With the Miami Dolphins placing the franchise tag on Jarvis Landry, the Ravens lose their best opportunity to land a top wide receiver via free agency. There are still plenty of options, however, to build the receving corps for the 2018 season.
The big names first:
- Allen Robinson
- Sammy Watkins
Both Robinson and Watkins are expected to receive the franchise tag from their teams as well, if long-term deals aren’t reached, so neither of the two will hit the open market most likely. There’s no point in getting your hopes up over either Robinson or Watkins.
The Ravens will likely have to sign a receiver from this list instead:
- Marqise Lee
- Paul Richardson
- Donte Moncrief
- Eric Decker
- John Brown
- Terrelle Pryor Sr.
- Jordan Matthews
- Taylor Gabriel
- Danny Amendola
- Mike Wallace
The obvious name on the list of possible free agent wide receivers is Mike Wallace, who has played in Baltimore for the past two seasons. Wallace had 1,017 receiving yards and four touchdowns in 2016, and 748 yards and four touchdowns in 2017. He came on strong in the second-half of the season, along with as the entire offense. He and quarterback Joe Flacco have built a relationship over the past two years, and that rapport could make re-signing him very enticing, despite turning 32 before the start of the season. The receiving corps could use the veteran leadership of Wallace, and he has already expressed desire to remain in Baltimore.
Marqise Lee and Paul Richardson are two players who could be good signings for the Ravens, at a much cheaper price than someone like Landry or Robinson. Neither have proven to be a bona fide number one receiver either though.
Eric Decker and Danny Amendola are two older options to bring in as complementary pieces to the receiving corps. Decker is 30 while Amendola is 32.
Terrelle Pryor Sr. is one of the more intriguing options on the list. In 2016, with a rotating door of poor quarterback play, Pryor put up 1,007 yards and four touchdowns for the Browns. After signing with the Redskins in 2017, however, he only had 240 yards and one touchdown. Bringing Pryor in on a cheap deal could be a low-risk, high-reward signing.
The bottom line is that the Ravens will likely have to sign more than one receiver in free agency along with drafting more than one as well. A combination of Wallace, Richardson/Lee, and drafting a player like Calvin Ridley, Courtland Sutton, or Christian Kirk in the early rounds of the draft sounds like a solid plan to rebuild this depleted position group.
Keep an eye out for players who could be released as well. Former Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith is among those who could potentially be cut. Denver has been rumored to be interested in trading either Demaryius Thomas or Emmanuel Sanders as well. I would have to believe that Baltimore would gladly make a trade for either of those two, especially Thomas.