The Baltimore Ravens have lost the first of several key free agents they have been working to retain, with ESPN’s Adam Schefter reporting that right tackle Ricky Wagner is expected to sign with the Detroit Lions.
Ravens free-agent OT Ricky Wagner expects to become a Detroit Lion assuming no snags in final negotiations Thursday, sources tell ESPN.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 8, 2017
With the negotiations being finalized during the NFL’s legal tampering period, all that is left to do is wait until Thursday for it to become official.
This is a disappointing end to the relationship between Wagner and the Ravens, when there seemed to be at least some mutual interest in getting a long term deal done to keep him in Baltimore.
A former fifth round pick in the much maligned 2013 draft, Wagner stepped into the starting role in 2014, and didn't look back. Despite some bouts with injuries, and a lack of consistency, it’s hard to do much complaining about Wagner’s tenure as the anchor of the right side of the offensive line.
Now that this news has broken, the Ravens must look forward to finding a replacement. A few options are abound, such as former Los Angeles Charger tackle D.J. Fluker, who was recently cut (keeping him out of the compensatory pick equation), or 2016 draftee Alex Lewis, who played the position in college, as the leading in-house option.