As is usually the case, the Baltimore Ravens are quickly proving to be one of the most active, and proactive, teams during the ‘second’ wave of free agency, which comes after the draft, and after the period during which free agent additions count toward the compensatory pick formula.
Baltimore has added a number of significant pieces this way over the years, such as tackle Bryant McKinnie and linebacker Daryl Smith. I believe Jeremy Maclin was another one, though he didn’t exactly work out as they expected.
After signing Pernell McPhee, a player that they had originally drafted, the Ravens also agreed to terms with former first-round pick Shane Ray also at outside linebacker, as well as wide receiver Michael Floyd. Floyd, too, was a first-round pick but has become a journeyman since running into some trouble.
To top it off, they are kicking the tires on yet another Pittsburgh Steelers player after signing Matthew Thomas in January and then R.J. Prince a couple of days ago, as they had a workout for inside linebacker Jon Bostic, who started 14 games in Pittsburgh last season. No deal was reported as being imminent, however, and it was noted that he was one of multiple players being brought in for workouts at the same time.
The Ravens suffered some major blows at linebacker, losing outside rushers Terrell Suggs and Za’Darius Smith and inside linebacker C.J. Mosley in free agency, all three of them being significant losses. The departure of Mosley after five strong seasons in particular was an issue, and one they haven’t much addressed yet.
Adding McPhee and Ray to the platoon of edge rushers should be a boost to a unit that lost over 15 sacks from last season in Suggs and Smith. They join top player Matthew Judon, rookie Jaylon Ferguson, as well as third-year players Tyus Bowser and Tim Williams, who have yet to show the progress predicted.
Floyd joins a group of wide receivers that has largely been rebuilt from last season outside of slot weapon Willie Snead. They invested first- and third-round picks in Marquise Brown and Miles Boykin, though, and also signed Seth Roberts in free agency. Chris Moore and a pair of second-year mid-round draft picks round out the group.
The Steelers released Bostic last month following the draft, in which they selected Devin Bush in the first round and later added Ulysees Gilbert III in the sixth round. They also brought in Mark Barron via free agency, making the veteran expendable. Perhaps now the Ravens will find a place for him.