The 2021 offseason has officially arrived even though the new league year doesn’t formally begin until March 17. Due to the loss of revenue that the pandemic caused, the available cap space for teams leaguewide has been significantly reduced.
The unrestricted free agent market will be saturated with an abundance of mid-tier veteran players. In the fourth article of this five-part series I’ll be breaking down three bargain free agent candidates at one of the Baltimore Ravens’ top positions of need:
The Ravens came into the offseason with the interior of their offensive line being one of their top priorities. Finding a serviceable swing tackle is also among their list of needs. Three of their five starting spots were believed to be set, especially at tackle where they have a pair of Pro Bowl bookends in Ronnie Stanley and Orlando Brown Jr.
However, given the recent developments surrounding Brown Jr. and his desire to play on the left side, the Ravens might suddenly be in the market for a new starting right tackle.
Several players who wouldn’t break the bank because they have been serviceable but not stellar starters during their careers are slated to become available in March. Cam Robinson, Cameron Fleming, and Cameron Erving could provide Baltimore with at least a stop-gap option.
Cam Robinson is a former second-round pick of the Jacksonville Jaguars that never quite lived up to expectations as a franchise left tackle. Perhaps he might be willing to try his luck on the right side playing in a run-heavy offense that won’t require him to pass block nearly as much.
In Baltimore, the 6-foot-6 and 320-pound University of Alabama product could revive his once-promising career and parlay a short-term deal with the Ravens into a larger payday elsewhere after a couple of years while the team develops his eventual replacement that will likely come via the draft.
He has started all 47 of the games that he has appeared in during his first four years and could continue that streak playing opposite of Stanley in 2021.
Cameron Fleming has spent his entire career at tackle, mostly on the right side starting with the New England Patriots then the Dallas Cowboys, and most recently with the New York Giants where he started all 16 games in 2020. He’s an ideal stop-gap candidate with plenty of starting experience and could hold down the fort until a better option develops or becomes available.
Cameron Erving is a former first-round pick of the Cleveland Browns and possesses the positional versatility that the Ravens covet in their offensive lineman. He has started multiple games at center, guard, and tackle between three teams including the Kansas City Chiefs during their championship run in 2019 and most recently the Cowboys for five games in 2020.
The Pittsburgh Steelers have two right tackles slated to hit the open market in Zach Banner and Matt Feiler. The Ravens could pounce on whichever player their cap-strapped rivals can’t afford to keep. Banner won the starting job in training camp last year but is coming off a torn ACL and Feiler has started 39 of the 40 games that he’s appeared in for Pittsburgh since 2018.