Coming into the NFL season, the Ravens secondary was one of the deepest position groups in the game. With Tavon Young, Jimmy Smith, Marlon Humphry, Brandon Carr, Tony Jefferson, and Earl Thomas, to say nothing about the countless capable backups that the Ravens always have. Then reality kicked in. Young, who the Ravens had just given a big contract extension, got injured. Then in week one Smith got injured. And everything went downhill.
Without Smith and Young, the Ravens were relying on younger players coming off an offseason, where every free agent left Baltimore. The Ravens secondary started blowing coverage a couple of times a game. Defenders were unable to stay with their men if they got picked, and players were getting flummoxed by motion. Players were running free short and deep, and coming into the Steelers game, the Ravens couldn’t figure it out.
In Pittsburgh, the Ravens didn’t blow coverage. But in the second half, disaster struck. Tony Jefferson blew his ACL and his season ended in a bang. The Ravens than played the Bengals, where they didn’t blow coverage, but they lost DeShon Elliot to a season-ending knee injury. And during the Steelers and Bengals game, it looked like the Ravens had fixed their communication issue.
The Ravens knew they needed someone else to step up as a safety. The Ravens had Chuck Clark and Anthony Levine Senior, as well as Brandon Carr who has played a little bit of safety. But overall the Ravens needed another secondary player.
There was a lot of talk about a possible Jalen Ramsey trade. Many teams were interested, including the Ravens. The Ravens decided to go a different route. Eric DeCosta got the Rams to agree to trade Marcus Peters for Kenny Young who the Ravens had benched for the previous two weeks and a 5th round draft pick. The Rams would go on and trade for Ramsey later that night.
The price for Marcus Peters was phenomenal. A benched linebacker and a draft pick that was effectively from the trade with the Vikings: Karee Vedvek for a 5th round pick. The Ravens would have cut Vedvek if they didn’t have a trade. It was a very smart move by the Ravens’ front office. Peters had struggled a little bit with the Rams, but he has an incredible amount of interceptions in his career with both the Chiefs and the Rams, 24.
Peters will come into Baltimore and be asked to be the number two cornerback. Peters will solidify the Ravens secondary and help propel the Ravens into the playoffs. Peters will have a chance at a revenge match in Los Angeles later in the season, but that isn’t the focus. Peters has spent hours with the coaches already, and as of now, he is playing against the Seahawks. The Ravens will still have to figure out their communication issues. If the Ravens can figure their communication out, they will have one of the best secondary’s in the game. Despite the talent in the secondary, no defense can play perfect coverage for six seconds, so it will come down to the pass rush to speed the play up. I expect Eric DeCosta to make at least one more trade to get a pass rusher.