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QUICK ONE: Is it advisable for the Ravens to invest heavily in free-agent running backs?

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The devaluation of running backs in the NFL has been a contentious topic in recent years, with the once highly prized position struggling to secure stable contracts beyond their rookie deals. This offseason, notable players such as Derrick Henry, Saquon Barkley, Austin Ekeler, Josh Jacobs, and D’Andre Swift are set to enter free agency, raising questions about whether they will receive the sought-after long-term extensions.

Teams like the Philadelphia Eagles and Baltimore Ravens have historically found success without paying a premium for running backs. Despite Baltimore’s recent top-ranked rushing performance, fueled by quarterback Lamar Jackson’s league-leading rushing stats for the past five seasons, the Ravens face a dilemma as they head into the 2024 offseason with a significant need at the running back position.

Having a $260 million quarterback consistently leading the team in rushing may not be the ideal scenario for the Ravens. Acquiring a reliable every-down back could not only protect Jackson but also provide a much-needed boost to the overall offense. However, the challenge lies in the cost, as the Ravens are unlikely to commit over $10 million to secure top available running backs.

Complicating matters, many free-agent running backs, including Tony Pollard and D’Andre Swift, come with injury concerns, adding another layer of complexity to the decision-making process. With additional needs at receiver, offensive line, and pass rusher, the Ravens face tough choices in allocating resources. While the idea of signing a free-agent running back is appealing, whether the Ravens will take the necessary steps to secure one of the top talents remains uncertain.



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