clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Training camp cuts to keep an eye on

David Banks/Getty Images

Finally, the Baltimore Ravens training camp is underway, and as a New York Mets fan watching the team go down with injuries similar to the way the Ravens did in 2015, it couldn't come at a better time. Football is back!

Since we are now in the month of August, preseason games will start soon and it's that time of year where Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome looks over the roster and sees where improvement can be made before the start of the regular season.

Ozzie also will look at other teams rosters to see if he can poach on another team's scraps. It's a move Ozzie is all too familiar with and has been so vital to the team's success. A team cuts a player midway through training camp, Ozzie snatches them quicker than a Randy Orton RKO and that player produces. Simple, but very effective. Let's take a look at some players around the NFL at certain positions that could be cut and then quickly snatched up by Ozzie.

CB Alterraun Verner

Let's start with an all too familiar position: Cornerback. Verner has struggled since signing a four-year, $26.5 million contract with the Tampa Buccaneers two years ago.

In his first two years in Tampa, Verner  has only played in 20 games. With the draft pick of Vernon Hargreaves and the signing of Brent Grimes, the writing could be on the wall for the former Pro Bowler. The Ravens cornerback situation is a question mark. Jimmy Smith, while good, has been marred by injuries.

In 2015, cornerback Shareece Wright was very effective for the Ravens after he struggled in his first game and was rewarded with a three-year contract extension, but he must prove that last year was not a fluke. Defensive back Jerraud Powers signed with the Ravens two months ago and should be a valuable veteran presence. '

Ravens cornerback Will Davis is coming off a torn ACL and Tavon Young is a fourth round rookie. If Verner is released by the Bucs, he could be a very valuable asset to a position that needs all the help in the world.

TE Matt Spaeth

Tight end seemed like one of the strongest positions for the Ravens entering the 2016 season. With the 10 game suspension of Nick Boyle and Crockett Gilmore's hamstring injury suffered on the second day of training camp, tight end could all of a sudden become a position of need.

Yes, there is Ben Watson, Maxx Williams and Dennis Pitta. I trust only two of them. Nothing against Pitta, I admire his heart and guts to try and play again after suffering two serious hip injuries, but in my opinion, Pitta's career is over, he should not play again for the sake of his health. One more hit and it's over.

Spaeth was recently released by the Pittsburgh Steelers due to a failed physical. The Ravens might not want to take the chance with how the Jake Long deal blew up, but if Spaeth can pass a physical, he can bring the blocking ability that the team will miss at the tight end position with the potential loss of Gillmore with Watson and Williams providing the pass-catching duties.

It might not hurt to take a chance because you just never know with hamstrings and the Ravens should not rely on Pitta. Loyalty needs to be thrown out the window.

WR Eddie Royal

The Chicago Bears finally get its one-two punch with wide receivers in Alshon Jeffery and Kevin White ready to take the field as a unit. The third wide receiver spot could belong to Marques Wilson. The Ravens wide receiving core, like every year, has question marks. Steve Smith Sr. and Breshad Perriman are both on the PUP list and both might not be ready for week 1 against the Buffalo Bills.

After Mike Wallace and Kamar Aiken, there is Michael Campanaro who can't stay healthy, Chris Moore is a rookie and Jeremy Butler is coming off a decent 2015. Royal caught 37 balls for 238 yards in 2015. Royal would add depth to a Ravens receiving core that, just like the cornerback position, needs all the help in the world. Royal would also add another weapon for quarterback Joe Flacco to throw to. Another name to look out for is wide receiver Victor Cruz.

KR Cordarrelle Patterson

Kick and punt returning may not be that big of a deal, but for the Baltimore Ravens, it's so important. Having a valuable return man with the ability to make big plays whether it's scoring touchdowns or getting good field position for the offense is critical for the Ravens.

The Ravens right now have a battle between Keenan Reynolds, Kaelin Clay and Michael Campanaro. If none of them work out, Patterson is a very intriguing option. With the Minnesota Vikings, Patterson has not developed well as a wide receiver and the team declined his fifth-year option.

If the Vikings do decide to part ways with Patterson, he could be an upgrade over the three Ravens vying for return duties. Plus, you don't have to rush Reynolds into that position with him being a sixth round rookie.

What do you guys think? What players do you think the Ravens should look out for as training camp goes on? Comment below and sound off.