Ravens’ Free Agency Plays Out

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Ravens’ Free Agency Plays Out

Li Chen and Jack Corcoran

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With an exciting finish and a trip to the playoffs for the first time since 2014, the end of the 2018 Baltimore Ravens season marked the end of an era in Baltimore. With the widely-expected departures of longtime GM Ozzie Newsome and franchise QB Joe Flacco, many Ravens fans expected to enter a new era with young, exciting players like QB Lamar Jackson and linebacker CJ Mosley, who was a free agent, while having holdovers like longtime EDGE Terrell Suggs and Head Coach John Harbaugh. 

However, once free agency started, many Ravens fans panicked. Starting free safety and team leader Eric Weddle was released, only to sign with the NFC Champion Los Angeles Rams on a two-year contract. Sack leader Za’Darius Smith signed a four year-$66 million contract with the Green Bay Packers. Those were the expected losses, then came the unexpected ones.  

CJ Mosley, who both John Harbaugh and Eric DeCosta said would be back, signed a humongous five-year $85 million contract with the New York Jets, making him the highest-paid Inside Linebacker in the NFL. The $17 million average annual value is reportedly three million more than what the Ravens were offering. And with perhaps the most tragic loss of all, EDGE rusher Terrell Suggs, a Raven since 2003, informed the Ravens that he intended on signing a contract with the Arizona Cardinals, his hometown team and near where he went to college at Arizona State.

A day later, with needs at offensive line, wide receiver, free safety, and now at linebacker, many Ravens fans predicted a long year with many young players being forced into roles before they were properly ready for NFL action. Then in one fell swoop, DeCosta picked up arguably the biggest splash in franchise history, Earl Thomas, as well as a veteran running back in Mark Ingram.  


Earl Thomas signed a $55-million four-year contract with the Ravens after playing with the Seahawks in the past nine seasons. With all the recent departures from what was the league’s number one defense this past season, Thomas figures to be an excellent anchor throughout the duration of the deal. Mark Ingram is joining the Ravens with a three-year contract worth $15 million. Ingram figures to be a continuation of the ground-and-pound offense that new offensive coordinator Greg Roman introduced to great success in the Ravens’ 6-1 finish to the 2018 season. 

While free agency isn’t over, and the off-season still young with plenty of holes still to patch on the roster, these two major veteran signings seem to be impact signings for the 2019 Baltimore Ravens.