This is one way to trim down your receiving options.
On Wednesday, the Ravens announced that they traded receiver David Reed to the Indianapolis Colts for running back Delone Carter. Reed was drafted by the Ravens in the fifth round of the 2010 NFL draft.
This is a somewhat surprising move, on the surface, since the Ravens traded Reed for a running back, given there doesn't appear to be much room on the roster at the present time. Quick thinking would lean toward two options:
1) All along it's been expected that the Ravens will keep six or seven receivers. This may be the first indication that they won't. Considering they're going to keep Ray Rice, Bernard Pierce, Vonta Leach and Kyle Juszczyk on the 53-man roster, why bring in another running back unless you're leaning toward a run-heavy scheme?
2) Trading Reed to Indianapolis relieves the contractual obligations Baltimore has with the receiver. Then again, the Ravens are on the hook for $500,000 in signing bonus money ($250,000 prorated each season) regardless of what they do with Reed. On top of that, they only save $75,000 in salary money since Reed will get $630,000 this year and Carter is due $555,000. (h/t @RavensSalaryCap).
Money doesn't appear to be a motivating factor here, which brings to another two-point list:
1) Carter will be on the 53-man roster as a backup that offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell is familiar with since he drafted him in the fourth round of the 2011 draft.
2) This is simply helping out an old friend in Colts coach Chuck Pagano, whose team gave the Ravens center A.Q. Shipley for a conditional seventh round pick.
This certainly throws a wrench in trying to figure out which guys will make the 53-man roster. If they keep three running backs and two fullbacks, another position group will lose a player.
In two seasons with Indianapolis, Carter has a total of 133 carries for 499 yards and five touchdowns.
Reed has battled injuries during his time in Baltimore, most recently one affecting his groin during the 2012 preseason. Given the numbers at receiver, it makes sense that someone like Reed was traded. He'd also been buried on the depth chart during this preseason.
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