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Seven-Pick Defensive Back Hints At Free Agency Departure: “Business Is Business”

Justin Madubuike, Geno Stone, Jadeveon Clowney, and Patrick Queen are all set to hit free agency, and the Ravens can't pay all of them.
Geno Stone Free Agency

The Baltimore Ravens have a small army of key players set to hit free agency, including but not limited to Justin Madubuike, Patrick Queen, Kevin Zeitler, Jadeveon Clowney, Odell Beckham, and Geno Stone. Baltimore had the best roster in football last year, but the sad reality of life in the salary cap era is that it’s impossible to keep this much talent together indefinitely. Eventually, these game-changing players need to be paid, and Baltimore isn’t going to be able to give everyone the contract they deserve.

Safety Geno Stone is aware of this reality as he enters free agency. Originally selected in the seventh round of the 2020 NFL Draft, the Iowa product has steadily turned into an above-average starter. He’s hitting the open market at the right time, as he finished the 2023 season with seven interceptions and nine passes defended while providing great over the top coverage.

During a recent appearance on NFL Network, Geno Stone spoke about his impending journey into free agency and what he expects to happen on the open market.

“At the end of the day, Baltimore is always home, but business is business. You know that being in this league this long. I’ve been through it all, especially my rookie year. I just want to be somewhere I’m appreciated, you know, who wants me and for me to be a starter, whatever it may be. I just want my value to be there.”

Geno Stone Hints At Free Agency Departure: “Business Is Business”

This comes off as a polite way of saying goodbye. Geno Smith enjoyed his time with the Ravens, but he’s ready to move on in free agency. He understandably wants to get a starting job and secure the highest paycheck possible. Quite frankly, it’s hard to imagine either of those things happening in Baltimore.

As mentioned above, the Ravens have multiple high-impact players set to hit free agency, which will make it hard to pay Geno Stone. On top of that, the team already has two good safeties in Kyle Hamilton and Marcus Williams, so even if they could make the money work, Stone would never be a true starter.

Even though Baltimore probably doesn’t have room for Geno Stone, some other organization should be more than willing to hand out a decent contract in free agency. Nobody’s expecting Stone to receive a massive payday, so just about every team in the league should have the financial flexibility to sign Stone if they so desire.

Possible Team Fits

Atlanta Falcons

The Atlanta Falcons have the core roster and salary cap space to make a playoff run in 2024 – just as long as they nail the quarterback position. Assuming they can get a competent passer like Kirk Cousins, this team should go all-in on a postseason run. Jessie Bates had to do it all at the safety position last year, and adding a player like Geno Stone in free agency should solidify the back end of the defense.

Green Bay Packers

Darnell Savage had his highs and lows with the Packers, but now that he’s seemingly on the way out of town, Green Bay will need to do something to replace him. Signing Geno Stone in free agency will not only solve this need but will likely improve the position. While the Packers currently lack cap space, they can create some by releasing David Bakhtiari.

Los Angeles Chargers

Just like the Packers, the Los Angeles Chargers currently don’t have the cap space to sign Geno Smith in free agency. However, they can easily get it by releasing Mike Williams or trading Khalil Mack. Once they free up the spending money, Stone could easily slide into this backfield and provide some much-needed deep support. When you share a division with Patrick Mahomes, you need to make sure to have someone capable of taking away the deep shot.

New Orleans Saints

The New Orleans Saints always figure out how to dig themselves out of salary cap hell, and they’ll do it again in 2024. Once they do, they should be interested in adding Geno Stone in free agency. Tyrann Mathieu can’t do it all by himself, and having Stone take away the deep part of the field will free up the other safety to play closer to the line.

Denver Broncos

The Denver Broncos are only on this list because they could part ways with Justin Simmons. If this happens, they’ll need to sign someone like Geno Stone in free agency. While Stone isn’t quite as good as Simmons, he will be cheaper and there won’t be that much of a dropoff. The Broncos might need to make cost-cutting moves like this once they officially part ways with Russell Wilson.

Main Photo: Jessica Rapfogel – USA Today Sports


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