Earlier today, the Baltimore Ravens opened free agency by signing OG Kevin Zeitler. Below are the reactions from the Baltimore Beatdown staff.
Thrilled with the signing of Kevin Zeitler. He’s one off the better guards in the NFL and immediately improves the Ravens’ blocking. Add in he’s likely becoming the Ravens starting left guard and allowing for OL Bradley Bozeman to move back to center and the Ravens are looking far better than they did yesterday. Moreover, this signing does not count against the compensatory pick formula as Zeitler was cut by the Giants and this only further improves this signing over the likes of Joe Thuney or Corey Linsley. — Kyle P. Barber
The reported $7.3 million annual salary will make Zeitler the 15th highest paid offensive guard in the NFL. That is a fair price to pay for an above average and durable veteran who will not impact the compensatory formula.
The acquisition of Zeitler will allow Eric DeCosta to pursue players to fill the Ravens other positional needs in free agency and the draft. With Stanley, Bozeman, Brown Jr., Zeitler and four young players set to compete for the final starting job, Baltimore has the makings of an elite offensive line. — Vasilis Lericos
A classic, “right player, right price,” signing for the Ravens. They didn’t break the bank and were able to cross off one of their biggest needs. Zeitler is a significant upgrade at right guard and brings consistency and stability to the offense. This signing gives the Ravens tremendous flexibility between the three interior spots on the offensive line. Solid acquisition on all fronts. — Frank Platko
The Ravens added a cheap veteran with a wealth of experience and durability who doesn’t impact the compensatory formula. While not an elite player, Zeitler doesn’t break the bank and leaves the Ravens with flexibility for more moves over the next few days. — Spencer Schultz
Guard was arguably the biggest need on the roster, and Zeitler fills that need without breaking the bank. He is a good, reliable guard. He only allowed two sacks last year in 1,003 offensive snaps, despite playing on a subpar Giants’ offensive line. Stanley, Bozeman, Zeitler, and Brown make up a promising offensive line group, as long as the fifth player holds his own. Furthermore, the front office still has flexibility to make another move. — Jakob Ashlin
I love this move for the Ravens. Zeitler is a very good guard and brings a veteran presence to a very young interior offensive line. Baltimore needed to upgrade along the interior and this is the perfect “right player, right price” signing. The Ravens can potentially move Bradley Bozman to center now and let Tyre Phillips, Ben Powers, and Ben Bredeson compete for the other guard position. If Baltimore does trade Orlando Brown Jr., then Zeitler at right guard will be a massive help to whoever ends up at right tackle for the season. — Dustin Cox
Right player, right price. Great veteran addition to the offensive line, although now we have to wonder if the Ravens will kick Bozeman to center and let the young, recent draft picks duke it out for the other guard spot. If not, expect another addition to the interior offensive line in the draft. — Cassidy Higdon
A very interesting move that’s equal parts hedge against overpaying for a top dollar option along the interior, and filling a position of need that will allow the rest of the offensive line to hopefully return to strength. When healthy, Zeitler was a very competent guard in what was a strange offensive situation in New York, and it stands to reason he could be even better with the Ravens where he’ll have better coaching and surrounding talent. Speaking of which, this seems to be a tacit acknowledgment that the plan is for Bradley Bozeman to take over at center, which is another move that should help Baltimore at the position without breaking the bank. Those two slotting into the interior plus Ronnie Stanley returning healthy is the start of a nice rebuild on the offensive line. More news one way or the other on Orlando Brown Jr. is the next piece of the puzzle in completing it. — Jake Louque
The loss of future first-ballot Hall of Famer Marshal Yanda was a bigger blow to the 2020 Ravens than anyone could’ve imagined, especially after Orlando Brown Jr. had to flip over to the left side after Ronnie Stanley went down. While Zeitler isn’t on Yanda’s level, he still adds a strong veteran presence, durability, and stability to a young interior offensive line group. The nine-year veteran is making a triumphant return to the AFC North to play for a championship contender after spending the last two seasons on an underwhelming New York Giants team. He spent the first five seasons of his career with the Cincinnati Bengals after being selected in the first round out of Wisconsin in 2012 and then went to Cleveland Browns for two seasons prior to getting traded in the package for Odell Beckham Jr. in the 2019 offseason. The signing marks another great coup for Ravens General Manager Eric DeCosta that is not only affordable and doesn’t impact the compensatory pick formula but also addresses one of their top needs ahead of the official start of the new league year.
— Joshua Reed