The Ravens made their first big splash in free agency on Wednesday afternoon by signing veteran safety Earl Thomas to a four-year deal worth $55 million.
As usual, the free agency period opened this week with many flashy signings and trades. For Baltimore, the first few hours of free agency were all about departures as the Ravens saw C.J. Mosley, Za’Darius Smith, and John Brown all walk away for bigger contracts with other teams. All three of these losses were somewhat expected for different reasons, but it still left the Ravens depleted on day one with their work cut out for them.
Just minutes after former Seahawks safety Earl Thomas and the Ravens agreed to terms on a four-year deal, it was announced that the Ravens had also agreed to terms on a three-year, $15 million deal with former Saints running back Mark Ingram.
Just like all of the other free agent deals around the NFL, both of these signings will not be made official or announced by teams until 4:00 pm this afternoon.
The start of NFL free agency doesn’t officially begin until the first minute of the 2019 league calendar, which is tomorrow (Wednesday, March 13) at 4:00 pm. Teams will not officially announce signings for unrestricted free agents (UFA’s) until that time, but several agreements are reportedly in-place with a handful of big names linked to the Baltimore Ravens.
First-year General Manager Eric Decosta, in preparation for this week, made several moves to help free up some salary cap space. Releasing Michael Crabtree and Eric Weddle saved the Ravens $15.2 million against the cap, and $10.5 million more will be opened up once Joe Flacco is officially dealt to the Denver Broncos tomorrow.
Knowing that a handful of players would likely find new homes for 2019 and beyond, DeCosta followed up on his goal of retaining young talent by re-signing Nick Boyle to a team-friendly deal and awarding Tavon Young a contract extension. Based on what’s transpired so far this week, DeCosta had the right idea.