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Joel Corry On Decisions Facing Ravens In Free Agency

March 8, 2019
The Baltimore Ravens have some decisions to make about some notable free agents this offseason, two of whom have been staples of the team's elite defense for years. 

CBS Sports contributor and former NFL agent Joel Corry joined Glenn Clark Radio March 5 and offered insight about what to do with inside linebackers C.J. Mosley and Terrell Suggs and offered some thoughts on running back Le'Veon Bell. 

C.J. Mosley

After spending all five seasons of his career in Baltimore, Mosley is set to be an unrestricted free agent. The 6-foot-2, 250-pound Mosley has been to the Pro Bowl in each of the past three seasons. Mosley finished with 105 tackles, five passes defensed and one interception in 2018. 

The Ravens chose not to place a franchise tag on the 26-year-old linebacker, which would have cost $15.4 million. The Ravens were projected to be about  $29 million under the salary cap at the start of the new league year before tight end Nick Boyle signed a three-year deal March 7. 

The $15.4 million price tag exceeds what the best inside linebackers in the game like Luke Kuechly ($12.4 million) and Bobby Wagner ($10.75 million) make per year under their current contracts. Kuechly signed his deal with Carolina in 2015. Kuechly's 2019 salary would be about $16.2 million when adjusted for salary cap inflation, but the linebacker market has been stagnant, Corry said. 

"It all depends on where you are cap-wise and what your quarterback situation is," Corry said when asked if it makes sense to pay big money for inside linebackers. He added that having quarterback Lamar Jackson on a rookie deal gives the Ravens flexibility to pursue Mosley.

Terrell Suggs

Suggs, 36, is set play his 17th season in the NFL. The seven-time Pro Bowler has been in Baltimore since 2003. The franchise leader in games played, Suggs finished with 34 tackles, seven sacks and six passes defensed in 16 games last season. 

The Ravens shouldn't pay him much more annually than the last deal he signed in 2014, Corry said. Suggs signed a four-year, $28.5 million extension in 2014. Corry suggested inking him to a two-year deal at around $12 million with incentives this time around.

"Let him go talk to other teams, and then [the Ravens] have a chance to say yay or nay to whatever someone's going to pay him," Corry said. 

Le'Veon Bell

Bell, 27, would be a game changer for any team that makes the splash to grab him. Bell posted nearly 8,000 yards from scrimmage and 42 total touchdowns for the Pittsburgh Steelers from 2013-2017. He sat out the 2018 season rather than sign a $14.5 million franchise tender but is set to be an unrestricted free agent.

Corry said the Ravens might be in a position to pursue Bell.

"[The Ravens] are a very run-heavy offense and he could be a security blanket or great outlet in the passing game," Corry said, "because when he's played, he's arguably the biggest dual-threat running back in the NFL."

The New York Jets, a team with the second-most cap room in the NFL at about $100 million, could be in on Bell. 

"They swung for the fences and struck out last year with everything they tried," Corry said. "... They're itching to make a splash, and they've got a rookie quarterback that could really use a security blanket and a strong running game to lean on."

Bell may command a contract similar to running backs Todd Gurley and David Johnson, who are earning $15 million and $13 million annually plus incentives, respectively. Gurley is the highest-paid running back in the league.

"They're all dual-threat running backs that are comparable when at their best," Corry said.

But is Bell worth the price when many teams in the league have found their own Pro Bowl running backs in the middle rounds of the draft?

Alvin Kamara and Kareem Hunt, both third-round picks, were two of the best running backs in the league in 2017. Teams don't necessarily have to pay top dollar for a running back. 

"I'm philosophically opposed to spending a lot of money on a running back because you can find them anywhere in the draft," Corry said. "Pittsburgh was able to replicate, to some degree of success, [Bell's] production from James Conner, a third-round pick." 

To hear more from Corry, listen to the full interview here:



Photo Credit: Kenya Allen/PressBox