the most success while being coached under D'Alessandris and knows Baltimore's offensive scheme with Mornhinweg; combine this with Weddle's support, the Ravens could be a good spot for Dunlap to start at the currently vacant right tackle position. However, there are two problems. First, Dunlap has an injury history, he’s played only one full season in his entire career. Secondly, Dunlap was arrested last month on suspicion of violating a protective order placed on him by his girlfriend. Dunlap is not only facing potential suspension, but a situation like this leads to the Ravens possibly avoiding Dunlap.
The question is, if the Ravens front office want nothing to do with Dunlap due to his arrest, will Weddle, D'Alessandris, or Mornhinweg vouch for him so the team can bring him in? Dunlap not only can replace Wagner, but can be an option at left tackle in case Ronnie Stanley goes down.
The Ravens have not, at least reportedly, been in the market for an offensive linemen since Wagner's departure. Dunlap would be an intriguing option if the team is interested.