Ravens Rumors

AFC Contract Details: Eifert, Day, Ravens

We already took a look at NFC contract details, so let’s switch focus to the other conference. Like last time, all notes via Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle on Twitter:

  • Tyler Eifert, TE (Jaguars): Two years. Worth $9.5MM, including $3.25MM guaranteed. $2.25MM signing bonus. $1.25MM per-game roster bonus, $2M in incentives (2020). Up to $1M per-game roster bonus, $2M in incentives (2021, if options is exercised).
  • Sheldon Day, DT (Colts): Signed. One-year, $1.75M deal, including $1MM guaranteed. $500K signing bonus, $1MM salary (of which $500K is guaranteed). Up to $250K in per-game roster bonuses.
  • Andrew Billings, DT (Browns): One year, $3.5MM. Fully guaranteed deal. Includes $2MM signing bonus.
  • Anthony Levine, S (Ravens): Signed. One-year, $1.812MM deal, including $350K guaranteed. $137.6K signing bonus, $1.675MM salary (of which $212.5K is guaranteed).
  • Chris Moore, WR (Ravens): Re-signed. One-year, $1.672MM deal, including $275K guaranteed. $137.5K signing bonus, $1.535MM salary (of which $137.5K is guaranteed).
  • Nick Dzubnar, LB (Titans): Signed. One-year, $1.047MM deal. Includes $137.5K signing bonus, $910K salary.

Ravens Eyeing Wide Receivers In Draft

The Ravens used first- and third-round picks on wide receivers last year, bringing Marquise Brown and Miles Boykin to Baltimore. It does not look like that will deter them from adding to their depth chart.

Baltimore re-signed special-teamer Chris Moore but planned to avoid using cap space on other receivers in free agency, per Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic, who notes the team views this draft as being deep enough it would have been a waste of resources to devote cap space to one of this year’s free agent wideouts (subscription required).

In acquiring a second-round pick from the Falcons for Hayden Hurst, the Ravens have additional ammo to add one of this draft’s many wideout prospects expected to be early-round selections. Baltimore holds picks 28, 55 and 60, and Zrebiec adds the Ravens are likely to emerge with at least one new receiver by the time Day 2 concludes.

Lamar Jackson improved significantly as a passer last season but still leaned on tight end Mark Andrews, with the Ravens’ offense minimizing its wideouts to a degree. Brown (584 receiving yards) was Baltimore’s only receiver to surpass 350 yards last season. Willie Snead, who remains under contract, finished second among this group with 339 yards. Boykin played in all 16 regular-season games but did not top 200 yards.

Considering teams’ hesitancy in pursuing this year’s crop of veterans, many likely share the Ravens’ belief about this draft class’ depth. The Ravens seemingly have one of the league’s top receiver needs, but a team with a run-heavy offense using back-to-back first-round picks on wideouts would be interesting. The second day of the draft is expected to feature numerous receivers going off the board.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Ravens Talked With Mike Daniels

  • After the Ravens’ deal for Michael Brockers fell through due to concerns over his ankle, they immediately started looking for defensive line help elsewhere. They ended up signing former Broncos defensive end Derek Wolfe, and they were apparently interested in Ndamukong Suh before he re-signed with the Bucs. Now we’ve got word of one more defensive lineman they discussed, as Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports tweets they were also talking with Mike Daniels. This is the first we’ve heard of interest in Daniels this offseason, and it’s not that surprising that the 2017 Pro Bowler’s market has been quiet given that his past two campaigns have been cut short due to injury. After getting released by the Packers last summer the Iowa product signed a one-year, $9.1MM deal with the Lions, but he ended up appearing in only nine games with two starts before landing on injured reserve. Now on the wrong side of 30, he probably won’t get too much guaranteed money wherever he ends up.

AFC Notes: Campbell, Patriots and Jets Cap

Many in and around the league were shocked that the Ravens were able to acquire defensive lineman Calais Campbell from the Jaguars for just a fifth-round pick. Baltimore had limited cap space entering the offseason, but decided the value was too good to let the opportunity to add Campbell go. However, it appears Campbell had his eyes set on the Ravens as well. According to Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic, Campbell agreed to take less money from Baltimore than he would have received elsewhere because he believed the organization is well equipped to win moving forward.

Here are some more notes from around the AFC:

  • Mike Reiss of ESPN details the Patriots salary cap situation in his weekly quick hits piece. Reiss notes that with at least 20 roster spots left to fill, more than $25MM in dead money on the books for next season, and nearly zero remaining cap space remaining, the team will likely need to make some cap-saving move (whether through an extension, pay-cut, or release). Most notably, New England’s strapped cap situation makes it hard to envision them finding a way to add a free agent quarterback like Cam Newton or Jameis Winston.
  • Like New England, the Jets have very little cap flexibility remaining for this offseason. However, unlike their division-rival, New York is gearing up to be a major player in next year’s free agency, according to ESPN’s Rich Cimini. The majority of the Jets spending this offseason has been on one-year deals once they missed out on their top targets and now the team is set to have more than $80MM in cap space (per Over the Cap estimates).

Ravens, DE Derek Wolfe Agree To Deal

Hours after the Broncos agreed to re-sign Shelby Harris, their longest-tenured defensive lineman will head elsewhere. Derek Wolfe agreed to terms with the Ravens on a one-year deal worth up to $6MM, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets.

The deal will guarantee Wolfe $3MM, Troy Renck of Denver7 tweets. Wolfe said, via Renck, the Broncos did not make an offer to bring him back.

The Ravens were thought to have finalized an agreement with Michael Brockers, but after it turned out the sides could not close that deal, Baltimore will pivot to another veteran interior rusher.

Wolfe, 29, said for months his preference was to return to Denver, where he played eight seasons. But the Broncos traded for Pro Bowler Jurrell Casey and opted to re-sign Harris after his market underwhelmed. The Ravens have swooped in and will add Wolfe to a defensive line that includes Calais Campbell and Brandon Williams.

While Wolfe was productive in Vic Fangio‘s scheme — registering career-high seven sacks in just 12 games — and was a starter for the Broncos’ dominant Super Bowl-winning defense in 2015, he has dealt with injuries throughout his career. The former second-round pick was not able to play in Super Bowl XLVIII due to a scary neck injury sustained earlier in 2013 and encountered more neck trouble in 2017. His 2019 season ended early because of an elbow injury.

The Ravens expressed interest in Ndamukong Suh, but he returned to the Buccaneers. Instead, Baltimore will add Wolfe on a team-friendlier contract. Wolfe signed a four-year, $36.75MM Broncos extension in early 2016 and played out that contract. With the Broncos, he totaled 33 sacks. Working with talented edge rushers throughout his career, the interior rusher registered at least five sacks in four seasons.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Michael Brockers Re-Signs With Rams; Ravens Deal Nixed

1:48pm: Brockers’ three-year deal carries a base value of $24MM and could be worth up to $31.5MM via incentives, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. A good chunk of the incentive package – $4.5MM – is based on realistic playing time milestones that he should bank, so long as he stays healthy. Brockers, as Rapoport notes, has not missed a game in the last three years.

9:24am: Michael Brockers isn’t going to the Ravens after all. On Friday, the Ravens announced that the deal is off. Then, Brockers did a U-Turn – he’ll return to the Rams on a three-year deal worth up to $31.5MM, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets

It’s a similar deal to his would-be Ravens contract, which was reported to be worth $30MM over the course of three years. However, it’s worth noting that the Ravens were set to give him $21MM fully guaranteed and the locked-in dollar amount of Brockers’ new Rams deal is not yet known.

Brockers was set to join forces with newcomer Calais Campbell and incumbent interior force Brandon Williams in Baltimore. Then, earlier this week, the Ravens got skittish about his medical situation. Unable to examine him with their own team doctors due to the coronavirus epidemic, they had Brockers examined by an outside doctor. The exam raised potential issues with Brockers’ ankle, the same one he injured late last year.

Even though he doesn’t have gaudy sack totals, Brockers has been a solid defender against the run for L.A. For the Rams, it’s a significant item crossed off their to-do list. The Ravens, meanwhile, are in a bit of a tough spot. Before deciding on Brockers, the Ravens were in the mix for Ndamukong Suh and other notable D-Lineman, but Suh and most of this year’s impact free agents are already spoken for.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 3/26/20

Today’s minor moves:

Baltimore Ravens

  • Signed: LS Nick Moore

Cleveland Browns

Detroit News

Jacksonville Jaguars

Oakland Raiders

Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Signed: LB Christian Kuntz

Ravens Concerned About Michael Brockers’ Medicals

The Ravens made a couple of major additions to their defensive front this month, trading for Calais Campbell and agreeing to a three-year contract with free agent Michael Brockers. But according to Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic, Baltimore has some concerns about Brockers’ medicals.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, teams cannot have free agents examined by their own doctors. Instead, physicals must be conducted by independent doctors in the player’s geographic area. As Zrebiec tweets, the independent evaluation turned up potential issues with Brockers’ ankle, which he injured late last season.

Baltimore is still expected to sign Brockers, but the club is considering its options (one of which, presumably, is backing out of the deal altogether). Zrebiec says the team — which has formally announced all of its other acquisitions — was also interested in Ndamukong Suh, but Suh re-signed with the Buccaneers earlier today (Twitter links).

Brockers is not the type of elite pass rusher the Ravens may have been hoping for when free agency opened, but he is capable of getting to the QB, and his versatility and run-stopping ability would serve as an excellent complement to Campbell and Brandon Williams. His presence would also help to free things up for edge rushers Matt Judon and Jaylon Ferguson, so Baltimore clearly wants to get him in the fold.

The free agent market has been mostly picked over at this point, and the Ravens recently traded Chris Wormley and saw Michael Pierce sign with the Vikings, so if the Brockers deal falls through, Baltimore may turn its attention to the draft for DL reinforcements.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jets To Sign Patrick Onwuasor

The Jets have agreed to sign Patrick Onwuasor, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. The former Ravens linebacker will reunite with C.J. Mosley with hopes of having better luck in New York/New Jersey.

Onwuasor played safety in college but found his footing at a ‘backer in Baltimore after going undrafted. He shined on special teams and saw his role increase with time. Stepping into Mosley’s role as the leader of the D, he had a so-so 2019 – Pro Football Focus ranked him as the No. 73 off-ball LB in the NFL. The Jets likely have plans to use him a bit differently and take advantage of his blitzing ability.

Onwuasor, 27, spent his entire four-year career with the Ravens up until now. Between 2017 and 2018, he started in 25 games for Baltimore.

The Ravens, meanwhile, are officially in the market for ILB help.

Contract Details: Falcons, Ryan, Eagles, Slay

Earlier this week, the Falcons restructured deals with Matt Ryan and others to carve out a bit of extra breathing room. Today, we got some additional details on that adjustment, via Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com (on Twitter).

Here’s the breakdown: Ryan’s base pay for 2020 will go down from $8MM to $1.05MM. Meanwhile, tackle Jake Matthews will see his base number trimmed from $10.55MM to $3.55MM. In both cases, the difference was converted to a signing bonus. In effect, it doesn’t change much for either player, but it does allow the Falcons to kick the can down the road and spend more this year.

Here are more deetz from around the NFL, with all links going to Twitter: