Ravens Connected To $45 Million Free Agent

May 20, 2024

Free Agent Edge Defender Carl Lawson Spent The 2023 Season Battling Injury But Could Be A Good Buy-Low For The Right Team.

Carl Lawson Free Agent

The Baltimore Ravens lost several key contributors during free agency, and the team could turn to a cost-effective free agent like Carl Lawson to replace some of their departed players. Jadeveon Clowney had a season to remember in 2023, recording 9.5 sacks, 43 tackles, nine tackles-for-loss, and 19 quarterback hits while appearing in every game. Following a series of one-year deals, the veteran used this remarkable campaign to cash in with the Carolina Panthers, leaving Baltimore without an experienced edge defender to complement Justin Madubuike.

While Baltimore retained Kyle Van Noy, they have not properly replaced Clowney. Thanks to salary cap issues and losses throughout the roster, the Ravens couldn’t afford a high-priced edge defender in free agency and attacked other positions early in the NFL Draft. Perhaps rookie third-round pick Adisa Isaac can contribute right out of the gate, but Bleacher Report believes the Ravens should sign free agent Carl Lawson as a low-risk, high-reward veteran.

Carl Lawson is an intriguing option that makes sense. He dealt with a back injury for much of the 2023 campaign and was stuck in a deep defensive line rotation with the Jets but he’s only 28 and has solid production in previous seasons.

Ravens Could Target Free Agent Carl Lawson

Carl Lawson is one of the more overlooked players on the free agent market, in large part due to injuries. After starting his career with four strong seasons on the Cincinnati Bengals, the Auburn product cashed in with a three-year, $45 million deal in free agency. Unfortunately, the injury bug bit shortly thereafter, as a torn Achilles kept him off the field in 2021 and back issues limited him to just six games in 2023. Lawson hardly saw the field even when he was healthy, finishing the season with just five tackles and no sacks.

While last year was a season to forget, Lawson proved he can still play in 2022. During his first season back from the Achilles injury, the big-money free agent finished the season with seven sacks, 33 tackles, nine tackles-for-loss, and 24 quarterback hits. Now entering his age-29 season, Carl Lawson is a great buy-low free agent the Ravens could sign on a cheap one-year deal.

Of course, the Ravens won’t be the only ones interested in free agent Carl Lawson. While nobody is getting into a bidding war over the former fourth-round pick, several teams should be interested in bringing him in to see what he has left in his tank.

Other Potential Destinations

Atlanta Falcons

The Falcons believe they have the talent to win now. While Kirk Cousins will provide some much-needed stability for Drake London, Kyle Pitts, and Bijan Robinson, Atlanta must improve the defense if they want to go on a deep postseason run. With only $7 million in remaining cap space, the Falcons should be interested in a cheap free agent with decent upside like Carl Lawson. If he has nothing left, the Falcons can cut him with minimal financial repercussions. If, however, they catch lightning in a bottle, he can help this team take home the NFC South title.

New Orleans Saints

The Saints made a high-risk, high-reward signing when they brought in an injured Chase Young on a one-year deal. While Young could solve the Saints issues on the edge, they could use an insurance policy in case he fails to recapture his peak form. With minimal financial flexibility, Carl Lawson is the ideal free agent to bring in to compete for a spot on the roster.

Detroit Lions


The Lions Super Bowl window is wide open, and the team is doing everything they can to capitalize on this opportunity. The team spent the offseason fortifying the defense and retaining their star players, but there’s always room for another pass rusher. Aidan Hutchinson is a star and Marcus Davenport is a fine complementary option, but this team could use a third player capable of getting after the quarterback. At this point in his career, Carl Lawson is probably better off as a situational player and could be a nice free agent fit in this defense.

Carolina Panthers

After trading away Brian Burns, the Panthers are attacking the edge defender position with as many bodies as they can find. Jadeveon Clowney and D.J. Wonnum can hold down the fort, but they’re not the most intimidating group in the league. Seeing as this team will need to win with defense, Carolina could stand to add a cheap free agent edge rusher like Carl Lawson into the mix. Maybe he has nothing left, but it doesn’t hurt to kick the tires on the veteran.

Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs don’t need another pass rusher, as Chris Jones and George Karlaftis are more than capable of getting after the quarterback. However, seeing as they’re going for the first three-peat in NFL history, Kansas City should improve as many areas of the roster as possible. 2023 first-round pick Felix Anudike-Uzomah didn’t do much of anything as a rookie, and the Chiefs could use a cheap free agent insurance policy like Carl Lawson in case the Kansas State product can’t make the Year 2 leap.

Main Photo: Vincent Carchietta – USA Today Sports