Peters suffered a torn ACL just four days before the Ravens’ season opener last year, filing into a line of falling dominos that took out much of the Ravens’ running back and cornerback rooms. He would miss the entire season after only sitting out five games in his previous six seasons.
The Ravens will be ecstatic at the return of their ball-hawk safety. While opposite-side starter Marlon Humphrey excels at separating ball-carriers from the football with forced fumbles, Peters is a dying breed of cornerback that excels in making sure the ball never gets to the receiver. He has seven interceptions in 24 games with the Ravens and, even though he missed all of last season, no one in the league has more interceptions since Peters entered the league than his own 31 picks.
Baltimore also announced the return of second-year safety Ar’Darius Washington from the PUP list. Washington impressed as an undrafted player out of TCU last year by making the Ravens’ final 53-man roster. He appeared in three games before a broken foot ended his season prematurely. Washington will return to an extremely deep safety room that currently houses Marcus Williams, Chuck Clark, first-round rookie Kyle Hamilton, Tony Jefferson, and Geno Stone.
The Ravens’ 2021 season was derailed by injuries, and the team is still feeling the effects of it as training camp opens up. The team announced on Friday that six players have been placed on the active/PUP list.
On offense, left tackle Ronnie Stanleyis among the players listed. The former All-Pro has played in just one game since October of 2020 due to multiple ankle surgeries. The team has remained optimistic that, unlike last season, a more cautious offseason approach can keep him on the field permanently once the regular season begins. Baltimore has several options to replace him if he remains sidelined, including veteran Ja’Wuan James– himself no stranger to injury problems.
Not surprisingly, running back J.K. Dobbinsis also on the list. It was reported earlier this week that the 23-year-old might not be fully recovered from his ACL tear in time for the regular season opener. The progress of his rehab will be worth watching closely during camp, as is the case for fellow back Gus Edwards. He, like Dobbins, missed the 2021 season in its entirety, putting his September availability in question. Free agent signing Mike Davisand sixth-round rookie Tyler Badiecould be in line for significant reps in camp.
Two key defenders are on the list as well. Cornerback Marcus Peterswas named as a PUP candidate earlier this month, as he continues to recover from a torn ACL suffered in the preseason. His return would be welcomed by the Ravens, who struggled mightily against the pass in 2021 and have a new-look CB room. The other member of the secondary on the list is safety Ar’Darius Washington, a former UDFA in contention for a backup role.
Finally, outside linebacker Tyus Bowserrepresents another unsurprising name on the list. The Ravens jack-of-all-trades edge rusher suffered a torn Achilles in the regular season finale, leaving his Week 1 availability in doubt throughout the offseason. With second-rounder David Ojabodealing with the same ailment, Bowsers’ September health will be a key talking point in the build-up to the season.
Any of the above players can be activated at any time, though the chances of that happening in the near future is likely lower than that of many other PUP players previously announced, given the severity of many of these injuries.
Cornerback was one of the hardest-hit positions during the Ravens’ injury-plagued 2021 campaign. If their two former All-Pros at that spot can return to form this season, though, the team’s defense could be well-positioned for a bounce back.
Much will therefore depend on the health and play of Marcus Peters. The 29-year-old missed all of last season due to a torn ACL he suffered during the preseason. His absence was compounded by the later loss of Marlon Humphrey, as Baltimore ended the season on a six-game losing streak which cost them a playoff berth. Peters has been successfully recovering during the offseason, however; head coach John Harbaugh said in May that his rehab was “coming along really well.”
Still, as The Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec notes (subscription required), Peters is one of several Ravens who are candidates to begin training camp on the PUP list. That will raise questions about his Week 1 availability for a time, but assuming he is cleared by the start of the regular season, attention will quickly turn to his financial situation.
Peters has one year remaining on his current deal, at a cap hit of $15.5MM. That figure ranks third in the league this season amongst corners, which stands out for Baltimore given their tight salary cap situation. As a result, Zrebiec names him as a player the Ravens could look to extend “sooner rather than later.” The team has already done so previously, giving him a new three-year deal in December of 2019.
However, as Zrebiec points out, the team will in all likelihood wait to see how well he plays upon returning from such a significant injury. If he plays at the Pro Bowl level he has through much of his time in Charm City, a new contract giving him security for the short- or intermediate-term future (and, perhaps, opening up some financial wiggle room for the team in the process) would make sense. However, if his knee shows ill effects, that would couple with his age to give the Ravens pause regarding another significant investment in him.
As could be expected, the salary figures here start below the quarterbacks. A few pass rushers, however, are tied to notable cap hits. Those numbers that check in within the top 20 leaguewide regardless of position. With the exception of true nose tackles and pure slot cornerbacks, every defensive position is represented here.
Here are the top cap figures on the defensive side for the ’22 season:
Illustrating how much the cap has climbed over the past several seasons, T.J. Watt is tied to a number nearly twice that of J.J. Watt, who has been tied to $16.7MM-per-year (a defender-record number in 2014) and $14MM-AAV deals as a pro. Trailing his older brother in Defensive Player of the Year honors, T.J. is signed to an edge defender-record $28MM-per-year accord.
Jones’ four-year Chiefs deal vaults from an $8.5MM cap number in 2021 to the league’s second-highest defensive figure this year. The standout defensive tackle’s cap hit accompanies Patrick Mahomes‘ $35.79MM number, which is well north of his 2021 figure, on Kansas City’s new-look payroll.
After two franchise tags, Williams scored a monster extension in 2021. The well-paid Giants D-lineman’s cap number this year is way up from his 2021 number ($9.4MM).
It is not certain Deion Joneswill be back with the Falcons, who have jettisoned other Super Bowl LI cornerstones from the roster since the current regime took over in 2021. But they would save just $1MM were they to release the seventh-year linebacker.
To date, this represents the high-water mark for Mosley cap hits on his Jets deal, which at the time (2019) began a sea change for off-ball linebacker contracts. Mosley’s cap hit, on a pact that runs through 2024 because of the linebacker opting out of the 2020 season, increased by $10MM from 2021-22.
Hargrave is one of five Eagles pass rushers signed to veteran contracts. The ex-Steeler’s 2021 deal accompanies Brandon Graham, Josh Sweat, Haason Reddick, and Fletcher Cox‘s new agreement on Philadelphia’s defensive front. As cap hits do not reflect average salaries, Hargrave is the only member of this quartet tied to an eight-figure cap number in 2022.
Quinn has also been connected to a departure, with the 31-year-old pass rusher skipping minicamp after it became known he would like to be traded away from the rebuilding team. His cap hit tops the Bears’ payroll. The Bears would save $12.9MM by trading Quinn, should another team sign up for taking on his full 2022 base salary.
The Ravens’ 2021 season was derailed by injuries on both sides of the ball. A large part of the reason for the team’s late-season collapse was the loss of Marlon Humphreymid-year, after Marcus Peterswas injured before the campaign began.
Things are looking up for both of them on the injury front, though, as noted by Coral Smith of NFL.com. Head coach John Harbaugh relayed last week that the former had returned to practice during OTAs. He suffered a torn pectoral muscle towards the end of the season, marking another significant blow to Baltimore’s secondary. The team lost six straight contests to close out the campaign, and ranked last in the league against the pass.
The loss of Humphrey was of course exacerbated by the fact that Peters tore his ACL during practice in the preseason. Harbaugh said, however, that his rehab is “coming along really well”. The return of both Pro Bowlers to the lineup – let alone to the form they have both showed in recent years – would complement the various moves the team has made on the backend of its defense.
Baltimore’s top free agent signing was safety Marcus Williams, who is set to spend plenty of time alongside first-rounder Kyle Hamilton. While the presence of those two has led to teams calling about veteran Chuck Clark, the team has made no indication they intend to move him. As for the CB room, Baltimore added mid-round depth in the draft, and signed veteran Kyle Fullerlast week.
That overhaul of the unit is cause for optimism at this point, but the health of Humphrey and Peters remains the most important question to be answered. Given the team’s investment in the pair (the former ranks fourth in the league in average salary amongst corners, while the latter sits 12th), they will play a crucial role in its ability to rebound in 2022. At the moment, at least, they are on track to resume their status as integral pieces to Baltimore’s roster.
Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta held an end-of-season press conference on Friday. In it, he provided updates on a number of key points in the team’s upcoming offseason, including the current status of contract negotiations with quarterback Lamar Jackson.
DeCosta made it clear that he is personally handling talks with Jackson, and has been from the beginning of the negotiation process. He added that the two of them have spoken “five or six times over the past year” (Twitter link via Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic). According to ESPN’s Jamison Hensley, DeCosta added “I’m proud of the relationship that we have” (Twitter link).
Jackson certainly didn’t have the season he or the Ravens were expecting. In 12 games, he recorded 2,882 passing yards and a near-even (16:13) touchdown-to-interception ratio. While he added another 767 yards and two touchdowns on the ground, he also had six fumbles. Between those numbers, and a season-ending ankle injury, 2021 was a far cry from Jackson’s 2019 MVP campaign. If anything, that could further complicate his contract talks, which were reportedly not proceeding as hoped earlier in the season. DeCosta stated: “We’re working at Lamar’s pace… We will operate based on his urgency” (Twitter link), suggesting the team is willing to let the 25-year-old play on his fifth year option.
Here are some other important notes from the presser, along with some updates to the team’s coaching staff:
DeCosta said he expects to pick up the fifth year option on wide receiver Marquise Brown (Twitter link via Hensley). A close friend of Jackson’s, Brown had his most productive season in 2021 (91 catches, 1,008 yards, six touchdowns), though he tailed off considerably late in the campaign.
The offensive line will be a priority in the offseason. As Zrebiec tweets, DeCosta stated a desire to strengthen the unit overall, though he is “optimistic” left tackle Ronnie Stanleywill be able to return to full health after a second major ankle surgery.
Zreibec adds that the team is planning on getting younger along the defensive front. With that said, DeCosta has already been in communication with veteran Calais Campbell, who was thought to be contemplating retirement throughout the year.
Hensley tweets that cornerback Marcus Petersis expected to be back. He missed the entire season and his release would create $10MM in cap space, but the former All-Pro would provide a playmaking element to the secondary if healthy.
As for the coaching staff, CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora tweets that inside linebackers coach Rob Ryan will not return. Hensley adds that outside LBs coach Drew Wilkins has also been let go, to pursue new opportunities alongside former DC Don Martindale.
According to Zrebiec, former Raven Zach Orr is a candidate to replace Ryan. After his promising career was abruptly ended due to a rare neck ailment, he’s taken to coaching. He spent 2021 on the Jaguars’ staff.
7:12pm: Edwards’ ACL tear has been confirmed. Schefter reports (via Twitter) that the Ravens running back indeed suffered the season-ending injury. The organization will soon have three RBs sitting on IR.
6:58pm: The Ravens will be without at least one of these starters this season. Peters’ MRI confirmed an ACL tear, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. This will be the All-Pro corner’s first significant injury as a pro. Edwards’ tear has yet to be confirmed.
2:57pm: Injuries have already impacted the Ravens considerably coming into the season. Thursday’s practice brought more trouble. The team cut its workout short after Marcus Peters and Gus Edwards suffered knee injuries, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.
Peters and Edwards went down on consecutive plays, and Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic notes (via Twitter) team is concerned the maladies are severe. Indeed, the Ravens fear both players suffered ACL tears, Rapoport adds (on Twitter). Each is undergoing tests. Both injuries are believed to be of the non-contact variety, NFL.com’s Peter Schrager tweets.
Edwards is the last man standing among Baltimore’s running backs, at least among those on last year’s squad, while Peters is entering his third season as a key Baltimore starter. The Ravens have already lost starting running back J.K. Dobbins and third-year reserve Justice Hill for the season.
Baltimore is down to second-year UDFA Ty’Son Williamsat running back. Williams, interestingly, has worked his way back from an ACL tear sustained during the 2019 season while at BYU. The Ravens signed veteran special-teamer Trenton Cannon on Wednesday and have Le’Veon Bell stashed on their practice squad. Both moves take on greater importance after this Edwards development.
The Ravens are already set to begin their season without first-round pick Rashod Bateman, who is on IR after suffering a groin injury that required surgery early in training camp. Edwards was set to be Baltimore’s starter, after three straight seasons of 700-plus rushing yards north of 5.0 yards per carry. The Ravens extended the former UDFA back on a three-year, $12.38MM deal earlier this summer.
Peters signed a three-year, $42MM extension near the end of his first season in Maryland. He has been the NFL’s top turnover producer during his six-year NFL tenure. The former Chiefs first-round pick and Rams Super Bowl starter is going into his age-28 season. In 23 Raven games, Peters already has seven interceptions and four forced fumbles. Peters’ deal runs through 2022.
Beyond Bell and Cannon, the Ravens could certainly reach out to Latavius Murray, whom the Saints just released after he refused a pay cut. Todd Gurley is also available, joining Kerryon Johnson, Lamar Miller, Alfred Morris and Adrian Peterson in that regard. Replacing Peters would be much tougher for the franchise. The Ravens do possess some cornerback depth, however, with 11th-year veteran Jimmy Smith still in place behind boundary starters Peters and Marlon Humphrey. Smith, however, missed a few weeks of practice after suffering a sprained ankle during camp.
The Ravens have restructured Marcus Peters‘ contract (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport). The Ravens will now have $3.5MM in additional cash this offseason. The cornerback was initially set to collect $11.5MM in base pay with a $13.5MM cap hit. Now, he’ll get $10MM in base salary and count for $10MM on the books.
Peters re-upped with the Ravens towards the end of 2019 on a three-year, $42MM deal with $32MM guaranteed. Twice traded, the deal gave Peters both financial and football security. Given his talent, the $14MM/year deal was a clear win for the Ravens. Together with Marlon Humphrey, he’s given Baltimore one of the best CB duos in the NFL.
This past year, Peters notched 52 tackles, four interceptions (plus one in the playoffs), four forced fumbles, and two fumble recoveries. Since entering the league in 2015, Peters has notched 31 interceptions, more than any other player in the league over the last six years.
Marcus Peters will not hit the market or be franchise-tagged. The Ravens and their midseason trade acquisition agreed on a three-year extension, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reports (on Twitter). The Ravens have announced the move, which will lock up Peters through 2022.
The re-up is worth $42MM, Schefter adds, with $32MM guaranteed. This represents a key moment for Peters, who has been twice traded. Peters will collect $20.1MM next year. The Ravens gave up backup linebacker Kenny Young and merely a fifth-round pick for the talented cornerback, and their early-2020s secondaries will feature the game’s premier ball hawk.
While this deal does not raise the cornerback salary ceiling, coming in at $14MM per year, it gives Peters security he’s lacked after mercurial stints in Kansas City and Los Angeles. Despite this being only a three-year pact, Peters’ $32MM in guarantees place him inside the top 10 among cornerbacks. His AAV lands there as well.
The Ravens have seen the former first-round pick play a key role in helping their pass defense rebound after a rough start to the season. This accord will fill a need for the Ravens, who have Jimmy Smith on an expiring contract and Brandon Carr wrapping up his age-33 season.
Baltimore gave up more than 300 passing yards in three straight September games, twice yielding 500-plus total yards in that span. Since Peters’ arrival, the Ravens have not allowed a 300-yard passing performance. Baltimore enters Week 17 with the No. 4 DVOA pass defense. Peters was one of 12 Ravens Pro Bowlers, the University of Washington alum being honored as such for the third time.
An aggressive corner who did not fetch a first-round pick in either trade, the soon-to-be 27-year-old Peters has become the game’s premier interception threat. Since the 2015 season, Peters leads the field by a staggering margin in this category. His 27 picks are nine more than anyone else’s total since coming into the league. Peters’ six pick-6s also lead the field over the past half-decade.
The Chiefs traded Peters in 2018, doing so after he became a disruptive locker room presence. Kansas City received second- and fourth-round picks for the 2016 All-Pro. Peters started throughout the Rams’ NFC championship season but did not deliver dependable work. He began this year on a better note but was still dealt in a salary dump that turned out to be a space-clearing maneuver for the Rams to add Jalen Ramsey. Peters has intercepted five passes this season — three with Baltimore — and returned three picks for touchdowns.
The Rams have traded cornerback Marcus Peters to the Ravens for linebacker Kenny Young, according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter). The Rams will also receive a 2020 fifth-round pick in the deal, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets.
Peters, 26, is in the fifth year of his rookie contract. This season was supposed to be Peters’ chance to secure a lucrative extension with the Rams. Instead, he’s starting over with the third team of his young career. The Rams would have likely fetched a third- or fourth-round pick for Peters, via the compensatory process, in 2021. They agreed to land Young and a fifth-rounder that will come a year earlier.
After this season, the Ravens will have the opportunity to franchise tag Peters, which would cuff him at approximately $17MM. Or, if they choose, they can allow Peters to test, or walk, in free agency. For now, the Ravens have him at a reasonable cap figure of $9.069MM.
In 2018, Peters showed serious flashes of promise, including a strong showing in a Super Bowl that was otherwise ugly for L.A. Still, he lacked consistency throughout the year, and he has a rep for being difficult with coaches.
“The next game is critical,” head coach John Harbaugh said on Monday (via the Associated Press). “It won’t make or break us, but it will go a long way in setting us up for where we’re heading down the road and what kind of season we’re going to have.”
Harbaugh wasn’t kidding – the Ravens went out and got serious firepower in advance of their matchup against the Seahawks. Meanwhile, the Rams will add Young, a 2018 fourth-rounder who notched 2.5 sacks last season, to the mix.