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Ravens News 2/10: QB revolution and more

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NFL Pro Bowl Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images

NFL revolution at quarterback; a dynamic position’s renaissance - Bucky Brooks

The prototype for NFL quarterbacks has been changing in recent years, but those two nights really cemented the transition. Now it’s time for the football world to acknowledge — and embrace — the new landscape of the position.

The top QBs in the game today are breaking traditional norms, and inherently changing the way scouts evaluate the position. Instead of looking for polished pocket passers with textbook footwork and mechanics, talent evaluators and coaches are more willing to take chances on raw athletes and build around their strengths as explosive playmakers.

While traditionalists cringe at the notion of an NFL quarterback controlling the game as a runner, the recent success of Jackson and Josh Allen has swayed old-school offensive minds. Think about the recent buzz surrounding Taysom Hill as a potential successor to Drew Brees in New Orleans.

Jackson was an unstoppable force all season long in Baltimore, absolutely shredding defenses with his unique playing style. He is one of the few QB1s in the game with the capacity to register a 300/100 game (300 passing yards, 100 rushing yards) on a regular basis as the director of an offense that looks plucked from an episode of “Friday Night Lights.”

No Blank Check for a Free Agency Shopping Spree - John Eisenberg

Yes, the Ravens are in better shape thanks to the cap going up, Joe Flacco’s contract coming off the books and several other factors. But a lot of other teams still have more dollars to spend.

The Ravens are ranked No. 21 in available cap space according to Over the Cap and No. 22 according to Spotrac. They’ll likely create more space by cutting ties with veterans in the coming weeks, but of course, other teams will do the same.

Another reason they can’t go wild is they need to reserve significant cap space for retaining their own players, as opposed to adding new ones. If they elect to keep linebacker Matthew Judon off the market by re-signing or putting the franchise tag on him, that’s a costly move. (And my guess is they’ll do exactly that, franchise Judon.)

Pro Bowl offensive tackle Ronnie Stanley is at the front of that line now with his contract due to expire after the 2020 season, and needless to say, signing him is a top priority that’ll cost plenty and make Stanley among the team’s highest-paid players.

Pro Bowl cornerback Marlon Humphrey is a year behind Stanley, and then it’s on to Lamar Jackson and, for sure, an entirely new cap scenario.

2020 FREE AGENT PROFILE: EDGE RUSHER SHAQUIL BARRETT - Trevor Sikkema

WHERE HE WINS

When he times it right, his first step is violent and quick — a good combo for an edge rusher. A lot of his pressure and production came from a 2-point stance, and he was able to remain successful without that natural stance leverage with smooth, strong, quick hand usage that just never quit. His dip and rip got offensive tackles in trouble all season. Barrett is also sudden with his change of direction. He can put his foot in the ground and completely change his momentum, often leaving offensive linemen hanging on for dear life as he moves up the pocket.

He isn’t the most athletically gifted pass rusher you’ll find, but he understands how to own a one-on-one very well.

MARKET VALUE

Spotrac currently has Barrett’s market value at $15.7 million per season and would make him the 12th highest paid edge rusher. Barrett would be in the same ballpark as players like Chandler Jones, Za’Darius Smith and Danielle Hunter.

2020 NFL Scouting Combine: Invited prospects, by school

Alabama

» Shyheim Carter, DB, Alabama

» Raekwon Davis, DL, Alabama

» Trevon Diggs, DB, Alabama

» Anfernee Jennings, LB, Alabama

» Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama

» Terrell Lewis, LB, Alabama

» Xavier McKinney, DB, Alabama

» Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama

» Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama

» Jedrick Wills, OL, Alabama

LSU

» Joe Burrow, QB, LSU

» K’Lavon Chaisson, LB, LSU

» Saahdiq Charles, OL, LSU

» Lloyd Cushenberry, OL, LSU

» Grant Delpit, DB, LSU

» Michael Divinity, LB, LSU

» Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB, LSU

» Blake Ferguson, LS, LSU

» Kristian Fulton, DB, LSU

» Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU

» Rashard Lawrence II, DL, LSU

» Damien Lewis, OL, LSU

» Thaddeus Moss, TE, LSU

» Jacob Phillips, LB, LSU

» Patrick Queen, LB, LSU

» Stephen Sullivan, TE, LSU

Oklahoma

» Neville Gallimore, DL, Oklahoma

» Jalen Hurts, QB, Oklahoma

» CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma

» Kenneth Murray, LB, Oklahoma