Thirteen feet, 940 pounds of run-stopping: Ravens’ defensive rebuild starts up front - Jamison Hensley
It makes perfect sense that Baltimore’s first two additions this offseason were Campbell and Brockers. Campbell was named Pro Football Focus’ run defender of the year. Brockers is “one of the best run-stoppers in the National Football League,” according to Aaron Donald, a two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year.
The Ravens surprisingly became the NFL’s best defense in the final three months of 2019. Baltimore allowed the fewest points and yards during its season-ending 12-game win streak, but the Ravens understood they were talent-laden in the secondary and filled with overachievers up front.
The Ravens showed how much they wanted defensive linemen, giving Campbell and Brockers a total of $41 million guaranteed. Baltimore reached a two-year, $27 million deal with Campbell and struck a three-year, $31 million agreement with Brockers. The Ravens’ hope is that investment leads to tackles for loss, blown-up blocking schemes and double-teams that set up others to make plays.
Here are the biggest remaining needs for the Ravens after a busy start to free agency - Ryan Wormell
James Hurst has been released. Matt Skura is coming off of a devastating knee injury. Patrick Mekari filled in well in his absence, but is still an undrafted free agent who was exposed in the playoffs.
And it will all be without the safety net of the best guard of his generation.
Keeping Judon in town helps immensely, but he’s still the only player on the roster with a proven track record of getting to the quarterback. There’s a reason the Ravens were just 21st in sacks last season despite leading in almost every game.
The Ravens were clearly uncomfortable relying on youngsters Jaylon Ferguson and Tyus Bowser to fill the potential void Judon would have left, despite always being willing to let pass rushers walk in previous offseasons.
Vikings sign Michael Pierce to a three-year deal - Chris Schad
The Minnesota Vikings continue to be active in the early stages of this offseason, signing nose tackle Michael Pierce to a three-year deal according to ESPN’s Josina Anderson.
The deal is expected to be worth $27 million over three seasons per Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle.
Pierce spent his first four seasons in Baltimore and played in 60 games total for the Ravens including 27 starts. An undrafted free agent out of Samford, Pierce has collected 151 tackles and 3 1/2 sacks during his time in the league.
But Pierce’s specialty has been in stopping the run as he registered a 9.1% run stop rate this past season according to Pro Football Focus.
The Carolina Panthers are expected to sign free agent wide receiver Seth Roberts, according to a report from NFL insider Ian Rapoport. Financial terms for the deal are not available at this time.
Roberts will likely slot into the No. 3 or No. 4 spot on the depth chart to replace the recently departed Jarius Wright.
My best guess on the number is probably somewhere in the two-year, $12-ish million range. I could be wrong on that, but I think that’s a pretty decent guess.