The Baltimore Ravens went 11-5 in 2020 and won a Wild Card playoff game. But with free agents coming and going during the offseason ahead of the 2021 NFL Draft, the Ravens are building their roster for a deeper playoff run in 2021.
Baltimore lost some key players in free agency with the departures of Matt Judon (New England Patriots), Yannick Ngakoue (Las Vegas Raiders), and Jihad Ward (Jacksonville Jaguars). Signing replacements and adding other proven players is a priority.
Here are three of the best offseason moves by the Ravens thus far.
3. Re-Signing LB Tyus Bowser
The Ravens moved quickly to keep one of their young outside linebackers, agreeing to terms on a four-year deal with the versatile and ascending Tyus Bowser. Keeping Bowser became even more important after the player departures noted above. Bowser had a career-high 34 tackles in 2020 and notched 3 interceptions -- the most by any edge defender in a season since Next Gen Stats started tracking in 2016. He seems ready to help lead this defense for years to come.
2. Signing WR Sammy Watkins
The Ravens' offense ranked worst in the league last year with just 172 passing yards per game. Baltimore will remain a run-heavy, run-pass option team, but upgrades and depth at wide receiver were needed. Watkins is a proven veteran who should add production if he can stay healthy. After talking to Watkins in late March, the Ravens signed him to a one-year deal and reunited him with Ravens offensive coordinator Greg Roman, his former OC in Buffalo in 2015. Watkins played 30 games the past three seasons with the Chiefs, including playoffs, and had more than 2,000 yards receiving. He'll slot in as starter opposite last year's Ravens leading receiver, Marquise Brown.
1. Signing G Kevin Zeitler
The Ravens made it no secret that they wanted to beef up their offensive line. The signing of former New York Giants guard Kevin Zeitler was quick out of the gate. Zeitler was a former first-round pick and entered the league as a starter, never relinquishing the role over nine-year career. He was considered one of the top offensive linemen on the free-agent market after a solid 2020 campaign where he accounted for just 4 penalties and allowed only 2 sacks over 1,003 snaps played. He'll instantly boost the Ravens' O-line in both the pass and run game.
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