This past week was insane to say the least. The players we lost were Michael Pierce, Chris Wormley, Hayden Hurst, Seth Roberts, James Hurst, and Brandon Carr. While the team gained Calais Campbell and Michael Brockers to stack the defensive line up with interior pass rush while making other moves to save cap space to potentially make another move. I will go through every move and point out if the loss hurts the team; and talk about if the gained players outweigh the players the team lost.
Losing Michael Pierce to the Vikings for a 3 year deal worth 27 million dollars. A good chunk of change right there if you ask me. The big Defensive tackle from Samford was in Baltimore undrafted and played beyond all expectations. Pierce although a really good player doesn’t hurt the team by him walking in free agency. The big reason why is the signing of Michael Brockers and the trade for Calais Campbell. Brockers is one of the most underrated run stuffers in the league, as well as a better pass rusher then Pierce. Brockers can apply interior pass rush, while being able to stuff the run so signing Brockers was an upgrade to replace Pierce. Now Brandon Williams can go back to nose tackle and get Campbell and Brockers time to apply interior pass rush.
Chris Wormley was a solid starter for the Ravens. Was he elite? No, but he did his job but we all have those bad memories of Derrick Henry absolutely ending our season all by himself. Do I think if the team had Campbell and Brockers on the line would that have happened? No way in hell. Plus Wormley had 1 year left on his rookie deal, so the team had to replace him soon anyway. Getting a 2021 5th round pick for a player the team would have let walk in free agency anyway is an absolute steal.
Hayden Hurst was the one player where I was hurt by him getting traded because of how dynamic “Garnet Thor” is with how dominant the tight end trio was last season. But putting emotions aside Mark Andrews is the number 1 at the position and Nick Boyle makes this offense run with his blocking ability. Boyle does everything and that doesn’t get put on the stat sheet. Trading Hayden who is the 3rd tightend at the time for a 2nd round pick and a 5th round pick is astounding value. The Texans got a 2nd round pick for DeAndre Hopkins the best wide reciever in the league. Hayden is good and has a high ceiling but is he Hopkins? No, the value is insane. Eric DeCosta making genius moves once again.
Seth Roberts dropped a few passes in the playoff loss but he was solid when called upon. I don’t think this is a huge loss because he wasn’t the big part of the offense, but more of a complimentary piece.
James Hurst being cut hurt more so because of Marshal Yanda’s retirement and the offensive line losing depth, but I believe the line will be fine. The Ravens always draft offensive linemen in the later rounds and turn them into solid players. Hurst was undrafted and he was a starter at different positions in his tenure.
Cutting Brandon Carr hurt the depth at the cornerback position but he is getting older, and the team is stacked at the position. Marlon Humphrey who is a shutdown corner, Marcus Peters is an interception waiting to happen, and the best slot corner in the league in Tavon Young. They also have Anthony Averrett and Iman Marshall in the waiting. In the perfect world I would bring Carr back on a cheaper deal similar to the deal given to Lardarius Webb a few years back, but most likely the team will try to bring Jimmy Smith back and his market is drying up so he could come back possibly. I expect the team to bring one of Carr or Jimmy Smith back but drafting a cornerback is a must.
The big question is did the Superbowl Contending Baltimore Ravens get better in free agency? The short answer is absolutely. Franchise tagging Matt Judon while collecting assets for players is amazing. Signing Campbell and Brockers opens up the pass rush department. The pass rush got better by default. The run defense got way better with the two studs signed going with the best run stuffer in the league. Losing Hayden Hurst hurt but again he was third on the depth chart, expect another tightend to get drafted. The offensive line got weaker with the release of James Hurst and Yanda’s retirement but remember lasd year when everybody was freaking out about Skura and Bozeman starting? Yeah, and look what happened during the season. The team is great at developing offensive linemen, we will be alright. The extensions given out to players like Chuck Clark, Marcus Peters, Sam Koch, Justin Tucker, etc are genius moves because if the team waited to sign them there market value will go up.
Eric DeCosta is an evil genius. There will be more moves coming for sure especially with a month before the draft but RavensFlock let the apprentice do his job. He got this. I believe the team will shore up the few holes on the team, and we will make another run at it next season!
– James Sheppard