Pro Football Focus recently published their Baltimore Ravens Free Agency Preview. Naturally, they believe the team should focus their offseason efforts on improving the personnel on offense, but mentioned they do not have much salary cap space to work with. Wide receiver, offensive guard and edge defender were selected as Baltimore’s three biggest positional needs.
Impending free agent center Ryan Jensen was categorized as a must re-sign:
The intangibles Jensen brings to the field, especially his nasty demeanor, are perhaps his most valuable traits. As always, the cost of re-signing a capable homegrown blocker in the prime of his career will be an issue for a Ravens team that too frequently leverages future salary cap space. If a bidding war develops for Jensen on the open market, Baltimore could be priced out.
Receiver Allen Robinson was identified as the dream splash signing:
Acquiring a proven young receiver makes a great deal of sense for a franchise that has traditionally struggled when drafting and developing players at the position. Robinson’s skillset would certainly align well with Joe Flacco’s strengths. He could serve as the top target on the team for many seasons, a welcome change for a club that has relied on stopgap receivers recently. Still, the cost of signing the desirable wideout, if he does become available, could be prohibitive.
Hypothetically, if the Ravens find a way to both retain Jensen and lure Robinson, they would be well positioned to contend for the championship in 2018 and beyond. With a defense chocked full of young talent at all three levels, several promising backs and a stout offensive line, Baltimore could then concentrate their draft plans on adding impactful offensive playmakers to complement their new number one receiver. However, signing this pair of premier free agents this offseason will require extremely creative accounting.
The Ravens have been reluctant to commit the necessary resources to keep their best free agent offensive lineman in recent seasons. And they have been unwilling to pursue the top pass catchers on the market for most Ozzie Newsome’s tenure as general manager. Team owner Steve Bisciotti could provide some indication that the decision makers are ready to reconsider these strategies when he addresses the fanbase on Friday.