May 26, 2024

As there won’t be another Mailbag edition before the upcoming trade deadline on Halloween, it’s the right moment to address these inquiries. Over his four-year tenure as General Manager, Eric DeCosta has executed substantial deals in three of those years (Marcus Peters in 2019, Yannick Ngakoue in 2020, and Smith in 2022). It seems likely that he’ll be active in the market again this year. My intuition tells me he’s planning to strengthen the Ravens’ roster, which is already loaded with talent and ready to compete for a Super Bowl.

The Ravens are currently expected to have eight draft picks for the next year, including a compensatory pick for losing Ben Powers in free agency. They also have sufficient resources. According to Brian McFarland of Russell Street Report, the Ravens currently have $2.8 million in cap space, with the potential to create an additional $13 million through contract restructuring and more if they incorporate void years. Therefore, they have enough financial flexibility to make significant moves.

When considering the positions to upgrade, running back appears to be the most likely choice. Losing J.K. Dobbins early in the season had an impact on the offense, despite Gus Edwards, Justice Hill, and rookie Keaton Mitchell stepping up. Adding a premier playmaker is an enticing possibility, given the Ravens’ ranking at 17th in rushing yards over expected per carry. Additionally, there’s a limited number of running backs under contract for the following year.

While pass rusher is another option, the Ravens are currently leading the league in sacks, and they’ve recently added veterans like Jadeveon Clowney and Kyle Van Noy. The return of Odafe Oweh and David Ojabo from injuries strengthens the unit. They seem well-equipped in the pass-rushing department.

Ravens GM Eric DeCosta declines to comment on potential trade of QB Lamar  Jackson

There’s a slight chance that wide receiver might be a position of interest, as the Ravens could aim to bolster that unit for the present and future.

Regarding the speculation about trading for Derrick Henry, while he’s an outstanding running back, the Ravens may not be able to replicate his usage with their offensive scheme. The availability of other running backs like Saquon Barkley and Josh Jacobs is uncertain, and any trade for a running back would likely target a significant impact player, not just depth.

Achieving another dominant performance like the win against the Lions might be challenging to sustain every week, as the NFL rarely sees blowout victories. The success in that game can be attributed to various factors, including improved execution, strong offensive line protection, and well-timed play calls by Offensive Coordinator Todd Monken.

Lamar Jackson emphasized the need for consistent high-level performance rather than a single outstanding game. The defense, although excellent, had some late-game lapses they aim to improve.

The status of Tyus Bowser’s knee injury has been puzzling. Initially optimistic about his return for the season opener, the situation has grown more complicated. Bowser’s unclear status remains on the non-football injury list, and there’s no definitive timeline for his return despite his vague updates on his radio show throughout the season.

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