COVID-19 protocols have made it difficult for Ravens to bring in veteran free agents
As loaded as the roster of the Baltimore Ravens appears to be on both sides of the ball heading into this upcoming season, at least on paper, and as much praise as they are receiving in the media for their great depth to go along with their excellent top-end talent, there are still at least two positions that they hardly addressed this offseason outside of resigning a veteran to a minimum contract and signing a couple of undrafted free agents to add to the mix.
Those two positions where the Ravens could benefit from some reinforcements of the seasoned veteran free agent variety of which there are several quality options still sitting on the open market are at tight end and at outside linebacker. There are several high-quality pass rushers still without a home this late into the summer that would fit perfectly with the Ravens and won’t come with a hefty price tag either.
A four-time Pro Bowler like Everson Griffin would be a great situational pass rusher in their edge rotation and a six-time Pro Bowler like Clay Matthews has the ideal versatility to rush the passer and drop into coverage that Defensive Coordinator Don Wink Martindale values in his SAM linebackers.
The Ravens traded former first-round pick, Hayden Hurst, to the Atlanta Falcons this offseason and could use an experienced option to fill the void at their third tight end spot. Some free agents currently available are three-time Pro Bowler Delanie Walker, former Raven draft pick Ed Dickson and Vernon Davis who is retired at the moment but could be persuaded to return to action in the right situation.
Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh shared that the process of bringing in free agents amidst the strict physical restrictions and protocols due to the COVID-19 pandemic has been a difficult one and will continue to be going forward.
“That’s one of the bigger challenges,” Harbaugh said. “Even throughout the course of this process, we haven’t been able to bring guys in for interviews. You talk to them, not even recruiting, but just getting to know a guy a little better. Not being able to do physicals has been the biggest thing.”
“It’s hampered, I think, the free agents’ opportunities and the chances to bring guys in and that’s I’m sure going to continue to be the case because there is going to be limitations on that.”