Baltimore Ravens Lose Crucial Piece to Elite Defensive Unit Heading into 2024 - Sport News

Baltimore Ravens Lose Crucial Piece to Elite Defensive Unit Heading into 2024

Former Baltimore Ravens star defensive lineman Jadeveon Clowney has decided to return close to home and is signing a two-year deal with the Carolina Panthers.

According to Ian Rapoport with the NFL Network, Jadeveon Clowney signed with the Panthers after visits to the Jets and remaining in touch with the Ravens.

Baltimore Ravens Lose Crucial Piece to Elite Defensive Unit Heading into 2024

Clowney joins Stephon Gilmore in offseason additions for the Panthers, both played on the same high school team in Rock Hill South Carolina. Clowney and Gilmore will now be 30 miles from where they played high school football in his return to the Carolina area.

Baltimore Ravens Elite Defense
The Ravens will need to find a replacement for Clowney on the defensive line. Clowney created pressure at a high rate for the Ravens, while also not having to blitz.

According to Next Gen Stats, the Ravens defense generated a 6.9% higher pressure rate with Clowney on the field last season, despite blitzing on 10.7% less dropbacks. Clowney also matched his career high in stats with 9.5 over the course of the season.

With Clowney, the Baltimore defense did something that hasn’t been done before. According to the Ravens team website, the Ravens finished the regular season with a triple crown NFL record as the first team in history to lead the league in points allowed (16.5 per game), sacks (60), and takeaways (31).

Clowney will surely be missed, and Baltimore will need to find a replacement quick.

Baltimore Ravens Other Defensive Pieces
Baltimore also lost star linebacker Patrick Queen this past offseason to the division rival Pittsburgh Steelers. More losses than gains in Baltimore, but they still hold on to a few key pieces.

Baltimore’s 60 sacks tie the single-season franchise record (2006). Several Ravens set or tied career highs, including Justin Madubuike (13), Jadeveon Clowney (9.5), Kyle Van Noy (9), and Odafe Oweh (5).

Whie Van Noy is still a free agent, and could return, Madubuike and Oweh remain on the defensive line for the Ravens. Baltimore most crucial defender, Roquan Smith, returns in his third season as a Raven and will continue to quarterback their defense.

Although many players will return for the Ravens, the loss of Clowney and Queen will be a problem that head coach John Harbaugh needs to figure out before the start of the regular season.

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