NFL Rumors: Ravens connected to AJ Dillon as free agency landing spot
The majority of Baltimore Ravens fans are probably still salty toward offensive coordinator Todd Monken for his approach to the running game against the Chiefs in the AFC Championship Game -- if you could even call it an approach.
Outside of Lmar Jackson's eight carries, the rest of the Ravens roster totaled only eight more carries, only six of which went to running backs. Gus Edwards toted the rock three times for 20 yards while Justice Hill also garnered three carries but only for three yards. Wide receiver Zay Flowers received the other two carries, going for four yards.
It was a shocking turn of events for the Ravens, who had been one of the more effective rushing offenses in the league throughout the year behind a stable of running backs. But now the club faces some uncertainty at running back with both Edwards and JK Dobbins slated to become free agents this offseason. Sure, Hill and breakout rookie Keaton Mitchell will be in the fold, but could Baltimore use an upgrade in the offseason?
Cody Benjamin of CBS Sports recently broke down his projected free agent landing spots for top players expected to be on the market. And in that, he had the Ravens landing Packers running back AJ Dillon this offseason. Here's what he had to say about a hometown reunion between Baltimore and Dillon:
"The supersized vet could have an increased role in Green Bay depending on Aaron Jones' future, but the latter has proven much more valuable. How about a return to his hometown Baltimore as a short-yardage option?"
With how Jones performed for the Packers, it seems as though extending the veteran and allowing Jones to walk could be in play this offseason. But that would be a tricky proposition for the Ravens to sign him as well.
On one hand, he would be a younger, more suped-up iteration of what Edwards brought to the table in short-yardage work with some use outside of that as well. But Dillon is also coming off of his worst season as a pro, averaging a meager 3.4 yards per carry for the Packers in 2023.
The optimistic view, however, would be that he'll be just 26 years old when Week 1 of the 2024 season kicks off and Dillon doesn't have much mileage at the NFL level on the tires. So perhaps this would make a ton of sense for the Ravens to replenish the running back room with a semi-distressed asset.