We are nearly two weeks into free agency and the Baltimore Ravens have taken the biggest hits of any team in the league. 

They’ve lost 11 players either to trade or free agency with 3 of them moving to rivals in the AFC North. 

“Obviously, a few of our competitors have taken some of our players,” Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta said. “It happens every year; every year we look at the AFC North [teams and] they draft well, [and] they sign good players. They have a way of doing things. But let’s not forget, we’ll be there, too. I love our team, [and] I love our roster. We have some challenges ahead, but we’re going to be ready to play in September.” 

I realize that many of the Ravens faithful are already panicking about how this team will be able to defend its AFC North title in 2024 with so many losses but Eric DeCosta has a plan and it’s already starting to take shape. 

Before the free agent frenzy began I wrote about which direction I thought the top brass would go.  

Let’s see how I did. 

1) King Henry arrives in Charm City

This was my biggest miss. I thought for sure that with cap constraints and with so many holes to fill that a big name back would be out of the question.  

Instead on day two, DeCosta pulled off a huge signing that created one of the most special tandems in league history in pairing Derrick Henry with Lamar Jackson. I’m getting excited just thinking about the first RPO they run together. 

The addition of Henry feels like an almost perfect fit but there are several concerns specifically Henry’s age. At 30, he is on the wrong side of the conventional wisdom that running backs decline after age 28. Personally, I’m not worried. Henry keeps himself in top condition and he’s the only player in the league to rush for more than 1,000 yards and score double-digit touchdown runs in each of the past two seasons. 

Henry is a physical back who will be a joy to watch in the cold Winter months as the Ravens attempt to hold off their division rivals. He also shouldn’t get overworked either. Justice Hill has been able to provide a different look on third downs and when dynamic Keaton Mitchell returns he will also need carries to show off his elite speed too.  

2) The Offensive Line is getting a complete overhaul.

I thought that three of the five spots were in transition on the line and so far, that assessment is dead on.  

All Pro Tyler Linderbaum will anchor the center position for the next decade and while some fans wanted to move on from Left Tackle Ronnie Stanley, I knew he wasn’t going anywhere with that cap number and potential dead money. Instead DeCosta pulled off a big move by negotiating a restructuring of Notre Dame alum’s deal. In it they will save almost 9.6 million against the cap. Stanley has been solid but he’s also had issues staying healthy so incentivizing him with a $500,00 per game bonus was a great move here. It also becomes a contract year for him as well which means you should be getting a very motivated player heading into the season. 

As expected, both starting guards will need to be replaced as John Simpson signed a two-year deal with the Jets and AFC North vet Kevin Zeitler inked a one year contract with Detroit. Simpson was a pleasant surprise last season as the Ravens picked him up in late December of 2022 after he was released by the Raiders. He was a full-time starter since week one and did a fairly admirable job but he led the team with six holding penalties. Zeitler finished up a solid three year stint in Mobtown and was named as a Pro Bowl alternate this past season. Right Tackle Morgan Moses reunited with his former team and his former teammate Simpson as he was dealt back to New York for picks in the 4th and 6th round. Moses topped the Ravens with 8 sacks allowed, which considering Jackson’s mobility wasn’t a great sign. 

The in-house replacements seem intriguing with former third-rounder Ben Cleveland slated to take over the Right Guard spot. Cleveland has slowly improved during his time, and this is his job to lose. Andrew Vorhees essentially “redshirted” last season as Baltimore grabbed him late due to an ACL injury and Mel Kiper Jr. is already hyping Vorhees up as a “plug and play” starter on the line in 2024.  

I’d expect Patrick Mekari to step in for Moses at the Right Tackle spot for now. He’s been a more than capable swing man over the past few seasons and the Ravens value his versatility. Newly acquired Tackle Josh Jones will provide cover at both tackle positions for now. Huge Daniel Faalele could also get his shot to lock the job down as well. 

We all know that Baltimore loves going “Best player” in the draft, but I’d be surprised if they didn’t pick up one or two linemen early. 6’8” 340 Amarius Mimms is definite possibility and has ties to Todd Monken during his time at Georgia. Mims is a high ceiling – high risk prospect due to incredible upside but also has injury issues. Oklahoma’s Tyler Guyton is also a player that could fit the bill too though he may need some time to develop. 

3) The Edge must be set

The defense took its share of losses too. Patrick Queen took his talents to Pittsburgh and immediately drew the ire of purple fans when he said he was ready “to take the role of the villain” when they met up next. Geno Stone also stayed in division as he signed with the Bengals. Baltimore will turn to its depth in Trenton Simpson to supplant Queen and with the emergence of Kyle Hamilton as a premier playmaker it should be interesting to see how new DC Zach Orr choose to deploy him with the absence of Stone. 

My larger concern is on the edges. Once again we will head into a season with Odafe Oweh ad David Ojabo as the starters on opposite sides. Oweh took some major strides last season. His sacks production may have dwindled down the stretch but he continued to be a presence in the pass rush. Oweh still wound up leading the Ravens with a pass rush win rate of 18.2 percent according to Pro Football Focus, which was also the 10th-best mark in the entire league. But can Oweh finish off more plays this season? The staff certainly hopes so. Ojabo has struggled with injuries since he was drafted and while I wouldn’t label him a bust just yet he needs to simply be on the field consistently first. 


There may still be a chance that Baltimore resigns Jadaveon Clowney and I hope they do though they will do it in their own time. Clowney’s injury history and inconsistent play has held him back from landing multi-year deals in the past but last season he was signed in August and delivered an impressive season with 9.5 sacks and 19 knockdowns. Clowney had nothing but praise for the organization after the season and said for the first time in years he was “happy” playing football, so maybe a reunion is still possible. 

Matt Jergensen
Matt Jergensen

Matt has lived in Maryland his entire life and is a graduate of Calvert Hall and Towson University. has always been an avid Baltimore sports fan. Since 2007, he has been writing and talking about Baltimore sports, especially the Ravens. His work has appeared on Ravens Gab, Russell Street Report, and he currently co-hosts a podcast “The Blitz- A Ravens podcast” with Brent Harris.