The Baltimore Ravens are continuing to hunt on the open market for defense, and have an interesting player on their radar as free agency pushes on for another week this spring.
Baltimore is keeping tabs on edge rusher Jadeveon Clowney according to reports. Clowney remains on the market, but is a very popular player at this juncture, with the Indianapolis Colts also keeping tabs as well as the Cleveland Browns, who could be closer than either to getting a deal done.
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News of the Ravens interest was first reported by ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, who revealed everybody’s interest.
Ravens and Colts among teams keeping tabs on Jadeveon Clowney but Browns have been most aggressive to try to get something done. Clowney opted against Cleveland last offseason but this time feels different.
— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) April 12, 2021
Even in spite of this news, the favorites to sign Clowney remain the rival Browns, so barring a major push by the Ravens or negotiations breaking down in Cleveland, it could be a long shot at best to see the pass rusher wearing Baltimore colors when all is said and done.
At the very least, it’s intriguing to see the Ravens in the mix for a free agent pass rusher. Many believe the team needs another boost at the spot, and with this interest, it’s clear they are still committed to perhaps renovating the position this offseason ahead of the NFL Draft.
Clowney’s NFL Stats
At this point in the offseason, Clowney is still one of the best free agents on the market and as a result, the one guy that interests most Ravens fans. The former top pick in the 2014 NFL Draft has bounced around the last few seasons after starting his career solidly in Houston. Clowney spent the 2019-20 season in Seattle, and then signed a short-term deal with the Tennessee Titans for 2020-21. Last year, his season was cut short by a knee injury. Clowney’s production is solid for the most part, given his 32 sacks, 255 tackles, 9 forced fumbles, 3 touchdowns and 8 fumble recoveries.
If he was healthy, Clowney would be one of the top options on the market. Scoring him on a “prove-it” type deal would give the Ravens a chance to score greatly in 2021 for their defense even as it seems unlikely.
Ravens’ Edge Spot Called ‘Bare’Recently
It’s a common thought that the Ravens are thin at this key spot. This offseason, the Ravens have seen more turnover on the roster and are going to be looking at getting a few more players in the mix come the draft. There’s no question the team has some major needs in terms of replacing some players who have left in key spots up front.
Recently, writer Dan Parr took a closer look at the biggest draft needs for every team in the league. In terms of the Ravens, he believes the team has a major need up front on defense as it relates to getting some key players to help the defense as well as rush the passer.
“The cupboard is looking a bit bare off the edge. Replacing Matt Judon and Yannick Ngakoue is essential. As for Lamar Jackson’s supporting cast, the signings of Sammy Watkins and Kevin Zeitler shouldn’t prevent Baltimore from adding more help for the receiving corps and offensive line, especially with Orlando Brown requesting a trade.”
Defensive end, wideout and offensive line would seem to be the big needs for the team in order, so Parr is right on as it relates to this assessment. The tough news for the Ravens? There might not be big-name players around at defensive end early, but the chance will still exist to fill the need.
If the team could sign a player like Clowney ahead of the draft, it could be a big win for depth.
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