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Ravens Insider: Ravens 2024 offseason guide: Pressing questions, salary cap space, team needs and more


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Ravens wide receiver Zay Flowers said he’s already turned the page on this season to the next, preferring to put a costly goal line fumble in the fourth quarter of the AFC championship against the Kansas City Chiefs behind him. Now that the offseason is here, team brass will do the same.

General manager Eric DeCosta and coach John Harbaugh will meet with the media Friday in Owings Mills, where there are plenty of questions to be asked.

Baltimore reached its first conference title game in 11 years, but it ultimately fell short in disastrous fashion. The Ravens also have a tidal wave of players set to hit free agency, making the climb back to the precipice of the Super Bowl that much harder.

Here’s a look at that, and more, as Baltimore heads into the offseason.

Free agents

The Ravens have more than two dozen free agents as they enter the offseason, many of whom were significant contributors all over the field this season.

The most notable ones on offense include wide receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Nelson Agholor, running backs J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards, and guards Kevin Zeitler and John Simpson. On defense, inside linebacker Patrick Queen, outside linebackers Jadeveon Clowney, Kyle Van Noy and Malik Harrison, along with defensive tackle Justin Madubuike, cornerbacks Arthur Maulet and Ronald Darby, and safety Geno Stone are all unrestricted free agents as well.

Some of them are unlikely to be back because of age, cost, both or for other reasons.

In terms of who would be a priority to bring back among the group, Madubuike and Queen top the list but the Ravens likely won’t be able to retain both. They already have $100 million over five years tied up in inside linebacker Roquan Smith, so issuing the franchise tag for Madubuike, whose 13 sacks led all interior defensive linemen and who was a disruptive force anchoring the line, seems the likely path with that decision costing about $21 million, per Over The Cap.

Jan. 28, 2024: Baltimore Ravens #6 Patrick Queen and teammate Baltimore Ravens #24 Jadeveon Clowney bring down Kansas City Chiefs #10 Isiah Pacheco in the second quarter. The Baltimore Ravens host the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC championship game at M&T Bank Stadium. (Karl Merton Ferron/Staff)
Ravens linebackers Patrick Queen, right, and Jadeveon Clowney, left, are both slated to be free agents. (Karl Merton Ferron/Staff)

Clowney has said he’d like to be back, and he showed plenty of juice in tying his career high with 9 1/2 sacks, but he’d probably have to be willing to take less money than what another team would likely be willing to pay him.

On offense, the line is a concern given age and injuries to tackles Morgan Moses and Ronnie Stanley, and there are decisions to be made on what to do about Zeitler, 33, and Simpson, who won the job at left guard and performed solidly most of the season. Beckham, meanwhile, was in part signed to get quarterback Lamar Jackson to re-sign, and though he flashed at times he will be 32 next season and cost prohibitive.

Losing coaches and front office staff

Already, one important member of the Ravens’ front office staff has been snatched up by another team with the Los Angeles Chargers hiring director of player personnel Joe Hortiz from Baltimore to be their general manager alongside new coach Jim Harbaugh.

Hortiz was long overdue, and that hardly figures to be the only departure.

Defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald has already interviewed with several teams and is in the running for both head coach openings that remain, the Washington Commanders and Seattle Seahawks. That’s only the beginning.

Assistant head coach/defensive line coach Anthony Weaver, defensive backs coach Dennard Wilson, inside linebackers coach Zach Orr and defensive passing game coordinator Chris Hewitt have all received head coach or defensive coordinator interviews as well, with Weaver getting a second interview with the Commanders for its head coach opening. Some of these guys, or others, are going to go elsewhere. Baltimore has the personnel to promote from within and is an attractive destination for those on the outside, but continuity is often a hallmark of continued success in the NFL.

Salary cap

At the top of the salary cap pyramid are the Commanders, with a whopping $73,649,626 in cap space. Just north of the beltway, things are little more, well, tight, with the Ravens sitting at 19th with just under $14 million in room.

On the surface, that might not seem so bad considering they had even less than that last offseason and reached the AFC championship game. Of course, they didn’t have more than two dozen free agents then, either. Plus, there will be more draft picks to sign this year than last. In other words, when considering their effective cap space, which factors in the cost of filling out the roster and signing a draft class, the Ravens will have only $5.1 million to spare.

There are myriad ways to create more space such as restructuring deals and adding void years, and there will be teams in worse shape than Baltimore when it comes to the numbers, but filling out the roster the way it did this past season will be much tougher this year, particularly given the array of needs.

Baltimore Ravens tackle Ronnie Stanley sits on the bench during the the AFC championship game in Baltimore against the Kansas City Chiefs. (Kenneth K. Lam/Staff)
Ravens left tackle Ronnie Stanley had an up-and-down 2023 season. (Kenneth K. Lam/Staff)


One thing that got exposed against the Chiefs was the Ravens’ offensive line. It was, by and large, mediocre this season and simply got bullied at times against Kansas City.

With Moses and Stanley getting older and dealing with injuries, and with both starting guards hitting free agency, finding a dependable tackle should be the first goal. From there, the Ravens will need help at cornerback, outside linebacker, wide receiver and running back. Or put another way, at just about every level of offense and defense.


After being the top seed in the AFC and reaching the conference championship, the Ravens won’t draft until 30th in the first round.

The last time they picked that late in the first round was in 2013, when they, of course, won the Super Bowl and selected defensive back Matt Elam with the 32nd pick. In terms of need, it’s hard to imagine them getting, for example, a top-tier left tackle that far down. They also have a history of picking the best player available at whatever spot they pick.

They’ll also have more picks this year (seven) than they did entering the draft last year (five), though they ended up with six last year after making a late-round deal with the Cleveland Browns to acquire a seventh-round pick. Baltimore’s other picks this year are in the second (62nd overall), third (93), fourth (130), fifth (163) and seventh (247) rounds, along with an extra seventh-round pick (225) from the 2023 trade with the New York Jets for safety Chuck Clark.

The Ravens are also projected to earn a fourth-round compensatory pick for guard Ben Powers, who signed with the Denver Broncos last offseason.

Key dates

Feb. 1: East-West Shrine Bowl (Frisco, Texas)

Feb. 3: Senior Bowl (Mobile, Alabama)

Feb. 29-March 3: NFL scouting combine (Indianapolis)

March 5: Deadline for clubs to designate franchise or transition players

March 11-13: Clubs are permitted to contact and enter into contract negotiations with agents of players who will become unrestricted free agents

March 13: The start of the new league year at 4 p.m. All 2023 player contracts expire and clubs can begin officially signing free agents and making trades

March 24-27: NFL annual meeting (Orlando, Florida)

April 1: Start of offseason workouts for teams with new coaches

April 15: Start of offseason workouts for teams with incumbent coaches

April 19: Last day for teams to match offer sheets for restricted free agents

April 24: Deadline for teams to time, test and interview draft-eligible prospects

April 25-27: NFL draft (Detroit)

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