The Baltimore Ravens are a few weeks away from the start of training camp and less than 90 days from their season opener. While General Manager Eric DeCosta has constructed quite the formidable roster to date, edge defender remains one of the team’s biggest remaining needs.
While expectations for Odafe Oweh are high heading into his sophomore season and veteran Justin Houston just got re-signed to a one-year deal, the Ravens could still use another healthy option heading into camp. They have veterans Steven Means and Vince Biegel on the roster but neither are huge needle movers. Second-year pro Daelin Hayes turned heads during the offseason program but is a relative unknown commodity after just playing in one game and four defensive snaps as a rookie last season.
The defense could benefit from adding another veteran at either the SAM or RUSH spot and here are four free agents that can help fill one of those voids.
The Ravens brought in the three-time Pro Bowler and two-time Super Bowl champion for a visit last month. This could’ve been them kicking the tires and doing their due diligence on a veteran at a position of need. However, adding the 12-year veteran, who has plenty of big game and playoff experience as well as championship pedigree, could be a tremendous asset at the RUSH spot or as a designated pass rusher.
Pierre-Paul recorded fewer than seven sacks for the first time since 2015 with just 2.5 last year for the Tampa Buccaneers, but he is still just in his early-30s and can contribute at a high level opposite or alongside Oweh.
The once-prized free agent is coming off a couple of down years where he recorded just three total sacks in 2020 and 2021 combined. At 28 years old, Flowers is still relatively young. However, given his lack of high-level production recently, he likely won’t command a significant contract at this stage of the offseason. He possesses all of the physical tools to thrive as a situational pass rusher in the Ravens’ defense if deployed correctly.
Flowers has never reached double digits sacks and it would be unrealistic to expect him to do so if signed by Baltimore. A handful of them, though, on rotational basis would be worth a one-year deal for around the veteran minimum.
After spending the first 10.5 seasons of his career playing against the Ravens twice a year, as a member of the Cincinnati Bengals, the two-time Pro Bowler continued to terrorize opposing offenses with the Seattle Seahawks for the last season and a half. Dunlap can still rush the passer at a high level and stays healthy for the most part.
He appeared in all 17 games last season and only made two starts but recorded 8.5 sacks as a situational pass rusher. He could thrive in a similar role with the Ravens playing opposite of Oweh and lined up next to Calais Campbell on obvious passing downs.
With Tyus Bowser recovering from a torn Achilles and neither Hayes nor Biegel possessing a wealth of experience at playing the SAM spot, signing the four-time Pro Bowler would provide a great insurance policy and excellent depth. Barr is a player that has proven he can rush the passer, set the edge, play the run and make plays in coverage. He recorded 2.5 sacks, three interceptions, five pass breakups and a pair of fumble recoveries in 2021 with the Minnesota Vikings.
The former first-round pick possesses the kind of diverse skillset that the Ravens traditionally covet on defense and especially at outside linebacker. Having another versatile asset and veteran presence for a young position group would be greatly beneficial.