3 bold predictions for Baltimore Ravens in wild free agency frenzy

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1. Ravens sign Derrick Henry or Saquon Barkley

The Ravens have publicly said they want Gus Edwards and JK Dobbins to return, but their inability to run the football in the postseason could force the front office to spend a good chunk of change on signing a player like Henry or Barkley.

If the latest rumors are to be believed, both Henry and Barkley will likely command somewhere between $8 million and $12 million per season. This isn’t insignificant for a Ravens team that is limited with what they can spend in free agency, but the upgrade might be worth the price tag.

The Baltimore Ravens could sign Derrick Henry or Saquon Barkley

Barkley has been stuck behind some terrible offensive lines and overall supporting casts with the Giants, and he could be looking to compete for a championship. He also offers a great deal of value as a pass-catcher, which could help Todd Monken get even more creative in designing the offense.

Henry is both older and less versatile, but the former Titans star is still one of the best in the game at toting the rock. Behind a better line and with Jackson next to him in the backfield, Henry could be the driving force behind yet another incredibly successful season from the Baltimore ground game.

2. Tyler Huntley leaves, Tyrod Taylor returns to replace him

Huntley has made himself one of the best backup quarterbacks in the league, as he can fill in for Lamar Jackson for a game or two without forcing the offense to change too much of their shape. After so many years behind the MVP Jackson, Huntley could leave for a spot where he has more of a shot at starting.

Huntley could appeal to teams who need a more experienced backup quarterback behind a faltering starter. With Jackson having as firm a lock on the starting job as any quarterback in the league, Huntley’s gaze could look elsewhere. If he bolts, a former Raven in Tyrod Taylor might return.

Could the Baltimore Ravens replace Tyler Huntley with Tyrod Taylor?

Of the three quarterbacks who saw major time with the New York Giants last season, Taylor was the most effective passer by a wide margin. Taylor is still mobile enough to make plays with his legs, and his accurate passing is everything Baltimore could ask for out of a veteran passer.

Taylor is going to find someone who will pay him for his steady hand at quarterback, but he could have extra value for a team like Baltimore that uses their quarterback’s legs more than any other offense in the league. Taylor might even get a chance to finally slip a ring on his finger.

Even though the Baltimore Ravens aren’t overflowing with salary cap space, there are few teams who will be watched with a greater degree of interest in the early stages of the 2024 free agent frenzy than them. After a disappointing exit in the AFC Championship, the Ravens need to knock it out of the park in March and April.

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With a need to improve their offensive line, find a bell cow running back next to Lamar Jackson, and survey the landscape for extra pass rush help after the Justin Madubuike extension, the Ravens have some very clear needs Eric DeCosta and John Harbaugh must address in short order.

The Ravens have had a penchant for pulling some moves that come way out of left field, and DeCosta’s recent record shows that many of his unusual moves have turned out as net positives for the team.

Baltimore should surprise no one if one of these three surprising moves becomes reality. Ravens fans should plan for some unforeseen departures this offseason, but they should expect them to be replaced with impactful players who will aid in the pursuit of the franchise’s third Super Bowl.

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3 bold predictions for the Baltimore Ravens in free agency

3. Ronnie Stanley gets cut, John Simpson not retained

The Ravens only have one offensive lineman who is totally locked into a starting role: center Tyler Linderbaum. Stanley and Morgan Moses are possible cap casualties, while Simpson and veteran guard Kevin Zeitler can both test their value on the open market.

The Ravens are in a good spot to draft a left tackle who could replace the oft-injured, expensive Stanley. While he has been serviceable when healthy, betting on someone his age to miraculously turn into Wolverine and never get hurt again is a risk the Ravens can’t afford to take for how expensive he is.

Ronnie Stanley and John Simpson might not return to the Baltimore Ravens

Simpson may have had some occasional issues with penalties last year, but his improvement as a run-blocker could help him get some serious interest on the open market. Baltimore may not have the money needed to retain him in what is a very deep, fruitful market for guards.

With Kevin Dotson’s $16 million per year deal with the Rams setting the benchmark for this market, Simpson could earn a contract that ends up apporaching eight figures. Baltimore would need to remake the entire left side of their offensive line ahead of what is a pivotal season for this team.

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