Linebacker Zach Orr retired in January due to a congenital neck and spine condition that understandably scared the hell out of him. In his lone season as a starter with the Baltimore Ravens in 2016, Orr recorded 130 tackles, three interceptions, five passes defensed, and was named as a second-team All-Pro by the AP, so it was a considerable loss for the Ravens and the league.
Therefore the NFL is getting a significant talent boost this week, as Orr has announced that he intends to return after getting a new, better prognosis about his health and safety.
Orr is an unrestricted free agent. Though he’s only been in the league for three years, he went undrafted out of North Texas and so Baltimore didn’t hold his rights for four years like most teams do with players out of college. Orr is expected to visit the Detroit Lions first and has mentioned that he’s been in contact with the Ravens and that they’d be his destination in a perfect world.
But Baltimore has cap issues ($5.8 million in space per OvertheCap) and linebacker is not a huge need for them, especially after drafting Tyus Bowser in the second round. Would the Seattle Seahawks take interest?
In some scenarios, yes. Orr is talented enough to fit in any scheme, but linebacker is even less of a need for Seattle; they have a Pro Bowler at weakside, an All-Pro in the middle, and their SAM position is almost obsolete right now. Also, the Seahawks signed three free agent linebackers of some note: Arthur Brown, Michael Wilhoite, and Terence Garvin. I also don’t think there’s a position for him anywhere in the NFC West, so the new high-profile free agent probably won’t haunt the Seahawks in their division next year either.
Good news overall for Orr and the NFL.