The Baltimore Ravens finally made a splash in free agency. After operating internally and on the trade market, the Baltimore Ravens made their first free-agent acquisition Monday evening in Michael Brockers. Brockers, the former Los Angeles Ram, has been one of the best interior defensive linemen since he was drafted fourteenth overall in the 2012 NFL Draft. Brokers started 121 games in his NFL career and amassed 229 solo tackles, 43 tackles for loss, 23 sacks, and 52 quarterback hits. The move immediately beefs up the Ravens’ interior defensive line, which was considered to be one of Baltimore’s biggest weak spots in 2019. In just over 24 hours, the Ravens have added two of the league’s best interior linemen in Brockers and Calais Campbell. The Ravens still have Brandon Williams too, making this unit one of the best on paper.
An average of $10 million per year is a great deal, but this move is somewhat baffling. Last time I checked, the Ravens had about $4 million in cap space after cutting James Hurst. Maybe Michael Brockers is taking only $3 million from his $30 million in the first year, but that seems highly unlikely.
A more likely explanation is that the Ravens have already made, or are planning to make a move to free up cap space. Remember, free agency started today (Monday), but signings do not take place until Wednesday. This means the Ravens and other teams can make signings in principle and be over the cap limit until contracts are signed on Wednesday. The Ravens are either getting ready to ship Matthew Judon out on a trade to clear up $16 million in cap space, or are doing something else. Maybe the Ravens plan to cut Brandon Carr, a move that would free up $7 million in cap space.
It’s still unannounced, but something needs to happen. The Ravens just don’t have the money to add Brockers without clearing space, so expect an announcement on that in the coming hours.