One of the Baltimore Ravens’ earliest moves in free agency was parting ways with Tavon Young, the team’s longtime slot cornerback.
Young was officially released by the Ravens just less than a month ago on March 9. He was highly-respected and appreciated in the organization was the move gave the Ravens some much-needed salary cap relief. Soon after the transaction, some began to speculate that the Ravens could look to re-sign him on a cheaper contract later this offseason.
That potential scenario will not come to fruition, as the former Temple product has reportedly signed a one-year deal with the Chicago Bears — per PFF’s Ari Meirov.
Young should have a good chance to compete for a starting job right away in Chicago and start a new page in his career. The 28-year-old has been plagued by injuries in his career, having suffered essentially three different season-ending injuries in 2017, 2019 and 2020. As a result, he’s suited up in only 50 total games since being drafted in 2016.
As a fourth-round pick, Young exceeded expectations for the Ravens in his rookie season and showed a lot of promise as an emerging nickel corner. He earned himself a three-year contract extension back in 2019, where the Ravens made him the league’s highest-paid nickel back at the time.
Young ultimately only played 19 games after signing the extension, 17 of which came last season. 2021 was the first time since his rookie campaign that Young appeared in every game. He drew seven starts for an injury-riddled Ravens’ secondary and played some important snaps down the stretch of the season.
With any chance of him returning to Baltimore now gone, it only reinforces the Ravens’ pressing need to add depth at the cornerback position. They’ll be looking for a new starting slot cornerback to replace Young. They could do this in the draft, sign an available free agent still or look to fill internally. Moving someone like Brandon Stephens to that spot is an already-talked-about option. Marlon Humphrey also has experience playing snaps at nickel.
Young joins Anthony Averett as the Ravens’ second cornerback to sign with a different team this offseason. With Jimmy Smith potentially heading to retirement and DeShon Elliott unlikely to return, the defensive backfield in Baltimore will have some new faces in 2022.