Free agency is revving up and the frenzy is only beginning. Recently, the Baltimore Ravens announced the release of wide receiver Lee Evans. The veteran wide-out never lived up to expectations during his short time with the Ravens and there aren’t any signs yet that the team is going to be quick about bringing him back.
The Ravens currently only have two cemented starters heading into next season in Anquan Boldin and Torrey Smith. Behind those two, the Ravens have a couple of unproven soon-to-be 2nd year players in LaQuan Williams and Tandon Doss. Though this year’s free agency class will be loaded with top-tier talent, such as: Vincent Jackson (San Diego), Marques Colston (New Orleans), and Mario Manningham (New York Giants), just to name a few, the Ravens have out-right stated that they don’t plan to spend big-money on a free agent wide receiver. Harbaugh's comments on signing a big-named receiver:
"We just don’t have the cap room. It wouldn’t be a smart way to distribute the money. You get the right player for the right price, and then you have to look at it."
But, what if the Ravens could get a proven, albeit somewhat inconsistent, veteran wide receiver on the cheap? Enter: Randy Moss. According to reports, Moss recently worked out for the New Orleans Saints and impressed mightily. At 35 years old, the biggest questions surrounding the 13-year veteran should be: how much does he have left, and is he motivated enough to work through another grueling season of NFL action? There’s no doubt that a motivated Moss is a dangerous receiver, perhaps one of the best ever and now that there are rumblings that he’s returned to his old self, should the Ravens at least consider taking a peek?
(After the "Jump", read more about Moss’ work-out with the Saints and see what he could bring to the Ravens.)
Just as this year’s free agency receiver class is loaded with talent, there are quite a few collegiate receivers that the Ravens could be in a position to draft next month, such as: Stephen Hill (Georgia Tech), Alshon Jeffery (University of South Carolina), and Kendall Wright (Baylor), just to name a few. It seems as though the Ravens are dead-set on sticking with a heavy dose of vertical passing in order to utilize Joe Flacco’s cannon-arm. This past season we found that a pure burner like Torrey Smith paired with Flacco’s arm strength is a phenomenal match. Surely, the presence of Smith stretching the field opened up other opportunities for the Ravens’ offensive pieces, such as running back Ray Rice. With defensive backs having to key-in on Smith going deep often, his presence lined up on the outside drew defensive backs away from the line-of-scrimmage which allowed Rice more room to run free and helped lead to his best season yet where he led the NFL in total yards from the line-of-scrimmage.
The Ravens surely would love to get another big, fast wide receiver to pair with Smith to really put defenses in tricky situations. The only problem with drafting a young wide receiver is that nothing is guaranteed. While I believe that the Ravens should begin to focus on building this position through the draft, sometimes it can take a young wide-out 2-3 full years to transition from college to the pro-level. So, once again, enter: Randy Moss.
The 6-4 210 lbs. Moss has a staggering stat-line for his 13-year career: 954 catches/14,858 yards/153 TDs. In 10 out of his 13 seasons, Moss has broken the 1,000 yard-receiving mark. As one of the NFL’s best all-time deep threats, Moss could fit in well with the Ravens’ offense paired with the strong-armed Flacco throwing to him. As previously mentioned, the Ravens are committed to the deep-ball and having on of the best deep-threats of all-time could prove to be a dominating match. According to reports after his work-out with the Saints, Moss is back to his old-self; the receiver that once dominated the NFL with ease. Here is a snippet from around the league regarding Moss’ work-out:
Fox Sports' Jay Glazer reported on Twitter that Moss ran about 45 routes in the workout and impressed the Saints with the way he performed. An NFL source told ProFootballTalk.com that Moss' workout "couldn't have gone better."
So, if Moss is really is back to his old-self, should the Ravens at least consider taking a run at him? In my opinion, they should at least take a look. In no way am I saying that the Ravens shouldn’t look towards the draft for a receiver in order to continue building for the future, and there’s no reason that the Ravens couldn’t sign Moss AND draft a wide-receiver. But, if the Ravens could get Moss for the right price, why wouldn’t they sign one of the best receivers in NFL history?
So, have your say. Let me know what you think in regards to Moss and whether or not the Ravens should work him out in the comments section below!