Ravens Five Biggest Offseason Questions

The Baltimore Ravens finished the 2022 season with a final record of 10-7 making a playoff appearance, ultimately falling to the Cincinnati Bengals in the wild-card round. It was an up and down season that saw the Ravens blow several leads throughout the year, and injuries once again playing a big part in how the team finished the year.

But while the season may be over for the players on the field, the offseason is just getting started for the Ravens front office as they now look to build for 2023.

Still questions remain for this team moving forward, so lets look at the five biggest questions this offseason.

Will Lamar Jackson be a Raven in 2023?

The biggest question that has engulfed Ravens fans and the entire NFL is Lamar Jackson and is pending free agency. Discussion between Jackson and the Ravens on a long term deal were non-existent throughout the season as Jackson wanted to focus on football rather then working on a deal. It’s been speculated that Jackson is looking for a fully guaranteed contract similar to that of Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson, who was given a $230 million full guaranteed contract last offseason.

With Jackson coming off his second season in which he missed the back half of the year concerns by the Ravens about doing a fully guaranteed contract could be there. However, the Ravens appear to be fully committed to Jackson for 2023 and in the short run could see Jackson at least being here in 2023 at the very least. Head coach John Harbaugh at his end of the year press conference made mention that Jackson would be involved in discussions regarding the teams new offensive coordinator, as well as receivers the team is looking at.

If a deal cannot be reached this offseason several options are available to the Ravens. The team could look to franchise tag Jackson as they continue to work on a deal, tags can begin to be placed on players beginning on February 21st and must be placed no later then March 7th. The tag would see Jackson make $32.4 million in 2023 if placed on the tag and a deal cannot be reached. Another option would be for the Ravens to tag Jackson and look to trade the quarterback before the draft as they look to go in a different direction with a rookie quarterback.

With the NFL just announcing that the salary cap would increase in 2023 from $208.2 million to $224.8 million, the Ravens will have just under $29 million in available cap space. With Jackson possibly playing on the franchise tag, the Ravens would be forced to restructure certain deals, as well as make some cuts to possible big name players. Ultimately the Ravens and Jackson, who is has no agent and is representing himself, will need to find a middle ground if the Ravens do not intend to offer a fully guaranteed deal.

Does Eric DeCosta make a blockbuster trade for an elite receiver?

Its no question the Ravens are in desperate need of wide receivers to help this offense. With Rashod Bateman and Devin Duvernay both going down with injuries in 2022, it quickly became obvious that the Ravens receiver room lacked playmakers. Demarcus Robinson who was signed by the team late in the preseason became the teams leading wide receiver by years end finishing the year with 48 receptions for 458 yards and two touchdowns. Bateman, who only played in seven games was the teams third leading receiver by the end of the year.

Eric DeCosta knows he must completely redo the wide receiver room and with it could come a big time trade, a big free agent signing, as well as drafting several receivers in this years draft.

The Ravens have been linked to Arizona Cardinals receiver DeAndre Hopkins, as the veteran receiver is likely to be dealt after spending the last three seasons in Arizona. The Ravens could also look to free agency as the likes of DJ Chark, Marvin Jones, and Allen Lazard are all pending free agents. The Ravens will also likely draft several receivers, one of which may be with the 23rd selection.

Who will be the Ravens next offensive play caller?

The Ravens and longtime offensive coordinator Greg Roman have officially parted ways ending a six year relationship, four of which saw Roman calling plays. The Ravens under Roman became one of the most dominate rushing attacks in the history of the NFL, and under Roman saw the team get their first MVP, with quarterback Lamar Jackson winning the award unanimously in 2019. But while the rushing attack flourished, the passing game suffered with the Ravens finishing 28th in passing throwing for 178 yards per game.

The Ravens this time around as they look for a new offensive play caller must find one that not only knows how to scheme up the running game, but is also going to allow this offense to open up in the passing game. The Ravens have already interviewed several candidates which include Rams pass-game coordinator Zac Robinson, Seahawks quarterbacks coach Dave Canales, Vikings pass-game coordinator Brian Angelichio, and former Buccaneers offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich.

The Ravens have also touched into the college ranks as they have interviewed Georgia offensive coordinator Todd Monken, who recently lead the Bulldogs to their second consecutive national championship.

Does Marcus Peters return in 2023?

Marcus Peters is set to become a free agent this offseason and questions surround the veteran corner on if he will return to the Ravens in 2023. Peters returned this season after missing the entire 2021 season with a torn ACL. Peters returned strong in 2022 playing in 13 games and recording 47 total tackles, six pass deflections, two forced fumbles, and one interception.

Since being traded to the Ravens in 2019, Peters has been a leader on this Ravens defense with his toughness and instinctive play style. But the 30-year old another year removed from a knee injury could give the Ravens pause on offering the cornerback a big time contract. The biggest deciding factor on if Peters is in a Ravens uniform in 2023 will be if Peters himself wants to be here. As previously mentioned its unlikely the Ravens offer a big contract, like other teams might. But Peters could be offered a deal similar to that of long-time Ravens Jimmy Smith, who wanted to remain a Raven.

What non-quarterback will get a long term deal next?

While the Ravens focus at this point is on Lamar Jackson and signing him to a long term deal. Attention still needs to be focused on who is next to receiver a long term contract. With several key pieces set to become free agents in 2024, if the Ravens have learned anything from the Lamar Jackson saga its better to get a long term deal done early, before the price continues to go up.

The most notable players who are eligible for a contract include linebacker Patrick Queen, defensive lineman Justin Madubuike, and running back J.K. Dobbins, all three are currently on their rookie deals. All three have been impact players for the Ravens, but with the way in which the Ravens value their running backs Dobbins could very likely be the next in line for a long term contract, which in turn could force the Ravens to make tough decisions regarding Queen and Madubuike depending on their asking price.

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