The Baltimore Ravens are a good football team, even if the record and the results haven’t always shown it in 2018. That’s why it’s little surprise that they’ll have some good free agents hitting the market in 2019, and that’s the subject of today’s discussion.
The biggest problem with this impending free agent class for Baltimore is that it’s full of players who are either aging, not needs due to position, or may not be stellar scheme fits. That doesn’t mean there are no good choices here, of course, but it does mean that you have to do a little digging to get them.
The best players in this class are easily pass rusher Terrell Suggs, linebacker C.J. Mosley, deep threat John Brown and running back Alex Collins, who is a restricted free agent. But Suggs is old, Mosley is going to break the bank, Brown isn’t a huge need with three top receivers, and Collins just isn’t happening. That leaves one truly appealing option for Atlanta: Za’Darius Smith.
Smith is a 26-year-old linebacker who has 5.5 sacks this year in Baltimore’s 3-4 front. He could be an option at defensive end primarily in Atlanta, and while he doesn’t have a long history of production for Baltimore, he’s the kind of young, athletic, useful player the Falcons have long flirted with adding to their rotation. With Takkarist McKinley and Vic Beasley the only two defensive ends who are guaranteed to return, Smith would be an interesting, semi-affordable option after the big names are off the market. He’ll be transitioning out of a Baltimore defense and that hasn’t always gone well for other pass rushers, which is a significant caveat, but I wouldn’t be surprised or displeased to see the team sniff around here.
Who would be your choice?