The Baltimore Ravens have been shopping for wide receivers this offseason after general manager Ozzie Newsome talked about reconstructing the unit.
The Ravens allowed Mike Wallace depart in free agency to the Philadelphia Eagles and released Jeremy Maclin. Michael Campanaro is also not expected to return, according to the Baltimore Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec. The Ravens have not had any reported interest about a reunion with tight end Ben Watson.
Baltimore brought in John Brown and Michael Crabtree to begin the process, and the team is still shopping around for help. They hosted Willie Snead and Cameron Meredith, both restricted free agents, for visits. The Ravens were the second team Meredith visited, the other was to the Indianapolis Colts. Last weekend, Meredith made a third visit to the New Orleans Saints, per Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune.
The restricted free agency tour for #Bears WR Cameron Meredith made its third stop over the weekend in the Big Easy. Does an offer sheet come soon? https://t.co/2LxiLkFgqu— Brad Biggs (@BradBiggs) March 26, 2018
Interestingly, in the report by Biggs, he says a source told him that the Ravens are “considering presenting an offer to Meredith.” If the Ravens do exactly that, the Chicago Bears will have five days to match any kind of offer. The Bears have already matched an offer to restricted free agent Kyle Fuller from the division rival Green Bay Packers.
Meredith is coming off a torn ACL and a partially torn MCL back in August that cost him all of the 2017 season, just one year after a breakout 2016 which saw him notch 66 receptions for 888 yards and four touchdowns. That was a season in which the Bears went 3-13 and used three different starting quarterbacks in Jay Cutler, Brian Hoyer, and Matt Barkley. Biggs mentions in the article that the wide receivers coach for the Bears in that 2016 season, Curtis Johnson, is now the wide receivers coach of the Saints.
The Bears have already signed Allen Robinson, Trey Burton, and Taylor Gabriel as they are on their own mission to help their quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. If the Ravens do go through with an offer sheet for the 25-year old Meredith, the cards then fall to the Bears side to see what they do. As for Snead, nothing has been reported since his visit.
If Chicago doesn’t match a hypothetical Ravens offer, Baltimore would then be in line to get a young, promising player who has a lot of talent and hasn’t reached his ceiling yet. With Meredith and Snead, even as restricted free agents, it seems that Newsome is looking for upside. A player who may not yet have the resume, but can step in to provide youth and high potential for this wide receiver group.