Late For Work 11/1: Resting Ravens Regain First Place in the AFC North


Could There Be a Change in the Running Back Room?

Ravens not named Lamar Jackson have struggled to run the football consistently and it's led to the team making moves to improve the state of the running back room. While they've signed multiple veterans and rotated through starters and gameday activations, Baltimore Positive's Luke Jones doesn't think the Ravens are through with moves at the position.

"We'll continue debating what's plaguing a running game that's too reliant on Jackson's legs, but I'd be surprised if we don't see some sort of shakeup at running back," Jones wrote. "Whether that's a trade acquisition or simply promoting Nate McCrary, you can't keep giving so many touches to veterans lacking explosiveness."

Jones isn't the only media figure expecting change at the running back position, with The Athletic's Jeff Zrebiec saying much of the same.

"Perhaps, the Ravens are waiting on Murray to return before they make any subtractions at running back," Zrebiec wrote. "Otherwise, I can't imagine them being comfortable going with the Devonta Freeman, Le'Veon Bell and Ty'Son Williams trio for much longer. … It's very hard to believe that the Ravens couldn't find an upgrade for the current group either via trade, on the free-agent market or on another team's practice squad. And if they can't, why not give their own practice squad running back, Nate McCrary, a trial run?"

On the topic of trading for a running back, Late For Work previously covered the possibility of Colts running back Marlon Mack as target for Baltimore. However, Bleacher Report's Maurice Moton suggests the Ravens trade for Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Ronald Jones II.

"The Baltimore Ravens should offer a late-round pick for Jones," Moton wrote. "…The Ravens don't seem to trust second-year running back Ty'Son Williams, who saw his role shrink after three consecutive starts between Weeks 1 and 3. Jones, who's just 24 years old, could lead Baltimore's ground attack and make a strong impression through the remainder of the term."

According to overthecap.com Jones 2021 salary is $2.25 million for the season and he's down to $1.44 million remaining this season, perhaps making Jones a financially plausible option for Baltimore. He also, according to Zrebiec, would, "check a lot of boxes for the Ravens."

"The Buccaneers insist they're not interested in trading Jones, but he'd check a lot of boxes for the Ravens if they were," Zrebiec wrote. "He can get downhill, factor in the passing game and his contract wouldn't be too prohibitive."

Zrebiec also thinks it shouldn't cost the Ravens much capital to execute a trade this season.

"If the return for former Raven Mark Ingram being dealt from the Houston Texans to the New Orleans Saints is a future seventh-round pick, the Ravens should have no problem acquiring a running back at a very modest price," Zrebiec wrote. "It's one position where not a whole lot of teams are looking for help and plenty of teams have an excess."