This year’s NFL free agency period officially kicks off in just a couple of weeks. Until then, the coming days will be full of rumors and predictions on which players will sign where and which teams are the best fits for certain free agents.
On Thursday, CBS Sports’ Cody Benjamin released a free agency “matchmaker” piece, in which he paired 25 of the top free agents with respective teams. He also projected what sort of contract said team may sign said player to.
One of Benjamin’s projections was for the Ravens to sign a future Hall of Famer fresh off his second Super Bowl victory — Von Miller. Benjamin’s prediction is that Baltimore inks Miller to a one-year deal worth $17 million.
“A key piece of the Rams’ Super Bowl rotation, he [Miller] has the flexibility to be picky at 33, and a big one-year payday allows him a chance to latch onto another contender before re-evaluating in 2023,” Benjamin wrote. “Baltimore gets itself a plug-and-play No. 1 edge man.”
This is a bit of an out-of-the-box prediction for a number of reasons. First, the Ravens do not currently have a ton of cap space under their belt to operate with. They can certainly maneuver to create more, but $17 million for one contract is a hefty sum. Second, Miller is not a name the Ravens have really been linked to previously, and all signs currently point to him re-signing with the Rams.
Following the Rams’ Super Bowl victory over the Cincinnati Bengals last month, Miller expressed that him and his teammates needed to “run it back.” Things can change and this was in the heat of the moment, per say, but Miller is in a good position to succeed in Los Angeles.
With that being said, the Ravens potentially luring Miller to Baltimore is an interesting thought. The Ravens have a history of signing big-name veterans to short-term deals with the hopes of contending for a championship. This is especially true on the defensive side of the ball. Many years ago, they did so with guys like Elvis Dumervil and Eric Weddle. More recently, stalwarts like Calais Campbell and Justin Houston joined the team. So, there is precedence for the Ravens acquiring a player like Miller, for what it’s worth.
Miller showed he has plenty of high-level football left in the tank last season. He finished the 2021 campaign with 50 combined tackles, 17 quarterback hits and 9.5 sacks. 31 of these tackles and five of the sacks came after he was traded to Los Angeles in the middle of the season where, as Benjamin noted, he became an integral part of the Rams’ success.
In four postseason games with the Rams, Miller recorded four sacks, six quarterback hits and six tackles-for-loss. He also had a key forced fumble in the Rams’ second-round victory over the Buccaneers. Miller shined in the Super Bowl with two sacks and three hits on the quarterback.
The Ravens are the in the market for an edge rusher or two this offseason. They have a budding star in Odafe Oweh entering his second season, but opposite starter Tyus Bowser is recovering from a torn achilles. Justin Houston and Pernell McPhee are unrestricted free agents, leaving Jaylon Ferguson and Daelin Hayes as the only other edge rushers under contract heading into 2022.
So, it would not be surprising to see the Ravens pursue free agents at the position, such as Miller, or potentially use the draft as well to add pass-rushing talent. Either way, the idea of the Ravens landing a big-name like Von Miller, while unlikely, does make for an interesting discussion.