NFL News & Analysis

2017 Free Agency Preview: Baltimore Ravens

CLEVELAND, OH - SEPTEMBER 18: Rick Wagner #71 of the Baltimore Ravens looks on against the Cleveland Browns during the game at FirstEnergy Stadium on September 18, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Ravens defeated the Browns 25-20. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

[Editor’s note: This preview was originally published on March 2, 2017, and updated on March 6 to reflect changes in the market do to franchise tags, re-signings, cuts, etc.]

What you need to know

The Ravens aren't blessed with a lot of cap room, and realistically they are a team that needs to improve in several key areas if they want to make a serious playoff push next year. That means they need to be smart with who they go after, both in terms of signings and re-signings.

Salary cap room

$13,801,957 (28th in NFL; as of 3/6/2017)

Biggest needs

  • Outside linebacker
  • Cornerback
  • Wide receiver
  • Safety

Notable free agents

  • Brandon Williams, DI, 75.9 overall grade in 2016
  • Ricky Wagner, T, 84.5
  • Kyle Juszczyk, FB, 87.9
  • Kamar Aiken, WR, 58.6

Must re-sign

Ricky Wagner, T, 84.5

The big decision for the Ravens is who to prioritize between Brandon Williams and Ricky Wagner. With the impressive play of undrafted rookie nose tackle Michael Pierce, Williams is much more replaceable. Wagner was a top-10 right tackle in the NFL last year, giving up just 32 total pressures all year.

Dream splash

Nick Perry, LB, Green Bay Packers, 82.2

It's likely that the Ravens look to add a veteran pass-rusher in free agency, and then look to add youth via the draft, but if they want to make a splash, Perry would be a great fit. His 10.0 pass-rushing productivity rating last year was better than all of Baltimore's outside linebacker except Elvis Dumervil (10.1).

Top 2017 free agency prospects

Jabaal Sheard, LB, New England Patriots, 79.6

Another potential pass-rushing option that won't break the bank, Sheard has made a big impact as a pass-rusher in New England in each of the past two seasons. The Ravens may move on from Elvis Dumervil, and with 108 total pressures over the past two seasons, including the playoffs, Sheard could be a perfect replacement.

Pierre Garçon, WR, Washington Redskins, 85.8

Steve Smith has retired and Mike Wallace may be released if the two sides can't come to a more cap-friendly extension. The Ravens have had a veteran presence at wide receiver throughout Joe Flacco's career, and Garçon would be a good fit this offseason. Showcasing a safe pair of hands, Garçon dropped just one of the 80 catchable passes thrown his way in 2016, tied for the best drop rate in the NFL.

Captain Munnerlyn, CB, Minnesota Vikings, 75.5

The Ravens are set at outside cornerback with Jimmy Smith and Tavon Young, but they could really use an upgrade in the slot. Despite having a bit of a down year in 2016, Munnerlyn is still a more-than-serviceable slot cornerback, and he has only allowed four touchdowns in coverage over the past two seasons.

2017 Free Agency Rankings
Top 50 free agents
Every 2017 free agent ranked by 2016 overall grade
10 free agents who can make an immediate impact
10 veteran free agents worth a one-year contract
10 sleeper free agents who could bring surprise upside
10 splash free-agent signings we’d like to see
Quarterback rankings
Running back rankings
Wide receiver rankings
Tight end rankings
Offensive linemen rankings
Edge defender rankings
Interior defender rankings
Cornerback rankings
Safety rankings
Linebacker rankings

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