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Ravens spending $121 million on defense in 2020; second-most in the NFL

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Rookie deal quarterback allows you to do such things

NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Jacksonville Jaguars Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

It makes sense for Charm City fans to expect a top-tier defense in 2020 as according to overthecap, the Baltimore Ravens will spend a whopping $121 million on defense in 2020, sitting only behind the Denver Broncos ($125 million) in total defense spending.

How The Ravens Got Here

This comes as no surprise to anyone but when your roster’s number one quarterback on the depth chart is a rookie, it makes life easier in the spending department. Couple that with an offense full of rookie deals and you possess far more spending power than the average franchise.

Ravens’ offensive players (who played significant time in 2019) who are on rookie deals in 2020 (not including 2020 draft picks)

  • QB Lamar Jackson
  • WR Marquise Brown
  • WR Miles Boykin
  • RB Justice Hill
  • TE Mark Andrews
  • LT Ronnie Stanley (fifth-year option)
  • RT Orlando Brown Jr.
  • LG Bradley Bozeman
  • C/G Patrick Mekari

At one point in 2019, the Ravens fielded an offensive line sporting four players on rookie contracts who blocked for a quarterback on a rookie contract who could throw to a running back, tight end or two different receivers, which, you guessed it, were playing on a rookie contract.

When the youngsters can make plays, you can spend the big money elsewhere. Which makes sense, seeing as the Ravens are ranked lowest in offensive spending in 2020, topping out at only $63.5 million, Next closest is Denver, spending $71.8 million.

Where is the money?

Interestingly enough, the Ravens don’t top the spending charts when it comes to a specific position group. I expected them near the top with the big paydays to both Brandon Williams and Calais Campbell but the Ravens are ranked 13 in highest defensive line spending at $39.3 million. The top bidder in this category are the Buffalo Bills ($60.8 million).

There’s no surprise the team is spending little on the linebacker unit in 2020, seeing as the presumed starters at inside linebacker include two 2020 draft selections which places them at 16 among the positional spending.

The money is mainly in the secondary where the Ravens rank number four in safety spending($22.9 million) and three at cornerback spending ($33.8 million).


Overall, I like the looks of this. The current era of the NFL revolves around airing out the football, save a few teams which opt to grind it out on the ground. Now, with a more front-loaded defense paired with the still-strong secondary, the Ravens are more capable of defending their end zone than in 2019, a season in which they were the top-spenders on defense ($94.5 million).