On Sunday, the Baltimore Sun's Jeff Zriebec reported that the Ravens top three free agents, Ricky Wagner, Brandon Williams and Kyle Juszczyk would not only hit the market, but could very well be long gone. Another story has popped up about a Ravens free agent and his level of interest as we head closer to Thursday. It seems appropriate considering the fact that this player has been overlooked throughout his entire career and is now getting the level of interest he's been waiting for.
Bleacher Report's Jason Cole has reported that six teams are interested in the services of soon-to-be Ravens free agent wide receiver Kamar Aiken. Cole states that the three teams that are the "strongest candidates" to sign Aiken are the Cleveland Browns, Buffalo Bills and Seattle Seahawks. The Bills signing him would be very interesting considering the fact that Aiken originally signed with the Bills as an undrafted free agent out of the University of Central Florida back in 2011. In a way, things would come full circle for Aiken.
The Browns would also be intriguing since Aiken expressed his frustrations after the 2016 season ended. As the team was cleaning out their lockers, Aiken talked about last season as if it would dictate how he would handle free agency. His response:
" Yes, I would say it would, I'm open. This will be the first time in my career to hit the market and see what it is. I'm happy and I'm looking forward to it."
Even though Aiken didn't rule out re-signing with Baltimore, he didn't sound like someone who wants to be back. Which begs the question, would Aiken take the Browns offer for a chance to stick it to the Ravens twice a year? We will have to see.
Granted, Cole only listed three of the six teams, so it is possible the Ravens are still among the teams who covet Aiken. With this being Aiken's first, and maybe only chance at the open market, Aiken will do what he has to do.
After years of being a practice squad player, Aiken got his shot in 2014 and wound up producing for the Ravens, the team that gave him the opportunity no one else would. In three seasons, Aiken caught 128 receptions for 1,539 yards and nine touchdowns. He became a consistent weapon for quarterback Joe Flacco.
As for his career best 2015 season, many talk about the injuries being a factor and labeling it as the only reason why Aiken produced those numbers. It's sad that Aiken doesn't get enough credit for posting 75 receptions, 944 receiving yards and five touchdowns in 2015 with four different quarterbacks. The quarterbacks that came after Flacco's injury were Matt Schaub, Jimmy Clausen, and Ryan Mallett. For Aiken to do what he did in 2015 is pretty impressive.
Now, it looks like the underdog who bounced around from practice squad to practice squad and was able to make a name for himself in Baltimore when given the opportunity will be getting a much deserved payday.