The Baltimore Ravens are reportedly in discussions with free agent running back Melvin Gordon.
It may come as a bit of a shock to see the Ravens pursuing a position they’re currently strong at on paper. However, both running backs J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards are returning from ACL injuries and the Ravens will not be hurrying them onto the field.
This moves feels also like an “insurance policy” after their run game was derailed by injury last season. Or, it could be due to a player not on their expected timeline to occur, but that’s speculation. Either way, Ravens General Manager Eric DeCosta spoke about the teams affinity for running the football during their pre-draft press conference.
“I mean, let’s face it, we run the ball more than most teams do. We saw this year what happens and what can happen when all three of your running backs get hurt with season-ending injuries in the span of, what, 10 days, maybe? We’re a team that wants to be balanced on offense; we want to have a strong passing game and also a very strong running game. Coach [Harbaugh] has been saying that for eight years now. We have to have the strongest running game. We have to have [running] backs. We need big, physical backs [and] explosive backs who can do a lot of different things.”
Gordon, who will be 29-years old next week, still looks to have some gas in the tank. Over the past two seasons combined, Gordon has rushed for 1,904 yards and 17 touchdowns on 418 carries (4.56 ypc). This type of production paired with Ravens Offensive Coordinator Greg Roman’s running scheme could see impressive on-field results.
The mild issue is what the Ravens coaching staff will/would do when Dobbins and Edwards return fully healthy. It’s a lot of talent zeroed in on a position that doesn’t often see more than one or two from the depth chart on the field at the same time. It also doesn’t account for fullback Patrick Ricard, who just signed a three-year extension, either.
It makes sense that the Ravens, the team who runs the football more than anybody, would like a surplus of talent so they can stay fresh for the 17-game season and not be derailed from a season-ending injury from one of their guys. But, if all goes well, it’s still a surplus and allows for questioning about where the cap space could be better spent on a team with far more pressing needs elsewhere.