We are launching yet another new series here at Baltimore Beatdown where we will link you, the reader, to some of the most interesting news and tidbits concerning the Ravens. This series may be published up to three times a week depending on the quality and quantity of news.
The nine-year veteran led Washington with 79 catches and 1,041 yards last season. To put that in perspective, it’s just slightly more catches than Mike Wallace (72) or Smith (70) had last year, and it beats Wallace’s team-leading 1,017 receiving yards.
Garcon is also a model of durability and consistency, playing in 71 consecutive regular-season games. Since 2013, he’s averaged 83 catches and nearly 1,000 yards per season.
The combination of trust, durability, consistency and potential price tag is what sets him apart from other potential free-agent candidates such as Victor Cruz, Alshon Jeffrey and Brandon Marshall.
The Ravens have to improve their pass rushing not only because production had dipped, but because Terrell Suggs isn’t getting any younger. Suggs has had major injuries two years in a row. While it’s admirable that he played through his biceps injury in 2016, how much more can his body take?
A couple other receivers to keep an eye on, per Kiper, are Zay Jones out of East Carolina and Cooper Kupp from Eastern Washington (FCS). Kiper is currently projecting Jones as a late first-rounder and Kupp as a second-rounder. Jones caught 158 passes for 1,746 yards last year. Kupp had an incredible four-year career, racking up 6,464 yards and catching 73 touchdowns.
Still, that doesn’t mean he is prepared to walk into negotiations offering himself up for a proverbial hometown discount. “It all comes down to me taking care of my family for the long term and taking care of my kids for the long haul”.
A possible factor in that equation is the fact Williams will be turning 28 this week, which is on the older side for a player hitting his first free agency. The majority of first-time free agents tend to be 26 or 27—some even 25. But he was a bit on the older side when he came into the league. A five-year deal would take him through his age-32 season, and perhaps his last contract.
At the end of the season, team officials said they need more out of Flacco than last season's production of 20 touchdowns and 15 interceptions.
"We have a quarterback, and he is in that level of compensation, so we need to get him playing at that level," coach John Harbaugh said.
Baltimore's biggest upheaval recently occurred in 2011, when the team cut tight end Todd Heap, wide receiver Derrick Mason, nose tackle Kelly Gregg and running back Willis McGahee.
But the greatest cap purge in team history came in 2002, when the Ravens released 10 players, including two future Hall of Fame players (safety Rod Woodson and tight end Shannon Sharpe) as well as defensive tackles Sam Adams and Tony Siragusa, wide receiver Qadry Ismail, defensive end Rob Burnett and fullback Sam Gash.