Twelve Ravens Thoughts at start of new league year - Luke Jones
The use of void years on contract restructures for Michael Pierce, Kevin Zeitler, and Gus Edwards reflects how tight the salary cap is, but that approach isn’t a major concern with smaller deals. Baltimore also has several other restructure candidates to use as needed in the coming days and weeks.
Though the Ravens left open the possibility of Calais Campbell returning on a cheaper deal, his comments to Josina Anderson didn’t seem to reflect there being any sort of a wink-wink agreement. Time will tell, but Campbell can still make an impact for any number of contenders.
I’m intrigued to see what the market looks like for Marcus Peters, especially after Pittsburgh agreed to terms with Patrick Peterson on a reported two-year, $14 million deal with nearly $6 million guaranteed. Peters is 2 1/2 years younger than the new Steelers cornerback.
Losing Peters in addition to Chuck Clark would be a tough blow from a defensive leadership standpoint. If Stone also leaves in free agency, the depth in the secondary could be as thin as it’s looked in a long time.
Ravens 2023 free agent signings: Running back Justice Hill returns - Jamison Hensley
Justice Hill, running back
The Ravens re-signed Hill to a two-year, $4.5 million deal.
What it means: The Ravens retain their No. 3 running back (behind J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards) and one of their top special teams players. After missing the entire 2021 season with an Achilles injury, Hill showed incredible burst last season. He averaged a career-best 5.3 yards per carry. Hill, a fourth-round pick four years ago, is the only remaining player from Baltimore’s eight-player draft class in 2019.
What’s the risk: There’s not much of one. The only downside is the Ravens used cap space, which they don’t have much of, on a role player. Baltimore has bigger priorities at wide receiver and cornerback.
Reports: Ravens Retain Trayvon Mullen - Ryan Mink
The Ravens are re-signing cornerback Trayvon Mullen, per NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero.
Baltimore claimed Mullen off waivers on Jan. 23 after he was released by the Dallas Cowboys. Mullen was still set to be an unrestricted free agent.
Mullen, 25, was a second-round pick of the Raiders in 2019. He started 26 games over his first two seasons with the Raiders, logging 114 tackles, 24 passes defensed and three interceptions.
Mullen is Lamar Jackson’s cousin and grew up and played football about 30 minutes away at Coconut Creek High School. Mullen has great size at 6-foot-2, 200 pounds.
Ravens place right of first refusal tender on restricted free agent quarterback Tyler Huntley - Brian Wacker
Baltimore has placed a right of first refusal tender on Huntley, a restricted free agent, his agent, Joseph Behar, confirmed to The Baltimore Sun.
That means that any team has the chance to sign the 25-year-old to an offer sheet. If the Ravens decline to match it, they won’t get any compensation; that’s unlike the situation for Jackson and the Ravens, who could match any offer Jackson receives or obtain two first-round draft picks from that team.
If Huntley plays on the low RFA tender, he’ll stand to make $2.67 million this year.
Ravens place tender on QB Tyler Huntley; S Geno Stone, LS Nick Moore headed for free agency - Jonas Shaffer
Huntley was the Ravens’ only restricted free agent to be tendered Wednesday. All-Pro long snapper Nick Moore, safety Geno Stone, inside linebackers Kristian Welch and Del’Shawn Phillips and center Trystan Colon are now all unrestricted free agents, although they could return to Baltimore on smaller deals.
The Complete Guide to 2023 NFL Free Agency - Steven Ruiz
Best value: D.J. Chark
Expected deal value (via PFF): $11.7 million APY, three years
Chark was undervalued last free agency cycle when Jacksonville (mistakenly) let him walk, and it appears the same will be true this year. He’s not a WR1 or WR2, but Chark wins on vertical routes and has no issue hauling in well-thrown passes. He’d be an excellent third option for any team.
2023 NFL Draft: Wide receiver prospect superlatives - Michael Renner
This one is hotly contested. Nebraska’s Trey Palmer was the fastest receiver at the combine (4.33) and at the Senior Bowl (21.15 MPH). TCU’s Quentin Johnston is the best pure go-ball receiver on the outside. SMU’s Rashee Rice led the nation with 18 deep receptions in 2022.
Nonetheless, Hyatt registered the most deep yards in college football last season (677), as he struck more fear in opposing defenses than anyone else. He’s got a game-changing gear downfield.
Johnston has been the single-most impressive receiver after the catch from a statistical perspective that we’ve graded at the collegiate level. His 45 broken tackles on 115 career receptions are utterly insane. For comparison, Deebo Samuel — the best YAC receiver currently in the NFL — broke only 40 tackles on 148 career collegiate receptions. Johnston can be special with the ball in his hands.