Twelve Ravens Thoughts at start of new league year

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With the start of the new league year and the free agency signing period officially kicking off at 4 p.m. Wednesday, I’ve offered a dozen Ravens thoughts, each in 50 words or less:

1. The Ravens remained in a holding pattern Monday and Tuesday as one of the few teams not to come to terms with a single outside free agent — at least to our knowledge. Of course, that’s hardly unprecedented for an organization that’s usually pretty conservative to start free agency anyway.

2. I’ve really tried to avoid drawing conclusions from incomplete contract details, and Lamar Jackson’s Tuesday tweets still left some ambiguity. However, they did seem to confirm his biggest focus being fully guaranteed money at signing, which has been the assumption since Deshaun Watson signed his $230 million contract last March.  

3. Wednesday will begin revealing which teams are serious about signing Jackson to an offer sheet despite multiple factors hindering them. I still have a tough time believing Baltimore used the non-exclusive tag without having a strong read on the teams realistically in play and what their contract capabilities are. 

4. Even before creating $27 million in cap space Tuesday, Indianapolis stood out as a possible candidate, especially considering its quarterback woes since Andrew Luck’s retirement. Thoughts of Baltimore enduring old Mayflower jokes again are brutal, but I remain unconvinced that Jackson will find the offer sheet he desires. We’ll see.

5. The Ravens have until 4 p.m. Wednesday to tender their six restricted free agents, a group including Tyler Huntley, Geno Stone, and Trystan Colon. Considering the $2.6 million cost for the right of first refusal, Huntley is likely the only tender candidate. Of course, other contract structures are possible.

6. 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. 

7. 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. 

8. 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. 

9. 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. 

10. Good for Ben Powers to cash in after a breakout 2022 that began with many wondering if he would even make the 53-man roster. He’s a good example of why it’s important not to give up on draft picks too quickly. Ben Cleveland, you’re on the clock. 

11. Say what you want about Greg Roman, but he probably deserves a nice gift from Josh Oliver, who agreed to a three-year, $21 million deal with Minnesota. Oliver worked hard to become one of the league’s better blocking tight ends, but that probably doesn’t happen in many other offenses. 

12. After claiming former second-round cornerback Trayvon Mullen — and his expiring contract — off waivers in late January, the Ravens re-signing him was the only logical step. You may have heard Mullen is the cousin of a certain Baltimore quarterback, but I doubt that’s pushing a long-term agreement across the finish line.

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