The recent suspension of star cornerback Jimmy Smith leaves the Baltimore Ravens vulnerable for the first four games of the 2018 season. While the Ravens have extreme depth at defensive back, the loss is still an issue for Baltimore. As the suspension loomed, the team determined the best course of action was to examine free agent replacement options. The Ravens hosted cornerback Brashaud Breeland, but could not reach an agreement with the free agent. Reportedly, the Ravens lowballed Breeland for what he believes his value is, and he refused to sign. The Ravens do not have ample room in the salary cap department, and cannot afford to pay top dollar for a short-term replacement cornerback. The obvious interest and need in Baltimore is for a filler cornerback. One candidate for that role, is former Raven, Lardarius Webb.
Lardarius Webb spent nine years in Baltimore before being cut by the Ravens this offseason. Webb, 32, played well during his tenure but received immense national attention. After his release from the team, Webb maintained that he would not retire, and wanted to continue to play football. Since that point, Webb has yet to find a new home, and his chances of landing in a new city lessen every day he remains a free agent. While Webb’s best days are certainly behind him, it would be unfair to say that he is incapable of playing.
Webb bounced back to prominence last season with early year highlights. In each of the first two games of the season, Webb recorded an interception, and in the fourth game of the season, a sack. Due to the immense depth in the secondary, and the performances of newcomers like Brandon Carr and Marlon Humphrey, Webb was gradually moved into a depth position role. He finished the season with 35 tackles, two interceptions, and two sacks.
Although Webb is past his prime, his performance in 2018 proves that he still has gas left in the tank. As the Ravens deal with the absence of Jimmy Smith for just four games, the team may decide to bring a free agent cornerback into the fold. Webb would be a smart option for Baltimore, as the Ravens could likely sign him to a minimal cost contract. Webb would also have extensive experience prior with the team, which gives him a leg up on returning. This notion has precedent as well, as the Ravens cut and re-signed Webb last year in a similar move. Whether or not the Baltimore Ravens decide to bring back Lardarius Webb, the team must decide how to respond to the Jimmy Smith suspension, quickly.