OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta was transparent when talking about the team's needs this offseason.
He stressed that Baltimore has to improve its offensive line either through free agency or the draft.
"We believe in an offensive line," DeCosta said. "We believe in being a strong offensive line. We want to have the best offensive line we can."
The Ravens certainly need to boost their financial commitment to the offensive line.
Baltimore currently has $22,97 million invested in the offensive line, which ranks 29th in the NFL, according to Spotrac. The Eagles were ranked first at $56.59 million, followed by the Raiders ($53.27 million), Cowboys (%2.29 million), Giants ($51.99) and the Browns ($51.07 million). Cleveland was the only one of those teams to make the playoffs, while the others had questions at quarterback.
Quarterback Lamar Jackson absorbed 29 sacks in the regular season and was taken down eight more times in two playoff games.
The first order of business could be deciding the future of Orlando Brown Jr., who successfully made the switch from right to left tackle when Ronnie Stanley went down with a season-ending ankle injury. However, Stanley is expected to return to his position for the 2021 season.
Brown wants to stay on the blind side and caused a stir when he initially posted a message on Twitter that said, "I'm a LEFT tackle." The Ravens have reportedly given Brown permission to seek a trade.
Brown has made the Pro Bowl the past two seasons and DeCosta would want to get a huge return in a trade. The loss of Brown would hinder the offensive line.
The Ravens also need to consider a center and versatile player able to compete at tackle and guard.
There are numerous offensive linemen available in the free-agent market, most notably, guard Brandon Scherff (Washington), tackle Trent Williams (San Francisco), guard Joe Thuney (New England), and center Corey Linsley (Green Bay).
Each of those players would be a boost for the Ravens and DeCosta will have some tough decisions to make with a tighter salary cap.
"We certainly have to do a better job of getting the ball back to the quarterback," DeCosta said. "We think we have some options at the position, and we’ve got some good, young players. What I like about the offensive line is we have a lot of really good, nice, young players. We’re not sure who those guys are going to be [and if] they are going to emerge and be the starters for us, but we’ve got good depth – what I would call shallow depth.
"We have some guys that can play. A lot of guys have played for us – a lot of young players are emerging talents. We’ll also have a chance, I think, with the Draft and free agency to augment those positions as well."