Free Agency has hit the Ravens defensive front hard, as defensive end Jihad Ward is the newest member of Wink Martindale’s crew to agree to a contract outside of Baltimore:
Former #Ravens DE Jihad Ward is signing with the #Jaguars, source said. His DL coach in Baltimore Joe Cullen is now the Jags DC.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 16, 2021
Ward is Baltimore’s third pass rusher to flee this offseason, joining outside linebackers Matthew Judon (Patriots) and Yannick Ngakoue (Raiders).
The Ravens signed Ward in 2019 after he was cut by the Colts in Week 4. During his time in Baltimore, he recorded 23 tackles, 12 QB hits, and three sacks.
Jaguars current Defensive Coordinator Joe Cullen was Baltimore’s defensive line coach throughout the entirety of Ward’s time with the Ravens, making this signing even more beneficial for the former Raven.
With Ward, Judon, and Ngakoue all gone, the Ravens front office will likely focus on contract negotiations with defensive end Derek Wolfe and linebacker Tyus Bowser, among others, as well as rumored free agency interest in Carlos Dunlap and Haason Reddick.
Much of the Ravens pass rush has been lost to free agency already, launching one of Eric DeCosta’s first big challenges as the general manager in Baltimore. These next few days are going to be crucial.