Offseason Outlook: Baltimore Ravens

Published: Feb 07, 2014 16:42pm EST
By JLangley4, Sports Writer for Konsume Sports

Please Note: This article was updated Feb 07, 2014 @ 05:43pm EST

 

The Ravens finished their 2013 campaign at 8-8, a record fans are not pleased with. If you go around Baltimore, you will find the slew of irrational fans calling for John Harbaugh to be fired, Ozzie Newsome to retire and much more. While this is obviously laughable, it shows the passion for the Ravens this city has.

After an abysmal offensive output, the Ravens have made it a focal point to upgrade the offense. The question is, how do they go about doing this? What will they do about Terrell Suggs?

First, let's look at the impending free agents.

Eugene Monroe

Monroe was traded to the Ravens during the season, and he is certainly one of the top priorities this offseason. While Monroe had some tough games at left tackle, the entire line was awful, so it is tough to single out a player. Expect Monroe to remain in Baltimore as their future left tackle.

Jacoby Jones

Jones has been a solid performer for the Ravens the last two seasons, but he was paid $4 million last season, and it will be a shocker if Baltimore is willing to go that high again. There is a chance he returns, but not a high one. At this point, it is 40-60.

Arthur Jones

Jones has been an emerging talent for Baltimore, and as much as they would like to hold onto him, the chances are slim. He will get a solid contract on the open market, and Baltimore made back-up plans when they drafted Kapron Lewis-Moore last season.

Daryl Smith

Another priority, Smith has a very good chance at staying with Baltimore, but it will all depend on the price tag.He was signed for a very low price last offseason, and made Ozzie Newsome look like a genius after Roldando McClain unexpectedly retired. Expect Smith back in Baltimore next season.

Dennis Pitta

Whether it be through the franchise tag or a bigger contract, Pitta will be a Raven this upcoming season. It would be a stunner if Baltimore let their consistent pass-catcher walk to another team.

Ed Dickson

Dickson has a lot of upside, but it is doubtful he will ever realize that talent in Baltimore. He has struggled with drops, and Ozzie Newsome will likely not want him back for more than $1 million next season.

Corey Graham

Much like Cary Williams the season before, Graham likely played his way into a better contract, making it unlikely he returns to Baltimore. A solid player, but will likely get overpaid.

Tandon Doss

Doss could be back at the veteran minimum, but with the Ravens poised to pick up a wide receiver via free agency or the draft, he is likely a training camp cut. Doss showed flashes this season, but his inconsistencies likely signal his end in Baltimore.

James Ihedigbo

Ihedigbo is likely gone with the money he will command on the free agent market, as well as Baltimore's plan to get a true free safety. Ihedigbo was a solid player last season, but with Matt Elam being a better fit at strong safety, Ihedigbo is likely on his way out.

Michael Oher

Baltimore fans do not like him, and if you watched Ravens games, you would understand why. Oher is known more for the movie made about him than his play on the field. Known for excessive amounts of penalties, Oher is gone in Baltimore. He is another player that will get grossly overpaid on the market.

With the holes Baltimore needs to fill, there are some players on the chopping block, and here are some of the names to keep in mind in the coming weeks.

Jameel McClain

Jameel McClain is a great story. Grew up homeless in Philadelphia, and came in as an undrafted free agent to Baltimore. He moved from outside linebacker to the middle, and has been a solid contributor. But with the money due to him this season, Baltimore can move Arthur Brown into his position and likely get more production.

Terrell Suggs

Baltimore fans will not like seeing his name there, and it is still debatable whether or not it happens, but there is a chance Baltimore cuts ties with their prized player and nets themselves about $7 million in cap savings. With that being said, he could get an extension with Baltimore and still save them a lot of cap space, so this is a to-be-continued situation.

Vonta Leach

It won't save much, but with the decreased snaps for Leach last season and Kyle "Juice" as I'll call him, this is a cut that is coming. Leach is a popular player in Baltimore, but the time has come to sever the ties.

Chris Canty

This is not a cut that is likely to happen, but it is possible. It would save the Ravens some cap space, and they have players in place to take his spot if needed.

The Ravens will likely be in a cap-bind, so free agency is hard to predict. For now, we will hold off on potential free agent targets until the cap space available becomes more clear.

 

We will now move on to some potential first round picks for the Ravens. These players could step in and make an immediate impact for the Ravens.

Mike Evans

A big-bodied receiver who goes up and attacks the ball in the air? This is something the Ravens have not had in a while, with the exception of Anquan Boldin. Torrey Smith is becoming a more well-rounded receiver, but he needs help on the other side. Evans would provide that, with a high-ceiling for the future.

Taylor Lewan

A right tackle is a focal point in this draft, and with the athleticism Lewan possesses, it is a perfect fit in Kubiak's zone scheme. Not a popular pick by many, but would make a lot of sense.

Jarvis Landry

A tough receiver who catches the ball in any situation. Landry nearly got decapitated on some throws by Zach Mettenberger at LSU, showing he can catch the ball in traffic. A solid route-runner, and a potential future safety blanket for Joe Flacco.

Odell Beckham Jr

Beckham is a future play-maker and would fit nicely in the Ravens offense. He would line up opposite of Torrey Smith and provide another threat on the field.

Eric Ebron

Gary Kubiak loves his two tight end sets, and if you paired Ebron with Dennis Pitta, it could smell trouble for defenses. Not the number one choice for many Ravens fans, but it makes a lot of sense given the scheme.

 

Baltimore is a lot closer to being a great team than they are a bad team right now. If they plug the holes and the offense makes strides under Gary Kubiak next season, the Baltimore Ravens will be a dangerous team in the AFC North. If the center position is not addressed, the offensive line may be in for another long season. Gino Gradkowski showed this past season that he is not the answer, and the Ravens will likely move forward looking for a replacement.

The offseason will be an interesting one in Baltimore because if it done correctly, this team can make strides in 2014. If they do not, 8-8 is likely the end result once again.


 

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