Nov 28, 2013; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens defensive tackle Arthur Jones (97) and Pittsburgh Steelers offensive tackle Marcus Gilbert (77) exchange words during a NFL football game on Thanksgiving at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports
This is tricky. I need a run stopper and a pass rusher. Osi Umenyiora has been an alright rusher, but by himself, he’s hardly enough. We need a defensive tackle that can create pressure in the middle. If I could do that, I might be able get a few linebackers back there or buy some time for the defensive ends. Mike Nolan likes to run a versatile defense, so I’ll have to find someone with a good price to fill in as a tackle. I’m not going to break the bank here, but I need to pick up a solid pocket-pusher. The best guy out there is Paul Soliai from Miami, but he’ll probably want too much. Reports have him asking near the $10 million mark. The next best choice is Linval Joseph out of New York. I don’t think the Giants will let him hit the market and even if he did, $6-7 million may also be a little too steep.
I’m going with the budding star strategy. It worked great with Turner, so I’m going with a guy that is young, has a lot of potential, and can be fairly cheap. I’m going with Arthur Jones. He’s experienced enough to know what he’s doing, he’s big enough to eat blocks and press the pocket, he’s young enough to develop into a consistent threat, and he could be in the Red and Black for around only $3-4 million a year.
Considering I bring back Corey Peters, a very reliable player that proved his worth, and Jonathan Babineaux who (although aging) has great experience and wants to retire in Atlanta, the defensive line is almost set. I’ll fill in the rest with the draft.
First let’s tie up some loose ends.