The Baltimore Ravens were faced with a dilemma this offseason. Would they sign a receiver to aid speedsters Mike Wallace and Breshad Perriman or would they stand pat with the youngsters behind them? Baltimore decided on the former.
After an injury-plagued 2016 campaign with the Kansas City Chiefs, wide receiver Jeremy Maclin was cut on June 2. On June 13, Maclin inked a 2-year/$11 million deal with the Ravens.
Maclin has had ample experience and success playing receiver in NFL. He has racked up 6,395 yards and 46 TDs in seven professional seasons. The question is, what could his signing mean for Perriman, who only has one pro season in the books?
Baltimore Ravens columnist John Eisenberg would weigh in on the situation.
“Before Maclin joined the team, Perriman was in a situation I saw as fairly precarious,” said Eisenberg on the team’s site. “After losing his rookie season to a knee injury, he only had one up-and-down season on his resume, and it was clear in that season that he needed to become more polished and consistent. Yet now he was going to be starting on an offense under intense scrutiny after underperforming in 2016. It was asking a lot, I thought.”
With the addition of Maclin, Perriman should be able to learn a thing or two from the seven-year veteran. To play with a receiver that is a crisp and polished route runner will do wonders for young receiver like Perriman. The pressure will now be off of his shoulders and he can now focus on improving.
“Yes, Perriman is always going to be under pressure to produce because of the round he was drafted in,” Eisenberg continued. “But if he didn’t develop into the major playmaker the Ravens needed in 2017, he was going to take a lot of heat.”
Much would have been expected out of Perriman during the season if there wasn’t another receiver alongside of him. He would’ve immediately been asked to take hold of a starting role, which something that he has never done.
Although Perriman has been amazing by many accounts during minicamp and OTAs, it wouldn’t hurt for him to slide into the number three receiver role. If he is the number three receiver and he has made strides in his play, opposing defenses will be afraid of a much more formidable Ravens air attack.