DeCosta ushered in a new era with Jackson and turned the Ravens into Super Bowl contenders.
In June, ESPN ranked the Ravens’ roster as the best based on Pro Football scores for the 2019 season. Seven of the 13 players the Ravens sent to Pro Bowl 2019 are still playing with their rookie contracts.
It’s a good problem to have, but the price is a concern for experts as well.
“This team is loaded,” wrote Louis Riddick of ESPN. “What can derail what is clearly an organization with a lot of positive momentum is the health of its young superstar QB. He needs to be protected at all costs, which means not ‘changing’ who he is as a player, but being more selective and judicious about when he willfully put himself in danger. ”
Patrick Mahomes’ mega-deal is a glimpse into how contracts could affect a team’s future salary cap. The Ravens will soon have to pay a number of young stars, but DeCosta remained convinced they are in good salary cap shape.
“Whichever way the Ravens proceed, they should have two important assets heading into the 2021 championship year: predominantly proven lineup and financial flexibility,” wrote Jonas Shaffer of the Baltimore Sun. “If the salary cap stays around $ 200 million, the team could spend $ 40 million next offseason – a marketing deal for Stanley?” An early extension for Andrews? New pieces from the outside linebacker? – and still have some leeway. ”
Experts believe the next step is to add more weapons to both sides of the ball.
“Get a bulky receiving target for Jackson early in the draft – think [Mark] Andrews with more speed, someone with a catch radius to complement Marquise ‘Hollywood’ Brown ‘speed, wrote ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler. Matthew Judon might work after this year, so investing in a pass-rusher through free agency or draft is a prudent decision. ”
Brown screened as one of AFC’s most improved players
There has been a lot of buzz around Brown this offseason and expectations continue to rise for the second-year wide receiver.
NFL.com’s Cynthia Frelund is projecting Brown to be one of the AFC’s most improved players this season.
“We’ve already seen glimpses of what Hollywood can do when Jackson wants to find it in depth,” Frelund wrote. “He caught three touchdowns on six deep receptions and 15 such targets as a rookie in 2019. No other Ravens wide receiver has had more than three deep receptions overall this season, per NGS. The forecast for Baltimore’s deep passing game will improve in 2020, which should mean greater opportunities for Brown. ”
Each indication indicates an escape season. Brown looks bigger and faster after Lisfranc’s foot injury. This hampered Brown during his rookie season, but he still caught 46 passes for 584 yards and seven touchdowns.
Brown’s performance in the AFC’s divisional-round loss to the Tennessee Titans (seven catches for 126 yards) provided a glimpse of his potential in Baltimore.
Brown has spent time working with Jackson, and the two already have a connection. Now fully healthy, Brown’s speed could open up the downstream threat in the Ravens passing attack.
“Brown is the most enticing landing prospect in team history,” wrote Childs Walker of the Baltimore Sun. “Now he has to show he can stand up to the NFL grind.
“Beyond better health, Brown has another major factor going for him as he tries to build on that rookie performance. He and Jackson have formed one of the closest friendships on the team, meaning the MVP’s quarterback will be fully invested in the unlock. its potential. ”
Could Jackson join the “Madden” 99 Club this season?
Only five players, Aaron Donald, Stephon Gilmore, Christian McCaffrey, Michael Thomas and Mahomes are in the overall 99 club “Madden 21”, but there is an argument for more.
The NFL Network’s “Good Morning Football” team debated who could enter Club 99 this season, and Jane Slater’s choice was Jackson.
“If he keeps crushing the guys, and he has as many touchdowns as he had last year, I can 100% see Jackson raising the odds and eventually getting into this 99 club,” Slater said.