The defense is the focus for the 2017-2018 Baltimore Ravens; Ozzie proved this after spending big money on Brandon Williams, Tony Jefferson and Brandon Carr. The re-signing of Brandon, though, is worrisome. A contract hefty in price, to an incredible player no doubt, but is it towards the wrong position?
According to spotrac.com, Brandon is eighth highest paid DT/NT in the league. He’s absolutely worth a good contract, but is he deserving of $52.5 million over five years?
The Ravens defensive front plays 3-4, or 4-3 under. Brandon, more often than anything else, plays nose tackle. His stats aren’t gaudy, his plays aren’t flashy. By no means does that make his play bad. Not every position in the NFL is exciting, and the nose tackle position is the furthest from flashy. Brandon’s job is swallow up blockers and free up Mosley and other rushers into the lane. Help free up another rusher along the line for a pressure/hit/sack. While other Ravens reel in the highlight plays, Brandon can often be found double-teamed, yet still breaking through the interior and causing the initial disruption.
At face value, Brandon’s contract looks bad. His stats are nowhere near the names on the spotrac list. From Ndamukong Suh and Fletcher Cox to Damon Harrison and Kyle Williams.
Both Ndamukong and Fletcher wreak havoc and generate sacks. They also play in 4-3 fronts which allows them to play in a pass-rush role. Same goes for Geno Atkins, another on the list of D-tackle contracts. Damon and Kyle, both receiving less than Brandon, produce more sacks also, but once more, they run 4-3 fronts. When comparing 3-4 NT, nobody really comes close. Problem though, there aren’t many in the game worth thinking of giving a contract out to, at least worth over $50 million.
Brandon finally received the big payday, and no doubt he’ll live up to it. The dream scenario, Michael Pierce and Brandon both tee-off on interior blockers, while Sizzle and the rush linebackers attack the outsides. If Brandon can translate his play into more sacks this season, he’ll become nationally recognized by football fans everywhere. His run-blocking is among the best in the league. Now it’s time for him to take down opposing quarterbacks.