Welcome to Overreaction Of The Week, my over the top, uninhibited, Baltimore sports-fan takes on this week’s Orioles activity.
The Ravens finalized a trade to send LB Kamalei Correa to the Tennessee Titans for a future 6th round draft pick. Correa was having a productive preseason for the Ravens, he was moved back to outside linebacker and showed his ability to rush the passer and contribute in run support. Unfortunately for him, the Ravens are loaded at outside linebacker with Terrell Suggs, Matt Judon, Za’Darius Smith, Tyus Bowser, and Tim Williams and he was never able to make an impact as an inside linebacker. The Titans have a system that should be familiar to Correa, Dean Pees is their new Defensive Coordinator.
It seems to be a mutually beneficial deal, at least the Ravens got a future asset for a player that might have been cut. We’ll see who ends up ‘winning’ this trade, but what’s the Ravens’ recent trade history? Have they ‘won’ more than they’ve ‘lost’? Let’s take a look at some of the notable trades since 2010 and see how the Ravens did.
Anquan Boldin – Boldin is an interesting case because he was both acquired by and traded away from the Ravens. Upon his acquisition in 2010, I’ll contend that Boldin was one of the most important offensive players in franchise history. He was absolutely vital in the 2012 Super Bowl run, so his acquisition will count as an easy, big-time win for the Ravens. Following the Super Bowl victory, Boldin was traded to the 49ers for a 6th round pick, he had just one year left on his contract and carried hefty salary cap figure. Boldin continued to produce for the 49ers, but the Ravens flipped that 6th round pick in another trade to move up and draft the disappointing linebacker, Arthur Brown. While it was a shrewd move to manage the salary cap, the Ravens didn’t get much, if any, on field production out of this move. Consider this one a loss.
Timmy Jernigan – Jernigan was part of the most recent, notable trade in which the Ravens took part. In 2017, they dealt Jernigan, a former 2nd round pick, to the Eagles due to a log-jam of talent along the defensive line. Jernigan was a quality player, but didn’t seem to reach his highly touted potential, and had some undisciplined moments on the field that cost the Ravens dearly. Last season, Jernigan was a key rotational piece on a good Eagles’ defensive line and has since signed an extension to stay in Philadelphia. In return, the Ravens received a third round pick, which they turned into another defensive lineman, Chris Wormley. Wormley has yet to make much of an impact since being drafted out of Michigan, but even he may provide value as a rotational piece in the trenches. It may seem as though the Ravens lost this trade, but that may be a bit of an oversimplification, Wormley still has a chance to produce in just his second year in the league.
Jeremy Zuttah – Just like Boldin, Zuttah is another player that the Ravens brought in and sent away via trades. They acquired Zuttah in 2014 for a draft pick that turned into wide receiver, Kenny Bell. Zuttah was immediately named the Ravens starter at center, even though his last season, 2016 was a little more contentious. He was named a Pro Bowler that year, though many could argue that was his worst performance for the Ravens. In 2017, the Ravens traded him to the 49ers for a 6th round pick that ended up being safety, Chuck Clark. Clark has impressed so far as a reserve safety and special teamer. The Ravens got as much as they could ask for out of Zuttah and complemented the move by plucking a solid player in Clark.
Haloti Ngata – Ngata will go down as one of the Ravens’ best defenders of all time, and was a nightmare for opposing offenses for nine years in purple and black. After a lot of wear and tear, the Ravens dealt him to the Lions for a 4th and a 5th round draft pick in the 2015 draft. Those players ended up becoming Za’Darius Smith and Maxx Williams (after some more moves). Smith has picked up his play more recently and is an impactful edge defender. Williams may never live up to his 2nd round draft pick billing, he is a solid blocking tight end in the Ravens’ running game. While the Lions didn’t get much production out of Ngata for three years, he’s now joined the aforementioned Jernigan along the Eagles front. I would consider this a win for the Ravens, they were able to get two contributors on rookie deals, while also shedding Ngata’s contract.
The Ravens seem to be fairly shrewd and tactful in their trades. While they’ve only pulled off a couple blockbusters in Boldin and Ngata, they’ve been able to add valuable pieces at a consistent clip. Some other notable trades involved the Ravens acquiring, either directly or through the draft, Tackle Eugene Monroe (overall disappointment), Cornerback Josh Wilson (solid player), and QB Tyrod Taylor (backup before becoming a starter elsewhere). There are still other trades that I didn’t mention above, like acquiring Luke Bowanko, Tony Bergstrom, Chris Givens, Will Davis, Delone Carter, A.Q. Shipley, and Doug Dutch which I felt ended up having little to no impact on the organization. The few trades that look iffy now are moreso a result of shaky day two drafting, which is a completely different discussion.
Acquiring an asset and freeing up a valuable roster spot for a potential camp casualty in Correa was a smart move for the Ravens. While a sixth rounder may not seem like much now, they can always package that pick to make other moves in next years draft, or even acquire offensive line depth this year. The Ravens might not be done wheeling and dealing yet, but when it comes to trades, Ravens fans should maintain confidence that the brass will do well for themselves.