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Ravens News 2/15: All About Lamar and more

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Baltimore Ravens v Cleveland Browns Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

Early NFL Power Rankings for 2022: 1-32 poll, and where Super Bowl teams Rams and Bengals land - Jamison Hensley

12. Baltimore Ravens

2021 record: 8-9

Offseason in three or fewer words: All about Lamar

On the field, the Ravens need to better protect quarterback Lamar Jackson, and team officials understand that building a better wall in front of him has become a priority. In their season-ending news conferences, both coach John Harbaugh and general manager Eric DeCosta emphasized the importance of addressing the offensive line, which allowed Jackson to get sacked a career-worst 38 times. Off the field, Baltimore is working on a contract extension with Jackson, who is entering his fifth-year option. A new deal could create $10 million in additional cap space heading into free agency.

Ravens Have Decent Odds to Win Next Season’s Super Bowl - Todd Karpovich

The sportsbooks are still fairly bullish on the Ravens to win next season’s Super Bowl.

While the Kansas City Chiefs are the consensus favorite, the Ravens are in the top 10 or 12 with most of the betting sites.

Caesars Sportsbook

Kansas City Chiefs, +650

Buffalo Bills, +700

Los Angeles Rams, +1000

Cincinnati Bengals, +1200

San Francisco 49ers, +1400

Green Bay Packers, +1500

Dallas Cowboys, +1600

Tampa Bay Buccaneers, +1800

Tennessee Titans, +2000

Baltimore Ravens, +2000

How Has The Ravens’ Coaching Staff Changed Since 2021 Season Ended? - Bo Smolka

Outside linebackers coach

OUT: Drew Wilkins

IN: Rob Leonard

Wilkins, who spent 12 years with the Ravens working up from a video internship to become outside linebackers coach, has joined Martindale’s defensive staff with the New York Giants.

He will be replaced by Rob Leonard, according to The Athletic. Leonard has spent the past three seasons with the Miami Dolphins, working as the outside linebackers coach this past season. Before that, Leonard spent six seasons with the New York Giants and was the team’s outside linebackers coach in 2018.

Leonard takes over a group with significant concerns. Tyus Bowser, who led the Ravens with seven sacks this past season, tore his Achilles in the season finale and his status for the start of the season isn’t known. Odafe Oweh (33 tackles, five sacks, three forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries) flashed as a rookie, while Jaylon Ferguson underperformed. Justin Houston and Pernell McPhee are both pending free agents, so this group needs an influx if young, impact talent sooner rather than later.

Before adding, the Ravens will have to subtract: Examining 10 potential cap-saving moves - Jeff Zrebiec

Marcus Peters, CB

2022 cap number: $15.5 million

Cap savings if cut: $10 million

Why it may happen: Marcus Peters is carrying a significant cap number for a player who is 29 years old and coming off a major knee injury. Peters and Marlon Humphrey are two of the 10 highest-paid corners in football and those expenditures limit what the Ravens can afford at other positions. There’s a lot the Ravens could do with $10 million of cap savings.

Why it may not: DeCosta and head coach John Harbaugh said they expect Peters to return. The playmaking cornerback is a popular player in the organization and he was missed last year. With Anthony Averett and Jimmy Smith nearing free agency and Tavon Young a potential salary-cap casualty, moving on from Peters would create too many holes on the back end.

Prediction: There’s no reason to believe DeCosta and Harbaugh weren’t being truthful when they said that Peters will be back. It’s possible the Ravens alter his contract or even extend him, but the bottom line is that he’ll likely be starting opposite Humphrey in 2022.

2022 NFL Free Agent Rankings: Top 200 players expected to enter free agency

94. C BRADLEY BOZEMAN, BALTIMORE RAVENS

Bozeman earned career highs as a pass- and run-blocker in 2021 as a center with 70.0-plus grades in both facets. This was a year after starting the entire season at left guard and earning respectable 60.0-plus grades across the board as well.

Contract Projection: Three years, $21 million ($7M per year), $10 million total guaranteed

Bottom Line:

Bozeman is far from the most physically gifted offensive lineman in the NFL, but he has three years of respectable starting play across multiple positions on his resume and is coming off a career year in 2021.

123. S DESHON ELLIOTT, BALTIMORE RAVENS

Elliott only has one full season of play (2020), but he’s graded above 60.0 as a run defender and in coverage in each of the last two seasons. Teams would probably want to see a bit more before committing to a lengthy deal.

Contract Projection: One year, $5.25 million, $4 million total guaranteed

Bottom Line:

Elliott isn’t a world changer in the defensive backfield, but he will rarely be the problem within your defensive scheme. In a role where he can be a dime safety or rotate in situationally, Elliott can add a dynamic of athleticism to any defensive package.

190. LB JOSH BYNES, BALTIMORE RAVENS

Contract Projection: One year, $1.125 million

Bottom Line:

The archetype of a run-down linebacker is the same today as it was 20 years ago, and Bynes fits the mold. If teams use him in that manner and not as an all-purpose player, he will be a good value pickup in free agency.