Ravens pull surprising move to sign Rivals  QB after cutting his salary to joined Ravens…


The Baltimore Ravens enter the 2024 offseason with a clear priority in re-signing start defensive lineman Justin Madubuike. General Manager Eric DeCosta will once again have his hands full in retaining a top free agent and he may have to use the franchise tag, just like he did on quarterback Lamar Jackson last year.

“We’re trying to get a deal done. We’ve had discussions with Justin (Madubuike). He’s a guy that obviously has put himself in a fortuitous position this year by the way that he played. (He) had a great season for us. He’s a valued player on the team, and we’re hopeful that we can get a long-term deal done,” DeCosta said at the 2024 NFL Combine.

However, there is the cost of the Vikings hurting their financial future given the structure of those extensions would lead to the same crossroads the organization is at this offseason.

If the Vikings roster was still at its peak coming off a 2018 NFC Championship Game appearance, it would be a no-brainer to re-sign Hunter and Cousins and run it back.

However, years of poor drafting and salary cap constraints have led to the roster’s atrophy. There are needs at cornerback, edge rusher and both the offensive and defensive lines.

The Vikings don’t have cap space to secure difference-making veterans at every position even if they went all-in — extending Hunter, Cousins and Justin Jefferson and pushing as much cash as they can onto future years.

Depth also remains an issue. The Vikings are a couple of strong draft classes away from being back in contention.

They could re-sign Cousins and Hunter and keep their competitive window open, but they’d need to hit for the cycle, and then some, in the draft the next two years to truly capitalize taking the competitive route with Cousins and Hunter.

But what’s more likely, is Kwesi Adofo-Mensah strikes the same competitive rebuild philosophy for the 2024 season, which could mean choosing between Hunter or Cousins.

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