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The Ravens Should NOT Trade Away High Picks at Deadline

Vinny & Haynie
October 09, 2019 - 11:19 am
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By Tim Barbalace

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Fan speculation is ramping up as the NFL Trade deadline is just 20 days away. With each passing day, some new players could be potential targets. First, it was Jalen Ramsey; then it was Chris Harris Jr., followed by Stefon Diggs, Von Miller, and Derek Wolfe.

So far, only Ramsey is a player that has reportedly been linked to the Ravens, but it remains unclear if the Jaguars would be willing to trade him. Jason LaCanfora reported over the weekend that the Ravens were one of multiple teams expected to be active ahead of the trade deadline. I question whether it would be a prudent move to trade premium draft picks in hopes of making a serious push this year.

The Ravens have the feel of a team that is multiple players away from being a true Super Bowl contender. The lack of impact wide receivers, outside of Marquise Brown, is of concern as well as the offensive line's struggles in pass protection. Defensively, the team has yet to get any semblance of a consistent pass rush, and their depth in the secondary has quickly depleted.

Having Jalen Ramsey come to Baltimore won't fix all of the issues and would also come at a high cost. Does it make sense to give away prime, future assets for a player with character issues that would require a lucrative contract? Also, add in the fact that the Ravens will have to make Marlon Humphrey one of the highest-paid corners in due time.

Eric Decosta has stated that the Ravens will continue to build their team through the draft.  Baltimore dealt their 2019 second-round pick to the Eagles in the Lamar Jackson deal and it doesn't sound like Decosta is in the business of dealing away more top picks.

"I think it's safe to say we're probably not going to trade our second-round pick anytime soon unless there's a great player," Decosta said after Day 2 of the NFL Draft. "It's a chore for me, as much as I like picks, to sit there and watch all these outstanding players come off the board." 

The Ravens are in line to have plenty of draft equity in 2020. Baltimore is projected to have one 1st rounder, one 2nd rounder, two 3rd rounders, three 4th rounders, two 5th rounders, and one 7th rounder. 

Decosta needs to look at the big picture. They are projected to have over $60 million in cap space entering this off-season, which is a drastic difference from recent years and affords the Ravens the luxury to be more aggressive. Not only in free agency but retaining their own-- including Matt Judon, Michael Pierce, Patrick Onwuasar, Jimmy Smith, Pernell McPhee, and Willie Snead-- all scheduled to hit free agency. 

I'm not opposed to the Ravens using a mid-round pick to acquire a player before the trade deadline. I hope Eric Decosta operates with the future in mind, which looks bright. The Ravens should have an abundance of cap space, draft picks, and Lamar Jackson entering year three of his rookie contract.

Baltimore may be able to win the AFC North without making any trades since the division is extremely weak this year with the Bengals and Steelers already in deep holes. The Browns have not been able to display any consistency, and Baker Mayfield has seemingly regressed.

 Add everything up, and it doesn't make sense for the Ravens to mortgage their future.