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2020 Baltimore Ravens Offseason Tracker

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I noticed a poll running on Twitter on whether or not the Ravens should sign Cam Newton as a backup since they have the cap space to do so. With that in mind here's an update.

https://overthecap.com/salary-cap/baltimore-ravens/

They have the team sitting at $10,019,691 in cap space. But that's before McPhee's deal is added in (probably a minimum though) and Queen hasn't signed his rookie contract. That will cut a decent chunk off. It looks like they don't have full details for other rookie deals that have been signed either so there will probably be more of a drop from that.

When the Rule of 51 goes away and things really starts to count the team is going to lose most of whatever is left of that space. Nearly $3 million will automatically go into the extra four roster spots "counted" with active rosters expanding to 55 this year. Then there's the practice squad which is going up to 12 this season and next and those guys will be making more than they have been previously thanks to the new CBA.

I think the team will be looking at about $3 million in actual cap space if nothing else changes between now and active roster time. That's just a rough estimate too, could be lower pretty easily. A new deal for Judon obviously opens things up but at this point that doesn't seem likely. An extension for Stanley probably doesn't create a significant difference. There don't seem to be any smart simple restructure options either. At least none that actually open up enough cap space for the Ravens to do something ridiculous like signing Newton.

Sigh. Seems like the media does dumb stuff with misunderstanding cap space every year. Then they drive the more casual fans into a furor thinking things are easily possible when they are not.

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Casual fans just see the name and then go wild and the media knows it, so can't fault them for doing what they do - although I hope they would be better.

Cam is an option, but not one I think is likely. If some team for some reason felt they need to spend a 5-6 round pick on Robert Griffin, and Cam was still out there, maybe he would be interested in joining a team with a good chance to win for a lower than expected salary. He would fit the system, and baring an injury to Lamar, Cam would still have a chance to play if we blow out teams early like last year.

How much he is a cultural fit, I don't know. I don't like him stepping up on a podium dressed like a christmas tree after a hard loss. Maybe I am a bit traditional, but to me, its just a bad look.

I also believe the Ravens love what Robert Griffin bring as a tutor to Lamar, good guy in the locker room, (cheap deal also) and all that.

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12 hours ago, Danand said:

Casual fans just see the name and then go wild and the media knows it, so can't fault them for doing what they do - although I hope they would be better.

Cam is an option, but not one I think is likely. If some team for some reason felt they need to spend a 5-6 round pick on Robert Griffin, and Cam was still out there, maybe he would be interested in joining a team with a good chance to win for a lower than expected salary. He would fit the system, and baring an injury to Lamar, Cam would still have a chance to play if we blow out teams early like last year.

How much he is a cultural fit, I don't know. I don't like him stepping up on a podium dressed like a christmas tree after a hard loss. Maybe I am a bit traditional, but to me, its just a bad look.

I also believe the Ravens love what Robert Griffin bring as a tutor to Lamar, good guy in the locker room, (cheap deal also) and all that.

To the locker room aspect, that concerns me the least. Only because prior to our locker room RG3 was also considered to be a cancer. Both have been humbled through their respective falls and Cam doesn’t even seem as arrogant as RG3 (was/is). I think his biggest flaw is that he was too interested in being a “brand” vs a football player.

I trust our front office and coaching staff to handle Cam as a backup if that were the case. He would be absolutely money on 4th and 1 situations... that said you make great points about RG3 and his worth to the club. If we didn’t have him I’m sure we bring in Cam, but we do and I think they really like what they have.

RG3 to me is still kind of arrogant but he’s an all in passionate football player. Cam is incredibly tough and a baller and more talented than RG3 for sure, but I’ve never been convinced that ball is life. Thus having RG3 as a passionate option that provides a great scout team QB option for our defense; his arrogance ends up being a great benefit to this team in ways that I don’t believe many fans acknowledge.

So all that to say, I agree with you that while Cam is the bigger name and would be the superior starter over RG3... I think as backup QBs I would roll with the guy we have who IMO is criminally underrated in the many responsibilities he can handle in the backup capacity that most backups can’t provide.

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I've always been a Cam fan, and I think a lot of the criticism he has taken over the years has been pretty unfair. For example for all of the talk about him being 'arrogant' it seems like his teammates basically always had his back. You see the way a consummate pro like Greg Olsen talks about Cam and you can tell it's not just lip service, there's a real bond there. And then just in general with the way people talk about his accomplishments in the league he was essentially the pilot run for a lot of the idiotic things people say about Lamar now where he gets dinged for being a different kind of player than the guys that came before him. 

I definitely think he's still a starting caliber QB in the league. Now, given our cap constraints, I don't know if we could afford him even if we wanted him, and there's no real need to spend additional $$$ at QB right now. BUT, if (God forbid) the catastrophic happens in training camp or something and we lose Lamar for an extended period of time and Cam is still sitting there on the open market... I would absolutely want us to pursue him. Obviously hard to say for sure given he ended last year on IR, but I think odds are he's still comfortably better than RG3 and he'd be a terrific fit in Roman's offense. 

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20 hours ago, BaltimoreTerp said:

I've always been a Cam fan, and I think a lot of the criticism he has taken over the years has been pretty unfair. For example for all of the talk about him being 'arrogant' it seems like his teammates basically always had his back. You see the way a consummate pro like Greg Olsen talks about Cam and you can tell it's not just lip service, there's a real bond there. And then just in general with the way people talk about his accomplishments in the league he was essentially the pilot run for a lot of the idiotic things people say about Lamar now where he gets dinged for being a different kind of player than the guys that came before him. 

I definitely think he's still a starting caliber QB in the league. Now, given our cap constraints, I don't know if we could afford him even if we wanted him, and there's no real need to spend additional $$$ at QB right now. BUT, if (God forbid) the catastrophic happens in training camp or something and we lose Lamar for an extended period of time and Cam is still sitting there on the open market... I would absolutely want us to pursue him. Obviously hard to say for sure given he ended last year on IR, but I think odds are he's still comfortably better than RG3 and he'd be a terrific fit in Roman's offense. 

I think the bolded is 100% what has cooled his market in an unusual offseason where it's harder to get a good look under the proverbial hood with your own mechanic (doctors)

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it is pretty obvious Cam is waitint for that starter job to open by chance due to injury.

no way he wil sign to be second fiddle someone else. and he should not. He is a top ten starter in this league to me when healthy and SHOULD the Madden curse take down LJ, Ravens need to sign him the minute after. no doubt he is the best alert option to bring in for a team with SB aspirations and not willing to call it a season IF disaster strikes.

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Thoughts on EDGE long-term?

Of the five guys on the roster (Judon, Bowser, Fort, McPhee, Ferguson), only one is under contract beyond this season (Ferguson). I like the UDFAs as potential practice squad/let's see what they have/maybe outside roster shot, but the outlook 2021 and onward is rough. 

I as adamant that ILB wasn't a need in the draft because the team could platoon and save resources, but now I look like an idiot. Is EDGE the place where the team really thinks they can scheme pressure and save resources? (Franchising Judon would cut against this theory some)

Is it possible the team thinks that DL (Campbell, Wolfe, Madbuike) is the real key to long-term sustainability of the pass rush? Alternatively, is it possible EDC thinks the ILB and DL will fit in any DC scheme and the flavor of EDGE is more variable with DC, in case Wink moves on to a HC after this season (i.e., bring the gang back this year and pivot accordingly next offseason)?

Would you sign Judon long-term? Put another way, what's the number you'd be happy with? I personally would rather play out the tag and let him walk for the comp pick next season. Clowney suggests that we could feasibly not get a comp pick for him, but I doubt we'll have the same market dynamics next offseason (also doubt Judon waits as long as Clowney).

In a perfect world, I'd love to lock up Bowser at a discount before he has the classic Ravens FA season defender breakout (see Kurger, Smith, etc.), but I'm guessing he feels like he's better served seeing what happens and testing the market rather than signing for a rate that his production to date would support.

Ultimately, I think the specter to a diminished, or at least stunted, future cap is stalling any such talks.

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In terms of the defensive line it underwent a major upgrade in terms of pass-rush ability. Williams replacing Pierce at NT is better. Not a ton, but better and he's just an upgrade overall. I'm not actually expecting Campbell to do a whole lot but he's probably a significant upgrade over Williams or Wormley in terms of affecting the passing game. Then we get to the real heart of the matter - Wolfe and Madabuike. Either of those two are head and shoulders above what the team has had as defensive line pass-rushers in quite a while. I think Derek is easily better than Jernigan in that regard and Justin has more talent than the latter did. This is going to be a lot of fun to watch and should take a lot of pressure off of the EDGE players. Linemen will likely have to be double-teaming guys on the inside now instead of single-blocks across the line. Upgraded interior blitzers with Queen and Harrison are also going to benefit. I'm pretty hyped up for this defense.

As for the actual EDGE players I believe the team should and will just wait to see how it plays out. Bowser has been impressive in limited snaps, but limited snaps are hard to build a case for offering an extension he and his agent would likely accept. Judon is the king of capitalizing on easy opportunities. I think the ability to actually finish out those easy opportunities is something underappreciated around here but at the same time I'm not sure it's exactly something the Ravens should be giving him $60+ million for. Ferguson is still an unknown. It would have been nice for him to be able to get in a full NFL offseason with the team and at their facilities, but that's not happening. He needs to work on his body. McPhee is just a veteran stop-gap, and hopefully one that is as effective as he was before the injury. Ward (I think you meant him instead of Fort) is basically the same thing. Just to a lesser extent. 

We should be looking at it as the #1 need going into 2021. Hopefully things don't change drastically over the course of the season because the team is pretty set otherwise. 

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Yeah, I also think part of the draft strategy might’ve been influenced by the fact that if we’re truly being honest about this past edge class... it wasn’t all that great outside of Chase Young:

Zack Baun: My number two pass rusher in the class because of his technical prowess and quickness, but he’s got major flaws as well. Was a definite late bloomer, not displaying serious production until his senior season. Along that note he’s also a one hit wonder. Throw in the combine testing incident and theirs reason to believe he could’ve juiced up this season to enhance his performance. He’s also an undersized option to boot.

Yetur Gross-Matos: Shows better production to Baun, isn’t a terrible aged prospect but is a senior aged junior. He’s got very good run stopping ability but seemed to body collegiate players for sacks using length against less equipped options. His technique isn’t particularly advanced and his effort levels aren’t consistent either. What’s more while he’s described as incredibly athletic for his size/length, the more I watched him the more I saw Matt Judon level athleticism, just with superior length. That’s no a duplicitous strike on him, but just saying expecting him to be anything above a fringe pro bowl level option might be a misguided expectation. Which again for where he was drafted is great value, but in the grand scheme of things the potential there might not be as high when stacked up against a top 5 ranked edge of another class.

AJ Epenesa: Similarly used length to excel against blockers but trades a little bit of power for technique. He’s even less athletic to boot on tape, combined with his universally panned combine numbers and you really see a big red flag for his NFL prospects.

K’Lavon Chaisson: He was the first rusher that I was actually inpresses with in this class, but he’s still not great of technique. He’s also not durable to this point in his career. Nor does he have any sort of reliable production to hang your hopes on. It’s very easy to see him being a bust, especially considering the nature of this NFL offseason for rookies and the incredibly fast expectations that NFL fans/teams bring to the table. He is very young, but he’s more athlete than anything else at this point.

So all in all I haven’t looked at the 2021 class of edge rushers, but I can’t imagine them being quite as depressed as the 2020 class... though they will likely face their own set of challenges (I mean speaking of not being able to develop around coaches).

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I have seen enough of Judon to be comfortable with letting him go and taking our chances in the draft or FA. If he wants top money, then he is not worth it.

To me, Edge is an important position, but also a place for specialists who either win their one on one matchups or are great run stoppers like JJ and Upshaw, Those alround pass rushers like Suggs was in his prime, Chandler Jones, the Bosa’s etc. Are players you have to keep, but not the Judons.

Bowser and Ward are players I would have liked to extend for 2-3 years. At worst Bowser is a coverage outside linebacker which does hold some value, and Ward has a lot of flexibility.

By the end of next year, I do believe we will be in the market for edge rushers more than anything.

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At some point the team is going to have to save cap space somewhere on the roster. It would be interesting to do it at the EDGE positions by going with rookie and veteran contracts. Going against the general thinking of investing big at EDGE. With so much already spent in the secondary and planning to spend with Humphrey needing a new deal maybe that's the line of thinking though. I do think they could get by with specialists there and not uber-expensive "franchise" pieces. This hinges on keeping guys along the DL that can generate pressure on their own... but they have that now. Economizing on the EDGE makes sense to me.

And for what it's worth this is what OverTheCap has Baltimore's cap allocations at - Offense: $64,538,748, Defense: $120,721,984, Special: $10,321,332. 

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So very random, but as we all know the Jets seem to potentially be shopping Jamal Adams (where there’s smoke there’s fire) and the Ravens reportedly had interest again... now this might be conjecture, but if true I’ve just been thinking about this offseason with Earl Thomas and the statement that someone made on this forum about potential “buyers remorse”.

Now the asking price for Adams has seemingly been set at a 1st and 3rd round pick. It’s been floated that the Ravens might be willing to exchange Judon in a package for Thomas.

What about Earl Thomas? I mean, normally there would be a sort of locker room culture type of backlash over such a move, but we saw before how they expertly used the Ray Rice NJ elevator situation to strategically sidestep a bad Rice contract (I mean if Rice was on a rookie deal and balling out of his mind do we actually think we release him, I don’t think so... we stuck by Ray Lewis when much of the evidence seemed stacked against him).

We also seemingly used a failed physical to sidestep the contract we almost gave to that random WR (Ryan Grant was it?) last offseason when Crabtree became available. That move was suspicious and I don’t compare that apples to apples to the CV19 failed physical with Michael Brockers as multiple teams experienced similar circumstance.

Anyways I digress. What would the backlash look like if the team offset ET (after one season) and a pick in a deal for Adams?

I mean ET was great and all but Adams is younger and along with Clark our safety duo would be set for the foreseeable future. We might also be able to convince Adams to play the season under his rookie deal, especially with the team having a recent track record under DeCosta or extending guys early to back that up.

My biggest concern in such a hypothetical scenario would be us signing Adams to a deal and that making Humphrey and Stanley (both also have All Pros to their record) become upset over the prospect of them being homegrown players who haven’t seen their big payday.

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Posted (edited)

Two things:

(1) I think you're conflating a lot of apples/oranges with respect to issues a team may look to get out of/away from (Ray Rice, injury, and ET being the "victim" of an incident are all vastly different things)

(2) I don't think that ET has a ton of value at this point on the trade market; teams have gotten a lot savvier about valuing excess production vs. contract and ET is playing at about the level you would expect given his compensation. That's certainly a good thing, but it also doesn't move the needle a ton in trading for a young guy on his rookie deal

I agree with you as well about Hump/Stanley... Need to get those guys paid before we start giving blockbuster deals to the non-homegrown. I don't think that'll be an issue for our FO, though

Edited by sp6488

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On 5/27/2020 at 12:24 PM, coordinator0 said:

 

Yeah I’m sure if we had a handshake deal in place with him that spot has since been taken on by DJ Fluker. Really loved his versatility for us, seemed like a good dude too, hopefully he does well with them.

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