The Ravens suddenly had four gaping holes once filled by some of the best in the league, while fans were left hoping new general manager Eric DeCosta had a plan.
Then on Wednesday, DeCosta and the Ravens front office eased some of those worries with the addition of former Seahawks safety Earl Thomas.
"Once it came out that Earl Thomas is joining the Ravens, it was like, you know that makes a ton of sense. Why didn't we think of that?," host of Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio said Thursday. "Especially with all the defensive talent that they lost.
...And it's one of those things we look at and say, you know what, we should have been talking about the Ravens and Earl Thomas all along."
Thomas and the Ravens agreed to a four-year, $55 million deal with $32 million of it fully guaranteed. Despite playing in only four games in 2018 after suffering a season-ending knee injury, Thomas is the only safety in the last decade to record 100 or more tackles, five or more interceptions and two or more forced fumbles in a single season.
After finishing the 2018 season as the top ranked yards-per-game defense in the league (292.9) and second in points-per-game (17.9), Thomas seems like the perfect fit.
"It seems like a personality fit, a system fit, whatever you wanna say on the football field and in the locker room and all the attitude, it fits," Chris Simms added.
Thomas joins a Ravens secondary that includes safeties Tony Jefferson, Anthony Levine Sr., cornerbacks Marlon Humphrey, Jimmy Smith, Brandon Carr and slot Tavon Young.
"It improves that secondary greatly," Simms said. "Like I said, the combo at safety's special. Their corners are pretty good there in Baltimore and hey, I know they lost some good people in the front seven, but they got a lot of guys there that are ready to play and ready to fill in."
While the Ravens added on defense they also added to their backfield with the signing of former Saints running back Mark Ingram to a three-year, $15 million deal. A steal compared to the $13.1 million per year the Jets are giving Le'Veon Bell.
Sharing the workload with fellow running back Alvin Kamara the last two seasons, Ingram finished 2018 with 138 carries for 645 yards, averaging 4.7 yards per carry and six touchdowns.
"A bargain for the Ravens and a guy that's still got some gas in a tank and can help that Ravens offense go," Forio added.
MORE RAVENS NEWS:
- Farewell: Ravens say hello to Ingram and Thomas, goodbye to Flacco and Suggs
- No Bells Rung: Ravens never made Bell an offer, per report
- Ravens Free Agency Tracker: Stay up-to-date on the moves