Ravens could look to revamp their secondary

OWINGS MILLS — The Ravens’ secondary was exceptional this past season under the guidance of defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald and assistant coach Dennard Wilson.

The Ravens ranked sixth in the NFL in passing yards allowed (191.9 yards per game) and No. 1 in points per game (16.1).

Significant change is on the way, though.

Macdonald took the head coaching job in Seattle, and Wilson departed to become the defensive coordinator in Tennessee.

The Ravens have seven defensive backs who are unrestricted free agents – Arthur Maulet, Kevon Seymour, Trayvon Mullen, Geno Stone, Daryl Worley, Rock Ya-Sin and Ronald Darby.

General manager Eric DeCosta will try to bring back several of those players, most notably Darby, Maulet, and the veteran Worley, who signed a one-year, $1.1 million deal last season.

Stone could test the free-agent market and could follow Macdonald to Seattle or Wilson to Tennessee. Stone finished second in the NFL with seven interceptions behind Dallas cornerback DaRon Bland  (nine).

“I feel like I showed what I can do in this league,” Stone said. “It’s something I’ve always been trying to do, obviously. That’s what everyone in this league wants to do – is show who they can be – and I feel like this was kind of my breakout year. I’m happy that it was this year and the year we had as a team. I’m just appreciative of everything I’ve been through this year.” 

Other issues in the secondary must be considered, especially with some of the most pricey players.

Cornerback Marlon Humphrey has missed 12 regular-season games in the past three seasons because of injuries. In 2024, Humphrey will earn a base salary of $11.8 million with a cap hit of $22.9 million and a dead cap value of $27.88 million.

Half of Humphrey’s salary becomes guaranteed next month. While the dead money is the biggest issue, the Ravens could restructure Humprhey’s deal or release him after June 1st and save almost $12 million in cash. They could use that money to potentially sign Darby to a one-year, $6 million deal to replace him, or sign Maulet for about $3 million to play the slot.

The Ravens do have playmakers back in the secondary with All-Pro safety Kyke Hamilton and cornerback Brandon Stephens, who played well when Humphrey was sidelined.

DeCosta could use the 2024 Draft to rebuild the team’s depth in the secondary.

“We’ve started talking to agents [and] looking at the crop of free agents that are out there, but mostly [looking] at our guys, and who can we bring back, and what’s that contract going to look like, and what will those long-term ramifications be, as well,” DeCosta said. “At some point, you get to the point where you have to play with who you have, and you have to draft well, and you have to hit on players, and we’ve done that the last couple of years.”


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