Mosley was a first round pick in 2014 and played five seasons in Baltimore. He collected 579 tackles, 8.5 sacks and 9 interceptions in route to Pro Bowl recognition in four of his five seasons. Baltimore certainly hoped to retain their defensive centerpiece but after extensive negotiations his price tag was deemed too rich.
To put the C.J. Mosley numbers in perspective, Luke Kuechly’s contract with the #Panthers had stood for over 3 years as the bar for ILBs at $12.36M APY and $34.3M guaranteed. Mosley is getting $17M and $51M gtd from the #Jets per @RapSheet. Massive.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) March 12, 2019
New general manager Eric DeCosta will now be tasked with replacing the leadership of Mosley, Eric Weddle and Terrell Suggs from 2018’s top ranked defense. He definitely has his work cut out for him.
For as much as Mosley had issues in coverage and overall athleticism (which can also be said for Suggs and Weddle), there’s undoubtedly a leadership vacuum on defense at the moment. That is without even mentioning the loss of actual starting quality players who DeCosta will need to replace.
Ultimately, Baltimore was in a tough spot, they were never going to give Mosley the money he commanded on the open market. Tying up $17 million dollars per season in an inside linebacker makes sense for a franchise like the Jets who are playing with excess salary cap space, but the Ravens simply cannot afford to do so considering the other needs they possess on both sides of the ball.
Allowing three defensive stalwarts to depart may be an indication that the Ravens are planning to invest in offensive personnel. If DeCosta and the front office are serious about building up the roster for a long term run with Lamar Jackson, it begins now.