The Baltimore Ravens are stockpiling running backs after three backs went down with season-ending injuries this summer.
After reports Thursday indicated the Ravens were finalizing a deal with free-agent running back Latavius Murray, per The Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec, the team reportedly signed him to a one-year deal Friday.
Ravens now have reached agreement on a one-year deal with former Saints’ RB Latavius Murray, per source. https://t.co/Wx4H9wSwOc
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 10, 2021
Murray was released by the New Orleans Saints this week after reportedly refusing to take a pay cut.
After losing J.K. Dobbins (knee), Justice Hill (Achilles) and Gus Edwards (knee), the Ravens signed Le’Veon Bell and Devonta Freeman to their practice squad and Trenton Cannon to their 53-man roster. It appears Murray will be the latest running back to join Baltimore’s backfield.
Murray put up an 82.4 overall PFF grade last season, carrying the ball 146 times for 656 yards with four touchdowns with the Saints. He also caught 23 passes on 26 targets for 176 yards with one touchdown.
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Ravens are an ideal fit for Murray. Every running back with 100 or more carries in the Baltimore backfield over the last two seasons has averaged at least 5.0 yards per carry and 3.0 yards per carry after contact, so Murray steps into an incredible environment for production. Click here to find PFF's NFL premium stats.
Murray can still produce. Murray tied his career-high in PFF rushing grade last season (77.4) and set a new high in overall grade (81.5) on 150 carries for the Saints. A powerful and direct runner, Murray has averaged 2.57 yards per carry after contact for his NFL career and has never had a rushing grade below average in seven seasons. Click here to find PFF's NFL player grades.
Latavius Murray is the latest veteran castoff to land in Baltimore. Perhaps he’s the best man for the job, but the problem is this competition also consists of Ty’Son Williams (the favorite), Le’Veon Bell (highest upside) and Devonta Freeman (the potential goal-line nuisance).
It sure looks like Williams will shoulder the majority of the load in Monday night’s smash spot against the Las Vegas Raiders, so treat him as an upside RB3 at worst. The problem is after that, a four-way competition for lead back duties seems likely throughout September.
Williams has youth and familiarity on his side and should accordingly be the addition to make in fantasy land, but expecting workhorse duties seems like a pipe dream with his employer continuing to add more and more pieces to the puzzle. The situation is mysterious enough to consider largely fading everyone else except as a pure bench stash. Trenton Cannon could feasibly have a role as well. Click here to find PFF's fantasy stats.
Baltimore's division and Playoff odds. Baltimore remains the betting favorite to win the division at +100 (per DraftKings Sportsbook). The line didn't move after the Marcus Peters/Edwards injuries, nor did it move with the additions of Bell, Freeman and now Murray. The Ravens also are set at -330 to make the playoffs in 2021. PFF's Betting Futures Tool reveals betting opportunities within season win total and future markets.