After earlier reports today that the Ravens planned to release Jeremy Zuttah, the Ravens have found a trade partner for the 2016 Pro Bowl center, the San Francisco 49ers according to the team’s official Twitter account.
The Ravens will also send the 198th pick in the 2017 NFL Draft to the 49ers, while the Ravens receive the 186th pick in return. In other words, the Ravens will move up 12 spots in the sixth round.
In addition, this trade frees up $5.8 million in cap room for the Ravens. This room will give the Ravens the space to pursue a new center, namely Nick Mangold, or to sign cornerback Morris Claiborne.
According to Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun, the Ravens originally planned to release Zuttah as they were unable to find a trade partner. However, trading Zuttah was always the Ravens first choice, and they made a deal when San Francisco agreed to be the trade partner.
Zuttah may have made the Pro Bowl in 2016, but his entire body of work was, at best, mediocre. The Ravens will get a chance to fill the opening with a more talented player than Zuttah.
Now the Ravens need to fill two starting holes on the offensive line. One possible solution is to move Alex Lewis to right tackle and plug John Urschel in at left guard, leaving only the center position to be filled. The other option the Ravens have is too fill these voids through the draft of free agency. I look at Ethan Pocic out of LSU as the top candidate in the draft to take over at center, and Taylor Moton from LSU to be a leading draft candidate at right tackle.
The Ravens have been very active in free agency, and it doesn’t seem like they will be finished anytime soon.