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Should the Ravens draft, sign or trade for a wide receiver? Part III

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NFL: Super Bowl LII-Philadelphia Eagles vs New England Patriots Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

With the combine underway and the start of free agency looming, the offseason is ramping up. With the wide receiver position high on the list of to-dos for Baltimore, here is a sampling of potential trade targets.

Jarvis Landry has been dominating the majority of Ravens trade headlines as of late. Once a highly coveted free agent, the Dolphins decided to use the franchise tag in hopes of leveraging his trade value. While it is confirmed by ESPN that Miami has permitted Landry’s agent to seek a trade, no deal is immediate. Understanding that the Ravens are desperate for receptions and Landry lead the league last season, the interest makes sense. Given that the franchise tag puts Landry on the books for $16.2 million next season, the price, quite simply, does not. A cap constrained team with needs in other areas, namely offensive line, this deal would leave Baltimore with less opportunity to address them. If completed, Flacco may have a fun new toy to play with down field but downgraded protection.

New England Patriots wide receiver, Brandin Cooks, is owed $8.4 million next season. With Cooks only making $1.5 million in 2017, it would not be a surprise if Bill Belichick puts him on the trade block to cut costs. With three seasons of 1,000+ receiving yards, the Oregon State product could be a potential option for around half the cap hit of Landry. It’s worth noting that Cooks becomes an unrestricted free agent in 2019, with the 2018 season serving as a long test drive for the Ravens if he is acquired.

The Pittsburgh Steelers deny building trade rumors surrounding Martavis Bryant. If the rumors have some merit, then the Ravens ought to be listening. Like Cooks, Bryant is set to become an unrestricted free agent in 2019. It is certainly plausible that the Steelers are looking to get some value for the receiver rather than lose him to market a year from now. In the shadow of Antonio Brown, Bryant was targeted 84 times compared to Brown’s 162 in 2017. Yet, Bryant still averages 15.2 yards per reception for his career. Bryant is set to make just $705,000 next season. If Steelers are truly interested in fielding trade offers, he could become a highly productive bargain for the rival Ravens in 2018.

Trade scenarios become far more complex than drafting prospects or signing free agents. However, if Baltimore is serious about finding a talent that can make an immediate impact without crippling the rest of the roster, trading for a receiver is a highly attractive option.

Of course the Ravens have the opportunity to utilize all three options, but which route is best for acquiring a top-level talent?

Poll

Should the Ravens draft, sign or trade for a wide receiver?

This poll is closed

  • 48%
    Draft
    (416 votes)
  • 21%
    Sign a free agent
    (182 votes)
  • 30%
    Trade
    (268 votes)
866 votes total Vote Now

Part I

Part II