The Baltimore Ravens have seen two of their tight ends go down during the course of the off-season. Both Dennis Pitta (injury release) and Darren Waller (suspension) are no longer part of the active roster.
Remaining on the team are Ben Watson, Nick Boyle, Maxx Williams and Crockett Gillmore. Watson (Achilles), Williams (knee) and Gillmore (hamstring) are all coming off of injuries as well, so Baltimore could be on the hunt for another tight end.
That tight end doesn’t seem like it will be Gary Barnidge. Barnidge spoke on Glenn Clark Radio on Thursday, being asked by Clark about possibly coming to Baltimore.
“They know who to contact, who to call,” Barnidge said on Glenn Clark Radio. “I just know we haven’t heard anything yet, which is fine. A lot of teams want to go through training camp ... They want to go through OTAs to see what they have and see what they’ve got, which is fine.”
Barnidge, 31, has played in all 16 games in each of the past two seasons for the Cleveland Browns. During those two seasons, he has amassed 135 catches for 1,655 yards and 11 touchdowns. With numbers like those, Barnidge could be a viable pass-catching option for Baltimore.
Despite being one of the Browns top targets, Barnidge became a cap casualty in April. He is now searching for his third team, after playing four seasons with the Carolina Panthers and the past four seasons with Cleveland.
When asked what it would mean to have an established NFL quarterback like Joe Flacco play with him, Barnidge spoke glowingly of the Super Bowl winning Ravens quarterback.
“I think it would be great,” Barnidge said of playing with Flacco. “Because you would already have that legitimate leader on the team, who is already established. You don’t have to worry about [barring an injury] things being shuffled around.
Knowing that helps the team grow and as an offense too. Now you only work with the same guy. The same cadence, the same sound, same technique and it’s not a different sound in the huddle ... that makes things a lot smoother.”
Baltimore could use Barnidge as a safety valve for Flacco, who targeted Pitta a whopping 121 times last season. Barnidge has also shown that he is able to get down the field on catches, averaging 12.7 yards per reception in his eight-year NFL career.
The need is there and the fit as well, but will Baltimore make their move? Only time will answer that question.