The Ravens have mastered the art of signing free agents after the window closes on the acquisition counting toward the compensatory draft pick formula. But waiting to sign free agents entails a risk of having some other team making a move.
As it relates to former Steelers tackle Alejandro Villanueva, the Ravens narrowly avoided the possibility of another suitor emerging for the player’s services. And the Ravens know it.
On the same day that the Ravens announced their deal with Villanueva, the day after the conclusion of the compensatory draft pick period, news emerged that the Broncos have lost right tackle Ja'Wuan James for the season. With former Steelers offensive line coach Mike Munchak now working in Denver, the Broncos likely would have become interested in Villanueva.
The Ravens still may have gotten Villanueva, but it may have been more expensive to close the deal — more expensive than the two-year, $14 million deal that Villanueva signed in Baltimore. Ultimately, the Broncos may have diverted some of the money that will be saved via the James injury to pursue Villanueva.