The Baltimore Ravens drafted wide receiver Michael Campanaro from Wake Forest in the seventh round of the 2014 NFL Draft. Since then, it has been a rough go of it for the Maryland native. In his three year career he has shown glimpses and flashes of his abilities both as a wide receiver and as a return man. Unfortunately, his Ravens career has been seriously marred by the injury bug, which is something the team is desperately trying to avoid with their players.
Last year, Campanaro was placed on injured reserve and then was released shortly thereafter. The team brought him back to the practice squad on November 7th, and he was promoted to the active roster a month later.
This offseason, the Ravens placed a restricted free agent tender on him for $1.79 million. Now, the Ravens have decided to give him a new contract for the 2017 season, via The Baltimore Sun's Jeff Zrebiec:
Ravens WR Michael Campanaro is signing a new deal with Ravens. It will be a 1-year deal with a max value of $2 mill, per sources.— Jeff Zrebiec (@jeffzrebiecsun) April 6, 2017
The move opens up $600,000 in cap space for the team and Campanaro receives $250,000 in roster and signing bonuses. Another thing that Zrebiec brings up is Campanaro's ability in the return game. Campanaro does make plays in that department, and the Ravens haven't had a full-on return man since Jacoby Jones.
Campanaro will get a shot during training camp to prove himself because there is still no guarantee he makes the team. The biggest caveat is his health. Campanaro must avoid injuries in 2017 if he is going to be able to show what he can do.
Maybe the game that defines Campanaro's career so far was the early October matchup with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2015. Campanaro scored an amazing touchdown when he took a reverse play and dove into the end zone head first for a touchdown that gave the Ravens a 7-3 lead at the time. Later on in that game, he was carted off the field. It was later revealed he had a herniated disc, which ended his season way too soon.
Despite his injury plagued past, Michael Campanaro has been given one more chance to prove himself. One more chance to show the team the talent he possesses. He just needs to avoid the injury list, and the Ravens need him to avoid it.