The Baltimore Ravens are about to take another hit. Despite multiple offers, defensive tackle Brandon Williams and the Ravens still have yet to come to an agreement.
Despite several proposals, the Ravens also haven't been able to find compromise with Williams.— Jeff Zrebiec (@jeffzrebiecsun) March 5, 2017
If Williams hits the market, he is likely to be as good as gone. The Miami Dolphins specifically could become a chief suitor, as could the Kansas City Chiefs if they choose to part ways with Dontari Poe.
The New York Giants' Damon Harrison set the market for nose tackles in last year's free agency and Williams is a comparable player, cut from the same cloth. Harrison was signed for 5-year, $46 million contract that was thought to be an overpay at the time, but proved to be justified as Harrison set the tone in the resurgence of the Giants defense.
If the Ravens were to lose Williams, they would lose the key cog in the team's most consistent unit. Michael Pierce was a pleasant surprise as part of last season's run stuffing crew, but it would be unwise to thrust him into an expanded role. But the Ravens defensive line is deep.
With Williams potentially leaving and Carl Davis (a natural one-gap 1-technique) returning, the Ravens could employ more straight traditional 4-3 looks, with two 7-techniques, a 3-technique and the aforementioned 1-technique. If the Ravens add an edge rusher like Derek Barnett or Salomon Thomas, the tweak in scheme should become expected.
Williams' departure will have trickle down effects throughout the Ravens front. The Ravens are equipped to handle it, but only in theory. If they are unable to adequately replace Williams, they will find themselves as a team without a reliable unit.