Ravens Offseason Top Priority: Re-sign Pernell McPhee


Pernell McPhee has easily been the Ravens most underrated defensive player this season. He has wrecked havoc on opposing offenses, and with an expiring contract, he is now the top priority for the Ravens offseason.

The Ravens’ pass rush has been very pivotal to their success this year. The big name players such as Elvis Dumervil and Terrell Suggs get the credit, but Pernell McPhee actually has the highest PFF rating of the three. McPhee is third overall among 3-4 OLBs on PFF, Dumervil comes in fourth and Suggs comes in fifth.

McPhee has played very uniquely in Dean Pees’ scheme on third-down pass-rush situations. Pees plays McPhee as a stand-up 0-1 gap blitzer, and he uses his strength and quickness to beat the center and guards. This plays to his strengths and makes him a menace from the middle.

Even though he does not have the highest amount of sacks, he does a very good job of getting pressure. McPhee has a total of 37 total pressures on 230 pass-rush snaps, which means he pressures the quarterback on 16 percent of his rushes.

McPhee is a must re-sign for the Ravens for a multitude of reasons. The main reason to re-sign him is his youth. Both Suggs and Dumervil have eclipsed the age of thirty, and Suggs is definitely not the same player he used to be. The Ravens overall have one of the best front sevens in the NFL, but it’s full of older players, such as Chris Canty and Haloti Ngata on the line, as well as Daryl Smith, Suggs, and Dumervil to fill out the linebacking core.

Those players combine to an average age of 31.2.

The Ravens need youth in the front seven and re-signing Pernell McPhee is the first step in the right direction. McPhee can become a dominant pass rusher, and he has definitely shown promise this season. I’m not asking the Ravens front office to break the bank, but I believe in McPhee. If signed at the right price, he can be a future replacement for Suggs or Dumervil when their careers end.

For now, Dean Pees will enjoy his secret weapon, though if McPhee continues his dominance, he won’t be a secret much longer. Ravens fans should have their fingers crossed the league finds out about him only after McPhee signs a reasonable deal.