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Baltimore Ravens reshaping roster prior to free agency

The Baltimore Ravens are going through one of those ugly weeks. It isn’t going to be an easy process of reshaping the roster. Although for general manager Eric DeCosta, it’s necessary.

On Tuesday, the NFL watched its franchise tag deadline come and go. Among the surprises was that the Ravens didn’t use their tag on inside linebacker C.J. Mosley to keep him beyond his rookie contract. In his five seasons with Baltimore, Mosley only had less than 105 tackles on one occasion and racked up 8.5 sacks to go with nine interceptions.


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In addition to letting Mosley test the open market, DeCosta also said goodbye to safety Eric Weddle. Weddle, 34, was nothing more than a cap casualty, saving the Ravens $7.5 million against the cap. All told, Baltimore is now looking at $26 million to use in the upcoming free agency period.

With that meaningful but still limited amount of money, DeCosta has to figure out which direction he wants to go. Baltimore could try to re-sign some of the defensive players who led it to an AFC North title a year ago, namely Mosley and outside linebackers Za’Darius Smith and Terrell Suggs. If those three guys are retained, Baltimore is basically done for the free-agency portion of the offseason and looking at trying to fix the offense for the draft.

If the Baltimore Ravens are being honest, though, the offense is impossible to fix in the draft alone. Looking at the depth chart, Baltimore has Gus Edwards penciled in as a starter in the backfield alongside quarterback Lamar Jackson. On the outside, it’s Willie Snead V as the top receiver, with John Brown hitting the open market and Michael Crabtree having been released. Not ideal.


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The Ravens have been without a ton of weapons for some time now, really dating back to their Super Bowl days when Todd Heap, Anquan Boldin and Ray Rice were on the team. It’s become a collection of odd names since, trying to recapture what once was.

DeCosta isn’t going to be able to retain the entire defense — which was top-ranked a year ago — and then give Jackson an adequate amount of support. The young general manager has to decide whether the defense can survive without Weddle, Suggs and Smith. If so, it’s high time the Ravens begin acting like offense isn’t some foreign concept.

With less than a week to go until we hit NFL free agency, the Baltimore Ravens have time to figure out a plan. Just have to make it the right one.

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