The Baltimore Ravens were already short on healthy options at outside linebacker before veteran Vince Biegel became the third player at the position on the roster to suffer a torn Achilles tendon during this calendar year. While he wasn’t known for his prowess as a pass rusher, he was beginning to turn heads, receive praise, and consistently stand out in training camp over the last week.
There aren’t many edge defenders on the free agent market that possess the same versatility to play on and off the ball as Biegel who would’ve been an ideal backup a the SAM spot. Anthony Barr would’ve been a prefect upgrade in many ways but he signed with the Dallas Cowboys earlier in the week.
However, there are a handful of veterans that are more proven pass rushers that the Ravens could likely sign on an inexpensive contract. This is around the same time of year that the team signed four-time Pro Bowler Justin Houston. He went on to be one of their most consistent and well-rounded defenders with the way he generated pressure off the edge and played the run.
The former Pro Bowler has struggled to stay on the field over the last few years and is three seasons removed from his last double-digit sacks season. While injuries spelled the end of his tenure with the San Francisco 49ers, Ford still rushes the passer at a high level when healthy.
He recorded three sacks in six games last season before landing on injured reserve in early November. The Ravens could probably convince him to sign a one-year prove-it deal that features health and sack incentives and deploy him as a situational pass rusher that comes on the field in obvious passing situations.
Dee Ford sack. He's been balling this year, and it feels like found money as his health was such a big question going into the year. pic.twitter.com/AH7dgJ8fN1— 49ers_Film (@49ers_Film) October 5, 2021
The Ravens brought in the three-time Pro Bowler and two-time Super Bowl champion for a visit in early June. Pierre-Paul could likely be on their short list of players to call and potentially sign for instances such as this. He is coming off a bit of a down year where he recorded just 2.5 sacks,—his fewest since 2015—but is only a season removed from logging 9.5 sacks in the regular season and two more in the playoffs during the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Super Bowl run in 2020.
The former prized free agent didn’t live up to his gaudy contract in Detroit with just 10.5 sacks in three seasons with the Lions and just 3.5 in 14 games over the last two years. While he hasn’t shown as much promise as Ford when he’s been on the field as of late, Flowers is still young at just 28 years old. First-year Ravens’ Defensive Coordinator, Mike Macdonald, showed that he can get the best out of gifted pass rushers at Michigan last year after both Aidan Hutchinson and David Ojabo recorded double-digit sacks for the Wolverines in 2021.
Despite being a journeyman, playing for three different teams in the past four seasons, the eight-year veteran has been a productive role player throughout his career. He appeared in the first five games of the 2021 season with the Chicago Bears before landing on injured reserve in early October. While Attaochu didn’t record a sack during that time, he is just one year removed from recording five sacks with the Denver Broncos which marked his second-highest single season total since 2015. He has 20.5 career sacks and could likely be signed for the veteran minimum.
Jeremiah Attaochu with a big sack. pic.twitter.com/P9iycn5IpZ— Joe Rowles (@JoRo_NFL) September 15, 2020
The nine-year veteran recorded just one sack in 15 games and seven starts with the Seattle Seahawks last season, but has been a solid rotational edge rusher defender throughout his career. He has recorded 27 career sacks including 13 in the previous two seasons combined, with a career-high seven in 2019 while suiting up for Oakland Raiders. Mayowa would provide quality depth at the RUSH linebacker spot and could move inside and play defensive end/five-technique on passing downs.