On May 4th of 2021 the Baltimore Ravens signed former Pittsburgh Steeler Alejandro Villanueva to be their right tackle. They anticipated their highest paid non-quarterback in franchise history, left tackle Ronnie Stanley, to return from an ankle injury he suffered in 2020. Stanley played in the Ravens’ regular season opener against the Las Vegas Raiders before being placed on injured reserve and ultimately missing the rest of the 2021 season. Villanueva then slid over to left tackle to replace Stanley. According to Pro Football Focus, Villanueva graded out as the third worst pass blocking offensive tackle in the NFL. He allowed nine sacks and 36 pressures, the third and fourth worst figures among all OT’s in 2021.
15 days after the Ravens signed Villanueva, the Washington Football Team released veteran offensive tackle Morgan Moses. Moses ended up signing a one-year contract with the New York Jets. Moses went on to start 16 games for the Jets, allowing four sacks and grading out as PFF’s No. 28 offensive tackle.
After a tumultuous season for the Ravens offensive line, Ravens General Manager Eric DeCosta prioritized steadying Baltimore’s ability to protect their star quarterback, Lamar Jackson. Jackson shared the same sentiment. The Ravens signed Moses to a three-year contract worth up to $15 million on March 15th. Following the NFL Draft, DeCosta shared Jackson’s priority on shoring up his front five—
But the Ravens’ investment in the offensive line this offseason stems, in part, from conversations with Lamar Jackson. They talk about more than just his contract. “I’ve had conversations with Lamar many times and I’ve said, ‘Lamar, what can we do to help you? What is most important to you?’” DeCosta said. “Honestly, the thing that he always comes back to is the offensive line.”
The Ravens added Iowa center Tyler Linderbaum in the draft after securing Moses, they have started every game at center and right tackle this season. Moses had some bumps in the road as he acclimated to the Ravens offense, including being beaten on the goal line by a Buffalo Bills defender late in the fourth quarter.
Backup D Lineman Brandin Bryant with the play of the game for Buffalo— Theo Ash (@TheoAshNFL) October 3, 2022
he gets past Morgan Moses with the swim move, blows up the fullback, and that allows Milano to make the play to give the Bills breathing room on the goal line pic.twitter.com/uNIPXzvyqh
Moses was carted off the field in the Ravens Week 6 loss to the New York Giants and managed to play 49 snaps in Week 7 to help the Ravens beat the Cleveland Browns at home. Moses has only come off the field for five snaps since Week 7 and PFF has graded him as the best OT in football from that time on. Moses has allowed only four pressures (second fewest in the NFL) and no quarterback hits while grading out as the second best run blocker trailing only Kaleb McGary. Moses has made a slew of impact blocks as a puller as well as driving down linemen off the ball to help propel the Ravens run game.
Here's the Gus Edwards 6-yard run that sealed the Ravens' 16-14 win in Pittsburgh. Monster blocks by Pat Ricard, Morgan Moses and Ben Powers.— Ryan Mink (@ryanmink) December 12, 2022
Everybody in the stadium knew the Ravens were running and they did it anyway to win the game. pic.twitter.com/abiaAvnjo9
Game-winning touchdown. Watch Kevin Zeitler block THREE Broncos players, working in tandem with Morgan Moses and Tyler Linderbaum. Think Linderbaum was pumped about this TD? pic.twitter.com/nbd2AGoNJr— Ryan Mink (@ryanmink) December 6, 2022
Morgan Moses showed off his great mobility in this game. When you have a RT and a center who can move like this, you can do a lot in the run game. Huge hole for a 25-yard Gus Edwards run on Ravens' first offensive drive. pic.twitter.com/Y3EbFGrPfc— Ryan Mink (@ryanmink) December 19, 2022
Over the Cap gives Moses a valuation of $13.5 million for 2022 alone. Over the Cap’s valuations use some of the following logic—
To develop our valuation metric we are primarily using four signals to re-assign salaries in the NFL that I think can best explain the players true on field worth. While the formulas that we use are proprietary they are based on player participation, Pro Football Focus grades, raw statistical performance, and proprietary statistics developed by PFF.
OTC’s valuation of $13.5 million for 2022 is 5.2x higher than his cap hit of $2.58 million. In comparison with the rest of the 2022 free agent signings league-wide, there are only a few players in the same realm of value. Seattle defensive end Uchenna Nwasu has a cap hit of $6.2 million and a valuation of $15.3 million while Raiders wide receiver Mack Hollins has a cap hit of $2 million and a valuation of $12.7 million. Among players that signed with a new team this offseason, these are undoubtedly the highest returns on value of play relative to cap hit.
After after a tumultuous two year spell of uncertainty at right tackle following Stanley’s injury and Orlando Brown Jr. requesting a trade, Moses has been a godsend for dimes on a dollar. John Harbaugh was asked about Moses during his media availability Monday and had a glowing response—
T Morgan Moses has been really good as a run blocker, especially the past two games. What are you seeing from him, and where has he taken his strides? (Ryan Mink) ”Morgan [Moses] has done a great job. Morgan is one of the … He does a great job in everything. He’s such a dynamic personality, too – enthusiastic guy, loves football. But his pulling has been really something. I would put Ronnie [Stanley] in the same category. Both those guys have been just extraordinary, in terms of the pulling. It’s been a big part of what we’ve been doing – pulling our tackles and our guards – over the last four or five weeks, and he’s just really good at it.”
With the Ravens clinching a playoff berth in their Week 16 win over the Atlanta Falcons, Baltimore will look to Moses as a veteran leader to help continue driving their run game, which has produced the fourth highest EPA in the NFL on running back rushing attempts in the second half of the season according to Sports Info Solutions.
Baltimore got themselves a steal in Morgan Moses. The value for Baltimore on the remainder of Moses’ contract is outstanding if he’s able to maintain any relative level of his current play. His remaining cap hits are $5.6 million in 2023 and $6.9 million in 2024. While Baltimore looks to develop rookie fourth round offensive tackle Daniel Faalele, they couldn’t ask for a better veteran on a reasonable contract.