After signing quarterback Lamar Jackson to a huge contract extension and trading for star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr this offseason, the Baltimore Ravens look to be going all-in with hopes of a deep playoff run. The front office improved the offense as it looks to regain form like in 2019 when Jackson was the NFL MVP and the team led the league in rushing yards.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Ravens lost star defensive lineman Calais Campbell, who had 5.5 sacks and two forced fumbles last season. They also lost Justin Houston, who had 9.5 sacks as well.
The Ravens are relying on their young defensive players such as 2019 31st overall pick Odafe Oweh, who had 3.0 sacks last season, and linebacker David Ojabo, who only racked up one sack last season. These players will most likely still need a year or two to fully develop.
Who could replace 15 sacks on the defensive line from last year? Look no further than a former All-Pro defensive end who has plenty of experience wearing purple and gold. This third-round pick in 2015 is 28 years old but still is one of the best edge rushers in the league. Danielle Hunter could be the answer for the Ravens.
What Could Hunter Provide For The Ravens?
The Vikings star had 10.5 sacks last season and had back-to-back 14.5 sack seasons two years ago. With a total of 71 sacks in his career and seven forced fumbles, he can wreak havoc on any offensive line. Now why would the Vikings want to trade such a great player and a fan favorite?
Well Hunter is on the last year of his contract, and it's fair to say he wants more money through an extension. Talks have quieted and it is not looking good at the moment. After trading former Raven linebacker Za'Darius Smith earlier this offseason to Ravens rival Cleveland Browns, they could look to unload another big piece of the defense.
What Could A Deal Look Like?
With over ten million in cap space, the Ravens could afford to sign Hunter and boost their defensive line. They could package one of their young defensive lineman and a third or fourth-round pick, or they could surrender a higher pick and use Hunter as a leader of the line.
Baltimore trades: 2024 second-round pick, 2025 fifth-round pick
Minnesota trades: Danielle Hunter, 2024 seventh-round pick
For the Vikings, this saves them a good amount of cap space, allows Baltimore to upgrade their defensive line, and possibly boasts a top-ten Ravens defense in 2023. This would be a late, but exciting trade as we near training camp.
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