All posts by Stephen Avara

A new look – How the Ravens’ offseason made them potential contenders

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The people of Baltimore have much to look forward to in the future with their professional football team. Coming off a losing streak at the end of the 2021 season, the Ravens’ team morale was low. They were decimated by injuries and some would agree they lacked talent on some parts of the defense. Heading into the offseason, they knew what they needed to improve and responded accordingly.

Free Agency
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The Ravens started the offseason by deciding what players they wanted to resign and what players they wanted to let go. Even last year, they had under the radar talent that they would’ve liked to keep but didn’t have the money. They lost proven role players like Safety Deshon Elliot and Guard/Center Bradley Bozeman. They decided to give the money they had to players like Pro Bowl Fullback Patrick Ricard, Defensive Tackle Calais Campbell, and Inside Linebacker Josh Bynes. These moves have effectively saved money that they could possibly use to resign star Quarterback Lamar Jackson. 

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Eventually, the Ravens had moves to make for free agents. They had some issues in the secondary and some weak pass-rushing last season. Without the Ravens paying their long-time DT Brandon Williams, even their incredible run defense needed some support. Their first move was S Marcus Williams. Williams made a name for himself on the New Orleans Saints being one the lockdown safeties of that playoff-level team. The Ravens were eyeing the opportunity to snag a younger safety for cheaper and were able to get Marcus Williams for a 5-year, $70 million deal. They also brought back a familiar face in DT Michael Pierce who played for the Ravens only a few seasons ago. They also helped out Lamar Jackson by signing veteran tackle Morgan Moses and improving a position that was a struggle for the Ravens last year.

NFL Draft
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Soon enough, it was time for the NFL draft. The Ravens knew what they needed to improve coming in. They had limited money to spend in the offseason and still had some positions they would like to improve. They started by drafting S Kyle Hamilton out of Notre Dame. This was a massive upgrade at the safety position as Kyle Hamilton allowed 1 TD in 819 career college football snaps. They later traded Wide Receiver Marquise Brown to the Arizona Cardinals for their first-round pick. The Ravens used this pick on Iowa product, Center Tyler Linderbaum. The Ravens have had problems with this position in the past but they feel they might have found a guy who can consistently play this position at a top-tier level. Later-round picks, like Michigan’s star LB David Ojabo, is a high-risk high reward draft selection as Ojabo was a projected first-round pick before his unfortunate injury in his last season at Michigan.

Injuries and an unfortunate sequence of events led the Ravens to a disappointing 2021 season where they saw their first losing record since 2015. With all of the offseason moves, the Ravens look to put last year behind them and find success this upcoming season.

Stephen Avara, Junior

Stephen Avara is a Junior member of the Multimedia Journalism Class