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Ravens News 2/11: Offseason dominoes and more

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Pittsburgh Steelers v Baltimore Ravens Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

Ravens sign S Chuck Clark to 3-year, $16M extension - Nick Shook

Clark signed a three-year contract extension with the Ravens, the team announced Monday. NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported the extension is worth $16 million over three years, including $10 million in guarantees.

Clark had his best season of his career in 2019, appearing in 16 games (12 starts) and recording 73 tackles, nine passes defended, two forced fumbles, one interception and one sack. His performance was a revelation for the Ravens, who were relying on Tony Jefferson until his season-ending knee injury in Week 5.

Clark’s contract extension is both a reward and also an excellent example of how Baltimore’s front office is always looking ahead with its roster. The Ravens spent plenty to bring in Jefferson in 2017 at an average of $8.5 million per season, but with the 28-year-old entering the final season of his four-year deal in 2020 (and coming off the aforementioned knee injury), Clark stands as a potential long-term replacement at the position.

2020 FREE AGENT PROFILE: EDGE MATT JUDON - Joe Marino

WHERE HE WINS

Because of his impressive physical skill set, Judon is able to fill multiple roles and is a versatile defender.

Judon is a team leader and among the most active Ravens’ players in the community. From physical gifts and intangibles to versatility and a balanced skill set, Judon is the total package.

POTENTIAL RED FLAGS

While it was a case made against Smith last season the Ravens’ defense blitzes far more than any other team in the NFL. Baltimore led the NFL with a blitz percentage of 39.6 percent in 2018 and that number increased to 54.9 in 2019, 11.5 percent higher than the next closest team. To Judon’s credit, he took full advantage of Baltimore’s aggressive pressure packages, but it must be considered how much the scheme could have inflated his production.

MARKET VALUE

Spotrac estimates Judon will receive an average salary of $16.3 million and I agree with that figure, but likely as the floor. In virtually the same scenario, Smith found a four-year, $66-million contract from the Packers last offseason. There’s a good chance Judon tops that.

2020 NFL Free Agency Preview: Players to target, ideal plans of action, potential cuts and more for all 32 teams - Anthony Treash

BALTIMORE RAVENS

Projected cap space: $27.8 million

Players to target: WR Amari Cooper, EDGE Shaquil Barrett

Soon-to-be unrestricted free agents: DI Michael Pierce, CB Jimmy Smith, EDGE Matthew Judon, LB Josh Bynes, EDGE Pernell McPhee, WR Seth Roberts, LB Patrick Onwuasor

Potential cuts: CB Brandon Carr (saves $6 million in 2020)

The two primary areas the Ravens should focus on improving this offseason is their wide receiver unit and their pass-rush.

Edge defender Matthew Judon is hitting the market after having the best season of his career as a pass-rusher (77.0 pass-rush grade), but he was still not nearly as productive on a play-for-play basis as what his projected contract might say.

The Ravens’ wide receivers combined to form the 28th best receiving grade in the NFL. Lamar Jackson utilized his tight ends heavily in the passing game, but he could sure use another weapon.

NFL OFFSEASON DOMINOES - Bill Barnwell

THE RAVENS SIGN JADEVEON CLOWNEY TO A FIVE-YEAR, $115 MILLION CONTRACT

After years of being hindered by the Joe Flacco deal, Baltimore finally celebrates its freedom from tyranny by going after one of the rarest things you’ll ever see: a healthy superstar edge rusher in his prime in unrestricted free agency. Clowney takes a slight discount to play for a Super Bowl contender.

BALTIMORE TRADES MATTHEW JUDON TO THE JETS FOR SECOND- AND FIFTH-ROUND PICKS

Rumors have already suggested the Ravens are shopping Judon, who will be an unrestricted free agent. As the Chiefs did with Dee Ford, Baltimore could franchise-tag Judon before trading him. The Jets desperately need a pass-rusher across from Jordan Jenkins; they send pick Nos. 48 and 138 to add Judon, who had 33 quarterback hits this past season.

MICHAEL PIERCE SIGNS A FOUR-YEAR, $60 MILLION DEAL WITH THE DOLPHINS

With Miami looking to start fielding a competitive team, it should focus on adding players who are both valuable now and who could still be valuable in 2022. The 27-year-old Pierce is a run-stuffing nose tackle who should immediately help the league’s 27th-ranked rush-defense DVOA.