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Ravens Will Need to Add Playmaking Linebackers In Offseason

Baltimore has several free agent.

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Ravens received a mostly uneven performance from their group of linebackers this season.

While they had several impactful moments, they struggled with tackling and bringing down the quarterback.

Baltimore will also have to consider adding new players through the draft or free agency.

Here's a breakdown of the key players from the 2021 season:

  • Outside linebacker Tyus Bowser

Age: 26

Analysis: Bowser had 59 tackles, including a team-high seven sacks, and was a stout defender. Bowser suffered an Achilles injury in the finale against Pittsburgh and could be out until September. The Ravens need to replace his production.  

Contract: Signed through the 2024 season.

  • Inside Linebacker Patrick Queen

Age: 22

Analysis: Queen played much better when moved to the weakside and led the team with 97 tackles. However, Queen needs to play more consistently and make bigger plays and justify being a first-round pick.

Contract: Signed through the 2024 season.

  • Outside linebacker Odafe Oweh

Age: 23

Analysis: Oweh played well early but hit the rookie wall near the end of the season, missing the final two games with a foot injury. He was second on the team with 5 sacks and has a huge upside. 

Contract: Signed through the 2024 season.

  • Outside linebacker Justin Houston 

Age: 32

Analysis: Houston was a solid leader and produced 4.5 sacks, He's on the back end of his career. The Ravens might consider bringing him back on a one-year deal

Contract: Unrestricted free agent.

  • Outside linebacker Pernell McPhee

Age: 33

Analysis: McPhee battled some injuries but was an effective leader. However, the Ravens might want to give a younger player an opportunity

Contract: Unrestricted free agent.

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Inside linebacker Josh Bynes 

Age: 32

Analysis: Bynes was signed just prior to the regular season after being released by the Panthers. He was a solid addition and had 76 tackles. The Ravens would consider bringing him back. 

Contract: Unrestricted free agent.

Outside linebacker Jaylon Ferguson

Age: 26

Analysis: This was a critical season for Ferguson but he was underwhelming. He was the all-time sacks leader in college but he has not been able to find that same success with the Ravens. His future with the franchise is murky. 

Contract:  Signed through the 2022 season.

Outside linebacker LJ Fort

Age: 32

Analysis: He tore his ACL in the second preseason game against the Panthers was out for the year. The Ravens missed his leadership and playmaking skills. There's a chance he could return if he's healthy. 

Contract: Unrestricted free agent.

Inside linebacker Chris Board 

Age: 26

Analysis: Board is a solid contributor and could be signed in a cost-friendly deal after the draft. He finished with 41 tackles. 

Contract: Unrestricted free agent.

Inside linebacker Kristin Welch

Age: 25

Analysis: Welch provided solid depth and played his way into the rotation at linebacker. He finished with 13 tackles. 

Contract: Exclusive rights free agent

Outside linebacker Daelin Hayes 

Age: 23

Analysis: Hayes had a minimal role and was later placed on Injured Reserve with an ankle injury. He needs more time to develop.

Contract: Signed through the 2024 season.