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What in the world just happened today? Ravens recap edition

Let’s take this day step-by-step

Arizona Cardinals v Carolina Panthers Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

Two weeks ago, the Baltimore Ravens community expected the team to sign, at minimum, one of their three key free agents heading into the offseason. The community accepted the Ravens couldn’t hang onto three players who produce at the top of their respective position. Kyle Juszczyk is the best fullback in the league. Brandon Williams is the best 3-4 nose tackle in the league. Ricky Wagner is a top five right tackle. Hanging onto all three, as I already mentioned, was a foregone conclusion. But the community expected to salvage the loss with a signing of another. The most accepted scenario included Brandon Williams receiving top dollar elsewhere, while the Ravens re-signed Kyle or Ricky, but hopefully both. By today’s end, the opposite unfolded.

All Losses:

No doubt this team offered contracts to each and every one of their players, but the team is under cap hell. A multitude of bad contracts and not extending their players early buried them under these circumstances. Joe’s record breaking deal, Dennis Pitta’s and Lardarius Webb’s to name a few. But now, it’s time to pay the piper, and the Ravens are out of money. Meanwhile, other teams pockets are overflowing.

The Bad News:

Baltimore just lost three of their best players. They’ll absolutely need to re-invest in these positions. Some have depth already in the area (ex. Michael Pierce, Alex Lewis). It won’t be the same, but the team can adjust.

The Good News:

Compensatory selections. Juice’s contract looks to net a fifth round comp pick. Rick Wagner’s will bring in a third round comp pick. Brandon Williams, if he signs elsewhere, will surely snag another third round comp pick. This isn’t what we’d like, but the Ravens will now have room to breath with their cap, while also receiving compensatory selections to sign more cheap rookie players, with some picks on day two as opposed to day three. By the 2018-2019 season, Baltimore’s books will be clear of dead money and ugly contracts, will have an influx of rookie contracts to give more room and also have money left to spend on pending free agents of their own, let alone others.


Tony Jefferson expected to sign with the Baltimore Ravens

The numbers aren’t out, but this makes things more interesting. First, the Ravens have a safety tandem! No longer are they fielding one great player while the other fails repeatedly. Two safeties capable of making plays is important, especially in this league. Next, the contract numbers for the Ravens lost free agents are important; The league will match up the Tony Jefferson signing with the lost free agents contract numbers and the league will take a Ravens comp pick away. Hopefully Baltimore signed Jefferson on the lower end, and the Ravens lose Juszczyk’s comp. pick, rather than Wagner’s, or possibly Williams if he leaves. Either way, the numbers now matter.