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For the Ravens, Keeping Three Quarterbacks Could Become the Norm

July 05, 2019 - 9:35 am

By Joe Schiller

As training camp and the preseason approaches, roster math becomes one of the most interesting topics of conversation among NFL circles.

How will teams construct their 53-man rosters? 

Each team goes about it differently, but the same principles apply. For example, at the quarterback position, teams will always take at least two players – the starter and a backup. 

That was the mantra for the Ravens with Joe Flacco under center. Having a durable quarterback for the better part of 11 seasons gave Ozzie Newsome, Eric DeCosta, and the front office a rare comfort many other teams had. But things changed last season with the addition of Lamar Jackson and Robert Griffin III. The Ravens took three quarterbacks on the 53-man roster for the first time since 2009.

This year, there are different players but the same predicament. Jackson is the unquestioned starter and Griffin is the established backup. 

But what about Trace McSorley?

The sixth-round pick is a complete wild-card this offseason. He could assume a Taysom Hill-like role with the Ravens this season. 

With Jackson as the starter, it's a completely different debate. One of Jackson's biggest weapon is his legs, and with that comes the risk of injury. He's an elusive runner and smart with how he takes hits, but there's still an inherent risk you take as a team with this style of quarterback. Griffin is the prime example of the damage a dual-threat quarterback can take at the NFL level.

From all indications, Jackson won't be running as much this season. He'll get better as a passer, that's assumed, but taking three quarterbacks on the 53-man roster in Baltimore would be a smart move. 

With the unprecedented offense the Ravens are stringing together, McSorley could have an impact and he’s another weapon for opposing teams to worry about. Of course, he’ll have to earn a roster spot first, but I think it’s warranted if he continues to improve throughout the offseason.

The conversation last offseason was centered around if the Ravens should keep just two quarterbacks on the roster. Now, keeping three could be the norm.