Ravens Continue To Improve The Secondary, Sign Starting Cornerback Brandon Carr
Amidst all the madness that was yesterday, the Ravens made a quiet, but sound move in signing themselves a new starting cornerback. For over a week, word was that the Ravens had an offer on the table to a Cowboys’ starting CB, and that he was likely to take it. Morris Claiborne was already a Raven in everyone’s mind in Baltimore, and Ozzie threw a big ol curveball and signed the other guy. I don’t hate it one bit.
Brandon Carr isn’t a sexy signing, and that’s exactly what the secondary needs. While it’d be great to go out and get a shutdown corner, my belief is that we already have one. Jimmy Smith truly is a top 10 corner in this league… he’s just never healthy. Morris Claiborne is cut from the same cloth. He maybe hasn’t developed as much as Smith has, but the talent is all there. He just can’t stay on the damn field. That’s why signing Carr makes so much sense. He’s dependable. The guy was drafted in the 5th round back in 2008 and has started and played every single game since. As a wise NFL evaluator would say, his best ability is availability.
He’s not flashy. He’s not going to create a ton of turnovers. He doesn’t have exceptional speed or size. But he can be trusted. He might not go out and win you many games, but he’s certainly not going to lose you many either. He’s a football JJ Hardy. I can’t stress enough how much the health of the secondary has plagued the Ravens since the 2012 Super Bowl run. Trusting two injury-prone CB’s is a recipe for disaster over the long run, and we learned that the hard way in New England with the great Rashaan Melvin disaster in 2014. And again on Christmas this year. This is Jimmy Smith insurance.
On top of that, this allows one of my favorite young fellas get back to doing what he does best. Tavon Young did a decent job covering on the outside in Jimmy Smith’s absence last year as a rookie, but he’s a perfect fit for covering guys in the slot. He’s small, quick, and physical… and he’s only going to get better with experience.
So to summarize, the Ravens now have three capable CB’s and two of the best safeties in football after signing Tony Jefferson last week. I think Ozzie has been slow to adapt to the pass-happy nature of the NFL, and now he’s finally getting his ducks in a row. The defense is really rounding into shape. The only thing that should keep them down at this point is the lack of a pass-rush. With Dumervil gone and Suggs nearing the end of his road, they’ve gotta develop a pass-rusher and develop one quickly. Maybe that’s Matt Judon or Kamalei Correa or even Bronson Kaufusi (optimistic thinking on all three), but pass-rusher has to be a MAJOR draft priority. Wide receiver and OL too, but that’s a conversation for another day.
Carr is a good signing. Consistency is key. He may be 30 and the deal has been advertised for 4 years, but it’s really just a 2-year deal with a couple of options to extend it to 4. We’ll get what we can out of what he has left and be better for it. Little by little, things are coming together. The Ravens are pretty much backed up against the cap at this point, so all eyes are on the draft now.