Ravens LB Odafe Oweh prepares for snap in playoffs against Texans.


Ravens LB Odafe Oweh prepares for snap in playoffs against Texans.


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Ravens LB Odafe Oweh prepares for snap in playoffs against Texans.

The Baltimore Ravens settled the debate on how they would approach OLB Odafe Oweh‘s fifth-year option prior to the deadline. Baltimore had until Thursday, May 2, to decide whether they would exercise the option on the 2021 first round linebacker.

The Ravens decided not to wait till the last minute and on Tuesday, April 30, they posted on X, “We have picked up @DafeOweh‘s fifth-year option.”

We have picked up @DafeOweh‘s fifth-year option

Oweh was the second of the first round picks that general manager Eric DeCosta had to decide on this offseason. He signed WR Rashod Bateman to a bridge contract prior to the draft.

Locking up Oweh’s fifth-year option will keep the young LB in the purple and black through the 2025 season.

According to ESPN’s Jamison Hensley, “He will make $13.251 million in 2025.” What the Ravens could not afford to happen for a second straight year is a breakout season where they would no longer be able to afford the type of contract necessary (more on this below).

DeCosta released a statement through the Ravens’ X account, “We are happy to announce the Ravens will be picking up Odafe Oweh’s fifth-year option. We look forward to watching him play great football for us this year.”


Odafe Oweh’s Flashes Are Worth Betting On

Oweh will be entering his fourth year and will look to put all of his flashes together to have a breakout season.

Baltimore Beatdown’s staff reacted to the option being picked up on Oweh. Vasilis Lericos explained, “Although his counting stats have been less than ideal, Oweh’s underlying pass rush metrics have been encouraging.”

Additionally, BB’s Frank Platko wrote, “Oweh is still in need a breakout year but has flashed enough playmaking and production to be confident a complete season is on the horizon.”

In 45 games, Oweh has produced 13.0 sacks, 99 combined tackles and 38 QB hits. Lericos advised, “Pro Football Focus charted Oweh with 40 hurries last season and a 17.7 “win” percentage, the best mark among all Ravens edge rushers in 2023.”

Oweh played a career low 50% of the defensive snaps in 2023 but missed a few games due to injuries. He tied his career high of 5.0 sacks in less snaps and games played, so his explosiveness shown through during the season.

At only age 25, Lericos believes, “He has yet to reach his ceiling entering his fourth season.” Oweh will not have two seasons to prove his worth before hitting free agency and attempting to cash in on a long-term deal.

If he is able to sustain his pass-rush explosiveness through a whole season he might just earn himself a massive payday in the 2026 free agency.


Ghost of Patrick Queen Could Be Looming Over Situation

DeCosta could have been feeling the heat of the Patrick Queen situation when making the decision to pick up Oweh’s option.

BB’s Joshua Reed wrote, “The Ravens had to watch 2020 first-round pick, inside linebacker Patrick Queen, walk in free agency following a breakout season in the final year of his rookie deal after they didn’t pick up his fifth-year option last offseason.”

Following three years of mixed results from Queen, and the trade and contract of LB Roquan Smith, DeCosta took a gamble not picking up Queen’s option.

Queen responded with a career year and was nominated to the All-Pro Second Team. The LB parlayed that into a contract with the Pittsburgh Steelers as his year priced him out of the Ravens’ range.

“This ensures the Ravens’ outside linebacker depth chart will stay intact for two more years and Oweh’s salary of $13.251 million in the final year of his rookie deal could wind up being a tremendous bargain,” Reed wrote.

DeCosta is gambling again, but this time it’s on the talent of Oweh shining through for a whole season.

 





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