Eric DeCosta does not seem to care much about my personal schedule. Today, he and the Baltimore Ravens made a flurry of roster transactions over a period of about an hour. Coincidently, I just happened to be unable to read any of my notifications during that short span. Mind you, that was the only time today I would be unable to do so. Sometimes, the world of NFL journalism is frustrating, especially when you’re stuck with the limitations of your own professional and personal life schedule.
In total, the Baltimore Ravens conducted six roster transactions, and thanks to the Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec’s awesome reporting, I can compile these moves into a list.
Here is what happened today in Owings Mills:
The Ravens signed DT Domata Peko, DT Justin Ellis, and activated CB Iman Marshall from the Injured Reserve.
The Ravens waived CB/RS Cyrus Jones, DE Ufomba Kamalu, and placed DT Daylon Mack on the injured reserve.
Got it? Good, here’s why the Ravens made each move, and what it means for Baltimore’s playoff push, let’s start with the roster departures:
Cornerback/return specialist, Cyrus Jones, was on the wrong side of Baltimore’s roster moves on Tuesday, and anyone who pays any attention to the Ravens should not be surprised by this. Jones’ primary job was to return punts, but he was not very effective at it this season. After an entire half-season of poor production in the return game, the final straw hit the camel’s back last Sunday night against the Patriots. Cyrus Jones fumbled on a punt return, and it became clear that he would no longer be serviceable in that department. Baltimore acted proactively to fix the problem by signing former Chiefs’ returner, De’Anthony Thomas last week. The writing was on the wall for Cyrus Jones after he was inactive on Sunday for Baltimore’s game in Cincinnati.
Defensive end, Ufomba Kamalu simply never fit on the Ravens defense. Baltimore signed him off the Patriots’ practice squad during the bye week, in preparation for the meeting with Kamalu’s former team. Kamalu was inactive in both Week 9 and Week 10, he never played a down of Ravens football. In the playoff push, Baltimore simply decided the organization could not keep Kamalu.
Defensive tackle, Daylon Mack, was placed on the season-ending injured reserve after it became apparent he could not contribute to the team in its current state. Mack suffered some injuries and was banged up in recent weeks. Like Kamalu, Mack was inactive in Week 9 and Week 10. The Baltimore Ravens drafted Daylon Mack in the fifth round of this year’s draft, and the Ravens still believe he can contribute to the team in the near future. By placing him on the season-ending injured reserve, the Ravens are able to move on from a banged-up player that cannot help the team now but are also able to keep him on his current contract and develop him over the next few seasons.
As for the signings, here’s what you need to know about each:
Domata Peko is the biggest name on the list. The defensive tackle played for the Cincinnati Bengals from 2006 to 2016. He left for Denver in 2017 and spent two years with the Broncos. Peko has 307 total solo tackles and 278 assists in his career. Peko also recorded 20 sacks, 47 tackles for loss, 50 quarterback hits, and 14 pass deflections. Peko adds a veteran presence to a banged-up defensive line. As previously mentioned, the Ravens opted to place the hurt Daylon Mack on the injured reserve. Baltimore Ravens defensive tackle, Michael Pierce, is also dealing with injuries. Peko will come into the Ravens defensive front group, and immediately work his way into the rotation because of the group’s health situation. According to the NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, the Peko deal is worth $1 million for the remainder of this year.
The #Ravens are signing veteran nose tackle Domata Peko to a deal that will pay him $1 million for the rest of the season, source said. Big money for the big man as Baltimore stocks up for a playoff push.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) November 12, 2019
Justin Ellis, aka “Jelly,” spent all of his professional career in Oakland until landing in Baltimore. Ellis was picked in the fourth round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the aforementioned Raiders. He had a solid career in Oakland, especially for a former fourth-round pick. Ellis played in 66 games, 42 of which he started in. In those 66 games, Ellis recorded 80 solo tackles and 39 assists. He also recorded six tackles for losses, three quarterback hits, a half-sack, and two pass deflections. Ellis started the 2019 season on Oakland’s injured reserve and was released by the Raiders in October. Baltimore will use Ellis for defensive line depth, and he could work his way into weekly gameplans from there.
Finally, the Ravens activated Iman “Biggie” Marshall from the injured reserve. Baltimore drafted the former USC Trojan in the fourth round of this year’s draft, but the cornerback was placed on the injured reserve shortly after the Ravens trimmed the roster from 90 to 53. Baltimore waited to ensure that Marshall was eligible to return from the injured reserve this year. Marshall can help the Ravens as both a defensive back and special teams player. The latter is more important for Baltimore, as the Ravens have plenty of defensive back depth, but are missing the effects of Bryden Trawick and Justin Bethel, two special teams aces that started the year with Baltimore.
Those are all the moves Baltimore made on Tuesday. Should there be any more news, you know where to find it.