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Ravens trade for DE Calais Campbell, according to reports

Ravens trade for DE Calais Campbell, according to reports

The Ravens acquired Calais Campbell from the Jaguars for a 2020 fifth-round pick, 170th overall in next month’s draft, according to multiple reports. 

Campbell is a massive defensive end at 6-foot-8 and 300 pounds, and can provide run support from the interior as well as a strong pass rush. He registered 6.5 sacks, 25 quarterback hits and 56 tackles in the 2019 season. Over the last three seasons, he’s tallied 31.5 sacks and 77 quarterback hits.

Additionally, Campbell hasn’t missed a game since the 2014 season when he was a member of the Cardinals. He’s missed just six games in his 12-year career. Not only durable, Campbell is also an excellent person in the locker room and community. Campbell is the NFL’s Walter Payton Man Of The Year award winner from the 2019 season.

Campbell has one year left on his contract with a base salary of 15 million dollars and a cap hit of 17.5 million dollars. According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, the two sides are finalizing a two-year, $27 million extension for the defensive lineman to stay in Baltimore. The deal would include $20 million guaranteed, according to Rapoport.

The trade appears to be a strong one, on paper, for the Ravens, who sent the fifth-round pick they received from the Vikings to the Jaguars for Campbell. The Ravens had the Vikings’ pick due to an August trade for kicker/punter Kaare Vedvik. 

In the last season, the Ravens have turned two fifth-round picks and backup linebacker Kenny Young into cornerback Marcus Peters and Campbell. 

Now, the Ravens will have an interior pass rush — and an interior run-stuff presence — that the team so lacked in 2019.

With Campbell’s cap hit and the recent Matthew Judon franchise tag, the Ravens front seven has taken two big, albeit expensive, steps forward in the last few days. The team also re-signed defensive lineman Jihad Ward, adding some depth along a front that struggled during parts of the season. 

The Ravens now have eight picks in the 2020 NFL Draft, seven of which come in the first 143 picks.

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Edge rusher Matthew Judon and Ravens agree to compromise on franchise tag

Edge rusher Matthew Judon and Ravens agree to compromise on franchise tag

What position Matthew Judon plays makes a bit of a difference when it comes to how much the NFL says he’s worth. In fact, it’s about two million dollars of difference.

If Judon was classified as a defensive end, he’d make $17.788 million on the franchise tag. If he was a linebacker, he’d make $15.828 million. 

Judon’s position as an edge rusher means he’s a bit of a hybrid, so that’s exactly what he and the Ravens agreed to. Judon will make $16.808 million next season, the average of both salaries, the team announced on Friday.

Now, the Ravens and Judon can continue negotiations on a long-term contract until July 15, at which point he’ll play under the franchise tag and be forced to wait until the end of the 2020 season. 

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Judon, who had 9.5 sacks last season, will be 28 years old when the season begins. He’ll likely start opposite Jaylon Ferguson, a 2019 third-round pick who had 2.5 sacks in his rookie season. 

If the Ravens agree to a long-term deal with Judon, it will likely be the first in a line of many long-term contracts to come on a team loaded with young talent. That deal would likely allow the Ravens to spread out his cap hit over multiple seasons and increase the likelihood of re-signing other future free agents on the roster.

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John Harbaugh explains how the Ravens plan to use first-round linebacker Patrick Queen

John Harbaugh explains how the Ravens plan to use first-round linebacker Patrick Queen

The Ravens hit a home run in the NFL draft when Patrick Queen fell to them at 28th overall. 

Queen, likely the best player in the draft available when the Ravens picked, filled the biggest position of need for the Ravens at inside linebacker. 

The question now, though, is how he’ll be used. 

“Patrick Queen will probably be... we’ll play him probably at MIKE [linebacker] for the most part, right there in the middle,” Harbaugh said on a Thursday conference call with Ravens season-ticket holders. “We’ll let him use his speed and instincts to run around and make plays at all three phases. He’ll be a three-down guy, both in our base package and our sub package.”

Queen made 85 tackles last season at LSU, his only season as a starter. The Ravens loved his ability to play sideline-to-sideline; his coverage ability dictates keeping him on the field for all three downs. 

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The Ravens have L.J. Fort, Otaro Alaka, Chris Board and Jake Ryan as some veteran help on the inside as well, but they’ve got another talented rookie in Malik Harrison. 

At Ohio State, Harrison registered 75 tackles in 2019 and had 16.5 tackles for loss. Even at 6-foot-3, 247 pounds, Harrison is still an athletic linebacker who can provide big hits and run defense, and perhaps even his underrated coverage skills.

“Malik ... we’ll probably start him off at WILL [linebacker] in the base package, but he’ll probably be repping in the base package at MIKE,” Harbaugh said. “We’ll flip those guys around. We move those guys back and forth.”

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