Pernell McPhee

Ravens Re-Sign Pernell McPhee

The Ravens have re-signed outside linebacker Pernell McPhee (Twitter link via ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter). Exact terms of the deal are not yet known. 

[RELATED: Ravens Restructure Marcus Peters’ Deal]

It’s likely another low-cost, short-term contract for the veteran. McPhee, 32, was one of several Ravens edge rushers due for free agency, along with Matthew Judon, Yannick Ngakoue, Jihad Ward, and Tyus Bowser. Judon and Ngakoue may be the biggest names of the group, but McPhee has been one of the club’s locker room leaders and will ensure at least some consistency heading into 2021.

McPhee appeared in 15 games with 13 starts last season. He notched 34 tackles with three sacks and wound up as the team’s best outside linebacker in 2020, per Pro Football Focus. For his career, McPhee has 246 tackles and 37 sacks to his credit, including time with the Bears and the Washington Football Team.

 

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Ravens To Let Judon, Ngakoue Walk?

After featuring two franchise-tagged edge defenders last season, the Ravens’ pass rush may be in for considerable change in 2021. A sizable chunk of their outside linebacker contributors from 2020 are free agents, and the top two may be set for free agency for the first time.

The Ravens retained Matt Judon via the franchise tag last year and traded for Yannick Ngakoue, who received the tag from the Jaguars before being shipped to the Vikings. Baltimore may let both free agents go, with Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com noting the team is expected to part ways with Ngakoue and will not re-sign Judon.

This would be quite the shakeup for the Ravens, but sticking to a price point with edge rushers is not out of character for the team. Baltimore let Paul Kruger, Pernell McPhee and Za’Darius Smith walk in recent years and said goodbye to Terrell Suggs in 2019 as well. The team also did not match the Jets’ market-resetting offer for off-ball ‘backer C.J. Mosley two years ago.

It would cost the Ravens just more than $20MM to franchise Judon for a second time. Judon said earlier this year a Ravens return would need to line up perfectly, and the longtime Baltimore contributor looks set to be a first-time free agent. It will come at a key point, with the ex-Division II standout set to turn 29 this year. Judon has been a key Ravens rusher over the past four seasons. He made the Pro Bowl in each of the past two. Although the former fifth-round pick does not have a 10-sack season on his resume, he posted 33 QB hits in 2019.

Ngakoue moving on would be less surprising. He recorded three regular-season sacks as a Raven but played sparingly in the team’s two playoff games. This will be the former third-round pick’s first go-round in free agency. The former Jaguars standout will only turn 26 this year.

McPhee has since returned to the Ravens, agreeing to two one-year pacts after each of the past two drafts. The 10-year veteran would like to stay in Baltimore, and Hensley views that scenario as realistic. Tyus Bowser may also be in play to return on a low-cost deal. Derek Wolfe is also a free agent, but the longtime Broncos defensive lineman also wants to re-sign with the Ravens. The team would like the 30-year-old defender back as well, Hensley adds. Still, Judon and Ngakoue departing would create a major need for the team going into free agency.

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Pernell McPhee Wants To Stay With Ravens

Pernell McPhee wants to extend the latest chapter of his career. After leaving Baltimore as a big-ticket free agent signing several years ago, the veteran pass rusher has resurfaced with his original NFL team as a rotational player. He would like to continue to do so.

The Ravens have nearly their entire edge rusher contingent due for free agency. McPhee joins higher-profile cogs Matt Judon and Yannick Ngakoue as a free agent-to-be, with Tyus Bowser also on track to hit the market come March.

Of course, the plan is to come back to Baltimore and continue to play some ball, help win a championship and build a dynasty,” McPhee said, via Clifton Brown of BaltimoreRavens.com. “That’s the goal. Myself and my agent haven’t really talked about it yet. I’ve been chilling, taking care of my body. I’ll think about things, but my thought is really just on coming back.”

After battling injuries with the Bears, McPhee returned to the Ravens in 2019. He re-signed on another one-year deal last year. Both accords occurred after those years’ respective drafts. This past season, McPhee served as a starter alongside Judon and matched Ngakoue’s Ravens total with three sacks. McPhee, 32, has recorded three sacks in back-to-back seasons. Last year, however, he posted 15 quarterback hits — his top mark since 2015. He also outsnapped Ngakoue in Baltimore’s divisional-round game.

The 10-year veteran could be a lower-cost option for the Ravens to retain. It would cost just more than $20MM for the team to use its franchise tag on Judon for a second straight year, and Ngakoue figures to have a big market as a first-time free agent. Considering their situation, McPhee’s desire to return might be something to capitalize on as the franchise attempts to craft a new pass-rushing plan.

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Ravens Place Robert Griffin III On IR

The hamstring injury Robert Griffin III suffered Wednesday in Pittsburgh will result in a prolonged absence. This could complicate matters for the Ravens.

While RG3 going on IR would not normally affect Baltimore’s starting lineup, it is not yet known if Lamar Jackson will be ready to return when first eligible to come off the Ravens’ reserve/COVID-19 list. Jackson tested positive for the coronavirus on Nov. 26 and cannot return to practice until Sunday. The Ravens will host the Cowboys on Tuesday night.

Baltimore used third-stringer Trace McSorley — who was recently activated from the COVID list — at the end of Wednesday’s loss to the Steelers. He would be in line to start for the Ravens against the Cowboys, should Jackson require more recovery time.

RG3 struggled against the Steelers but brings extensive NFL experience McSorley obviously lacks. An eighth-year NFL vet, Griffin has been Jackson’s backup for three years. Griffin cannot resume his QB2 duties until at least Week 16.

While the Ravens will be without Griffin for a while, they did receive word Friday they will have more depth available against Dallas. Baltimore activated J.K. Dobbins, Matt Skura, Patrick Mekari and Pernell McPhee from the virus list.

The Ravens held Dobbins and Mark Ingram out of their thrice-rescheduled game in Pittsburgh. Both backs tested positive for COVID-19 but would have been eligible to return for Week 12. Dobbins being back in action will be a boon to a Ravens team suddenly on thin ice with regards to playoff qualification.

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NFL Postpones Ravens-Steelers Due To COVID-19

Thursday’s game between the Ravens and Steelers has been postponed due to a rash of positive COVID-19 tests. Now, the two teams are set to meet on Sunday afternoon, though the league will continue to monitor the situation between now and then.

We learned yesterday that Baltimore was dealing with 10 total coronavirus cases, including five players. As Dan Graziano of ESPN.com reports (via Twitter), the Ravens have actually had seven players test positive over the past three days: RBs Mark Ingram and J.K. Dobbins — which we already knew about — QB Trace McSorley, OLB Pernell McPhee, DE Calais Campbell, C Matt Skura, and G/C Patrick Mekari, all of whom will be placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list. As such, the league really had no other choice but to push back the game.

Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network points out that the league did not make the decision because the Ravens would have been extremely shorthanded. After all, the players who tested positive won’t be allowed to play on Sunday either. Instead, a number of Baltimore players are (obviously) close contacts with those who tested positive, and the NFL wants to make sure the spread is contained (Twitter link).

Unfortunately, things could get worse for the Ravens. Per Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, the league and the team know how the outbreak began, and there is a chance more players will test positive. By Friday, the NFL expects to know if everything is under control or if the game will need to be postponed again.

If another postponement becomes necessary, this game will likely be the first one set in on the novel Week 18. The Ravens are scheduled to play the Cowboys next Thursday, so the league will not make them play a game on Monday or Tuesday before a Thursday night contest.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

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Minor NFL Transactions: 11/24/20

We’ll keep track of today’s minor moves here:

Arizona Cardinals

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns

Denver Broncos

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Rams

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Activated from reserve/COVID-19 list: TE Vance McDonald
  • Promoted: TE Kevin Rader

Tennessee Titans

The Jets’ addition of Adams makes a lot of sense after rookie running back La’Mical Perine suffered a high ankle sprain that is expected to sideline him for at least a couple games. A 2018 UDFA out of Notre Dame, Adams played a significant role with the Eagles as a rookie, when he started five of 14 games and carries the ball 120 times for 511 yards and three touchdowns. Despite the reasonably productive first season, he was waived at final cuts last year.

Ravens Re-Sign Pernell McPhee

The Ravens are bringing Pernell McPhee back. The outside linebacker has re-upped on a one-year deal, per a club announcement. 

Roughly one year ago today, McPhee inked a one year deal with Baltimore to return back to where it all started. He was a 2011 fifth-round pick and an oft-featured sub for the Ravens before moving on to the Bears in free agency. He entered and went out with a bang in Baltimore – McPhee notched six sacks as a rookie and tallied a career-high 7.5 sacks in 2014, his contract year. McPhee parlayed that success into a five-year deal, $38.8MM deal with Chicago, but injuries cost him 12 regular season games over a three-year stretch. Still, he managed 14 sacks for Chicago.

Unfortunately, injuries also slowed him last year. A triceps tear shelved McPhee in October, taking him out of action after 260 snaps, the second-highest total on the team at the time.

McPhee, 31, has 34 career sacks across nine seasons with the Bears, Redskins, and Ravens. Despite his name recognition and substantial career earnings, he’s started in just 30 of his 116 NFL games.

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Pernell McPhee Suffers Triceps Tear

After some injury-plagued seasons, Pernell McPhee played in the Ravens’ first seven games this season. Unfortunately, the veteran outside linebacker will not participate in the rest of Baltimore’s 2019 campaign.

A triceps tear will shelve McPhee, John Harbaugh said (per Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic, on Twitter). McPhee re-signed with the Ravens this offseason, returning to the team with which he began his career in 2011.

McPhee battled injuries during his time with the Bears and had not operated as a full-time starter since 2015, his first Chicago campaign. However, the Ravens — after losing Terrell Suggs and Za’Darius Smith this offseason — reinstalled him as a first-stringer. McPhee registered three sacks in seven Ravens games.

The 30-year-old defender signed a one-year deal, so this will be a blow for his 2020 offseason stock. Matt Judon leads the Ravens’ pass rush, but McPhee had played 260 snaps — second-most on the team. This setback will likely mean more work for third-round rookie Jaylon Ferguson, with Tyus Bowser likely also being called upon to pick up the slack.

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Shane Ray On Ravens’ Roster Bubble?

Brought in along with Pernell McPhee after the draft, Shane Ray does not have a comfortable path to the Ravens’ 53-man roster. The former first-round pick is squarely on Baltimore’s bubble.

Ray is behind five other Raven edge defenders at present, with Jeff Zreibec of The Athletic noting (subscription required) the four-year Broncos cog will need a strong preseason to make the team.

The fifth-year pass rusher has flashed in practice, but Zreibec notes McPhee is ahead of him among the veteran contingent. So are 2017 second- and third-round picks Tyus Bowser and Tim Williams With the Ravens unlikely to keep six edge defenders, Ray has his work cut out for him entering the team’s preseason slate.

The Ravens added Ray shortly after May’s compensatory deadline and gave him a $1.2MM deal with $200K guaranteed. But vying with McPhee and recent Ravens Day 2 picks, with Matt Judon and rookie Jaylon Ferguson locks to make the team, made this an uncertain proposition from the start.

While he was a rotational presence on Denver’s Super Bowl champion team and registered eight sacks in 2016, Ray has not lived up to his first-round billing yet. He finished his Broncos tenure on a shaky note, being a healthy scratch at the conclusion of last season.

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Ravens Sign LB Pernell McPhee

The Ravens have agreed to sign linebacker Pernell McPhee, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter). He’ll return to Baltimore on a one-year deal. 

The veteran spent the first four years of his career in Baltimore and owns 31 career sacks and six forced fumbles over the course of his eight years in the NFL. The 30-year-old (31 in December) hasn’t put up big numbers in a couple of years, but the Ravens believe that he’s still a capable disruptor.

McPhee was a 2011 fifth-round pick of the Ravens and was an oft-featured sub before moving on to the Bears in free agency. He entered and went out with a bang in Baltimore – McPhee notched six sacks as a rookie and tallied a career-high 7.5 sacks in 2014, his contract year. McPhee parlayed that success into a five-year deal, $38.8MM deal with Chicago, but injuries cost him 12 regular season games over a three-year stretch. Still, McPhee managed 14 sacks for the Bears.

The Ravens also met with Rams free agent Matt Longacre, but the McPhee signing may check the box for veteran edge rushers.

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