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Report: Ravens looking to sign cornerback Justin Bethel

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Atlanta Falcons Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

The Ravens are reportedly looking to add to what is shaping up to be, at least on paper, one of the league’s best secondaries:

On the surface, this move doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Cornerback is probably the team’s strongest position currently, and the signing of Earl Thomas only further solidifies that group with a rangy presence over the top.

The 28-year-old Bethel is a proven veteran who spent several seasons with the Cardinals before joining the Falcons last season. He would likely slot in behind the starters and ahead of younger players like Anthony Averett.

With more pressing needs, it’s fair to question why Eric DeCosta is taking a flyer on him, though there maybe more to the story. It’s long been speculated that the team may move on from Jimmy Smith, given his 15 million dollar cap hit (per Spotrac) is pretty untenable. This signing could signal they’ve made their decision, and Smith doesn’t have a future in Baltimore.

If that is the case, it’ll be interesting to see how his departure is handled. A trade is possible, though that hefty cap charge may make a trade less attractive to other teams. Whether or not Smith is on the move will be interesting, since Bethel doesn’t fill an immediate need for the team at all.

For more on this situation, be sure to stick with Baltimore Beatdown.