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With Ziggy Ansah gone, Derrick Morgan Makes Sense for the Ravens

May 09, 2019 - 9:12 am
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By Joe Schiller

The first domino of the second wave of NFL free agency fell last night when former Lions' edge rusher Ziggy Ansah reportedly agreed to a one-year deal with the Seattle Seahawks, per ESPN's Adam Schefter. 

Ansah visited the Ravens in late April, but medicals likely played a role in where he would land. Ansah could miss up to the first month of the regular season recovering from shoulder surgery, according to Schefter. 

The Ravens lost Za'Darius Smith and Terrell Suggs in free agency this offseason while adding third-round pick Jaylon Ferguson. With a need for pass rush in Baltimore, former Titans' edge rusher Derrick Morgan would make a sensible addition to the rotation. 

Morgan, 30, hit the unrestricted free agent market in March after playing out a four-year, $27 million contract with the Titans. Morgan battled injuries early in his career (Torn ACL in his rookie season and arthroscopic surgery in his second season) and struggled to produce up to the billings of a former first-round pick. 

Morgan started his career in Tennessee playing at defensive end in a 4-3 defensive front. When the Titans switched over to a 3-4 defense in 2014, Morgan totaled a career-high nine sacks in 2016 and seven and a half sacks in 2017. He regressed in 2018 and totaled just 0.5 sacks in 13 games, but played in a familiar defensive system under former Ravens' DC Dean Pees. 

With his age and experience, Morgan brings a veteran presence to an outside linebacker group that's led by Matthew Judon at 26-years-old. While I see the argument not to bury players like Tim Williams and Tyus Bowser on the depth chart, neither has shown much production in two seasons. Plus, I don't believe adding Morgan would do that anyway. He likely wouldn't be an every-down player, but rather an effective situational pass rusher.

Wide receiver John Brown took a chance on himself last season in Baltimore, signing a one-year, $5 million "prove-it" deal. The bet paid off as Brown earned a three-year $27 million deal with the Buffalo Bills this offseason. I'm not saying the same will happen to Morgan, but Baltimore has to be an intriguing place for a veteran pass rusher looking to kickstart his career again. 

If the money makes sense, I wouldn't hate to see this addition.