The Baltimore Ravens recently wrapped up their off-season mini-camp and now have several weeks before the pads come on. With the NFL at its quietest, just about any signing by any team could likely make the news; but there are a few players still currently on the free agent market warranting serious interest from teams. The Ravens still have some holes to fill at certain positions, so here are a few of those names to keep an eye on as we move forward into the summer.
Nick Mangold, Center
Fairly obvious one, and if you were to ask me, it’s most likely to happen. Mangold is a tenured veteran who knows what it takes to be a team leader on and off the field. While all of that is great, there is still concern with Mangold’s current unemployment. If the Ravens, or any team really, believed Mangold to still be a top flight option, he wouldn’t be unemployed in the middle of June. Still, having Mangold in the building is more comforting than the thought of someone like John Urschel or Matt Skura being penciled in as the starter.
DeAndre Levy, Linebacker
Levy is one of the more interesting cases in the NFL over the past several years. In 2013, he was one of the most productive defenders in the league, racking up 119 tackles, and six(!) interceptions. The next year he managed 151 tackles, as well as a pick and a few sacks. Since then, he has played in two of twenty eight possible games due to health issues, making the four year contract Detroit gave him look like a foolish move. However, the injuries really go beyond Levy’s control, and at age 30, it wouldn’t be crazy for him to come back into the NFL and least be a league average linebacker. After the release of Elvis Dumervil, having Levy around to mentor the young talent the front office has brought in wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world. Of course, this is only if the money is right and he can stay on the field.
Gary Barnidge, Tight end
On paper, there looks to be a surplus, but the Ravens are currently thin at tight end. Dennis Pitta’s career is over after his third devastating hip injury in just over as many years. Both Maxx Williams and Crockett Gillmore are talented, but inconsistend with injuries. This leaves Ben Watson, Nick Boyle and Darren Waller as we leave mini camp. This isn’t the worst group in the world, but adding Barnidge into the mix couldn’t hurt. He had been productive over the past few years for Cleveland; Barnidge was only cut because the Browns wanted a youth movement, starting with rookie David Njoku. Watson and Barnidge make a solid veteran duo. They also provide depth to a position of consistent injury.
Editor thought: I’m sure Barnidge would love some revenge after his surprise cut. Barnidge was excited to work with Njoku, but a day later the Browns cut Gary.
Welcome to the TE room @David_Njoku80 looking forward to getting started.— Gary Barnidge (@garybarnidge) April 28, 2017
I want to thank the Cleveland Browns for giving me my opportunity and looking forward to seeing the change. Time for the next step.— Gary Barnidge (@garybarnidge) April 28, 2017