There are still some big names out there, such as Julio Jones, Odell Beckham, Will Fuller and Hilton. Landry seemed like the best fit. But don’t rule out a trade. The Ravens reportedly brought up Jalen Reagor’s name with the Eagles, per Adam Caplan. Eric DeCosta loves wheeling and dealing.
While the Ravens drafted two cornerbacks in the fourth round with Jalyn Armour-Davis and Pepe Williams, I’d argue that’s probably the spot that needs a veteran most. Recently released Pro Bowler James Bradberry would be ideal but may be a pipe dream considering what it would cost.
The veteran cornerback free-agent market actually has some depth. Behind Bradberry, there’s Joe Haden, Trae Waynes, Kyle Fuller, Kevin King, Xavier Rhodes, A.J. Bouye, Janoris Jenkins and more. None need to be a starter now, but the Ravens likely want to add more experienced depth to round out the secondary.
It seems like a natural fit for Justin Houston to (eventually) re-sign. His sacks dipped again last season to 4.5, but he still got consistent pressure. The Ravens would love him to mentor David Ojabo, just as Houston did for Odafe Oweh. Plus, Houston would encourage Ojabo not to rush rehab.
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Baltimore Ravens · WR
The decision to trade Marquise “Hollywood” Brown leaves a huge void in the Ravens’ receiving corps. He added a big-play dimension at his position with his speed and explosiveness. Although Bateman is more of a chain-mover than a home run hitter, he is a natural WR1 with sticky hands and crafty route-running skills. He should excel as the complementary playmaker opposite Mark Andrews and the Ravens’ rookie tight ends (Charlie Kolar and Isaiah Likely).
While Baltimore will begin and conclude the three-game preseason with home contests against Tennessee and Washington at M&T Bank Stadium, John Harbaugh’s team will fly to the desert to face former Ravens wide receiver Marquise Brown and the Arizona Cardinals on Aug. 21. The Sunday night game will be televised nationally on FOX, but it remains to be seen how many of the Ravens’ most significant players will see the field, especially with the events of the 2021 preseason fresh in their minds
“There are other teams that don’t play their guys at all; they don’t play their starters even one snap,” said Harbaugh a couple days after Dobbins’ injury last August. “I know we’re farther down that road than we’ve ever been — we played our guys so little this preseason. It’s just been how we’ve done it. But any time a guy gets hurt, you ask yourself those questions.”
With that possibility in mind and the long distance of the trip, the better question might be whether the Ravens will travel to Arizona early to practice with the Cardinals for a couple days before the game. Though Harbaugh said earlier this offseason that there weren’t any joint practices in the works, such a long trip prompting a change of heart wouldn’t be surprising after Baltimore traveled to South Carolina to practice against the Panthers last August. The Ravens have frequently practiced against other teams in recent years to give players competitive reps in a more controlled setting than a preseason game.
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7. Week 4: Bills at Ravens (Sunday, Oct. 2, 1 p.m. ET)
As mentioned above, the Bills are Super Bowl favorites. The Ravens, meanwhile, will likely become a trendy sleeper pick by the time September rolls around. They were the most-injured team in the NFL last year, according to Football Outsiders. And they’re 37-12 in the regular season with Lamar Jackson as their starter. With a little injury regression, the Ravens are positioned to bounce back nicely in 2022.
Allen vs. Jackson is always going to be fun. Both guys can run for 100 and/or throw for 300. And with a little luck, maybe we get an unexpected controversy like the time everyone tried to figure out if Jackson left a game against the Browns because he had to go potty. A man can dream.
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The Ravens lost their last six games of the 2021 season, five of them by three points or less. Meanwhile, the Jets were one of the league’s worst teams last year but loaded up in the draft with Ahmad Gardner, Garrett Wilson, Jermaine Johnson II and Breece Hall. We make the Ravens 0.7 points better than the average team on a neutral field, while the Jets are 2.9 points worse.
AFC NORTH CHAMPIONS
Win Total: under 9.5 (-110)
Make Playoffs: -140
Win Division: +220
Win Conference: +1200
Win Super Bowl: +2200
It’s good to be a Ravens fan right now. Should Baltimore add an above-average (not even elite) receiver (or two) to its roster, the team’s outlook gets even better. The Ravens’ toughest non-divisional opponents are well-spaced (vs. Bills, Week 4; at Bucs, Week 8; vs. Broncos, Week 13), while four of their final five games are against AFC North foes — including the Steelers twice.