After failing to sign Gerald McCoy earlier this season, it seems natural the Ravens may make a push to get Pro Bowl DT Mike Daniels, who was released by the Packers on Wednesday.

I think the Ravens must consider a significant set of concerns prior to such a move.

But, let’s starts with the reasons they should go after Daniels:

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  1. He turned 30 in May and is a year younger than McCoy. If they wanted McCoy, they should be interested in Daniels.

  2. He has provided consistent, pocket-collapsing pressure over the last seven years with Green Bay, including 29 career sacks and 68 QHs.

  3. He had an enormous workload in GB that may have hampered him as a pass rusher. As a pass-rush specialist in Baltimore, his productivity could improve in a role that might be 35-50% of the team’s defensive snaps.

  4. If they don’t sign him, it’s possible the Browns, who were also jilted by McCoy, might get him.

Reasons not to pursue Daniels:

  1. Daniels’ snaps have declined sharply over the last two seasons including six games missed with injury in 2018. As with any player his age, availability will be a question, regardless of the focused snap management of Don Martindale.

  2. The Ravens have a barbelled situation with experience on their DL. They have three players who may not be around past 2020. Willie Henry and Michael Pierce are UFAs after 2019. Brandon Williamscould be released after either 2019 or 2020. This particular situation underscores the need the Ravens have to determine what they have in terms of young defensive line talent, specifically Sieler, Mack, and Willis. As of now, Chris Wormley is the only experienced DL on his first contract who is sure to be with the team in 2020. Another way to say this is that finding playing time for Sieler, Mack, and Willis in 2019 is an investment in beating the cap in 2020 and beyond.

  3. The best deal is a “prove-it” deal, meaning one year for $6-9 million. This seemingly would fit the Ravens, who could both plug a year where they may have need for an additional interior pass rusher and hope to manufacture a future compensatory pick. But it will probably come at the expense of one of the above three defensive linemen, whether than means they spend the year on IR or are cut.

  4. The Ravens used only 1.90 DL per play in 2019, the lowest in franchise history by a wide margin (2.06 in 2012). With the spate of OLBs the team has, I expect we’ll continue to see more single-DL snaps on passing downs with an OLB such as McPhee, Ray, or Ferguson bumping inside.

  5. There is only one spot for a defensive lineman to rush from the inside on passing downs and the best candidate may be Henry. The Ravens sacked the QB on 21.2% of plays (11 of 52) when Henry was in the game in 2018, by far the highest percentage on the team (next was Urban, 6.4%). Some of Henry’s success should encounter skepticism based on situational usage or the fact he played a fair percentage of his season’s snaps in the Tennessee game, but the statistic is the single biggest outlier I can recall seeing in 2018.

  6. The cap saved by not signing Daniels can be pushed forward to 2020, so this isn’t a case where the Ravens have a “use-it-or-lose-it” budget.

Mike Daniels is a talented player, but the Ravens have many competing priorities to consider.