The Baltimore Ravens have been in heavy pursuit of wide receivers so far through the first two months of the off-season. Nabbing free agents John Brown and Michael Crabtree, while getting visits in with other unrestricted free agents such as Michael Floyd, who also did a work out with the Ravens, and Eric Decker. Baltimore was also looking at two 25-year old restricted free agents in Cameron Meredith and Willie Snead of the Chicago Bears and New Orleans Saints, respectively.
Both players have produced for New Orleans and Chicago, but Meredith is coming off a torn ACL and MCL that cost him the 2017 season, and Snead’s year was mired in suspension and injuries, while catching 8 receptions for 92 yards. The Ravens brought back Snead for a work out on the same day as Floyd, but the team reportedly gave Meredith an offer sheet. Meredith however, agreed to a 2-year, $9.6 million deal with the Saints last Friday that includes incentives that could go up to $12.6 million with $5 million in guarantees. Ironically, he would take Snead’s position on the roster.
The Bears had five days to match the offer and have now made the decision not to, as reported by Adam Schefter.
Bears are not matching two-year, $10 million offer sheet that RFA WR Cameron Meredith signed last week with the New Orleans Saints, per league source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 11, 2018
Ryan Pace and Matt Nagy met with Meredith to inform him of decision.
Schefter goes on to say that the reason for it was because they didn’t want to commit to a player who was coming off a serious injury. Meredith is now officially a member of the Saints for the 2018 season. Leaving Snead as the odd man out in the Saints offense. Meredith was tendered by the Bears for $1.9 million, and Chicago had already matched an offer for cornerback Kyle Fuller when he agreed to an offer sheet from the Green Bay Packers. In 2016, Meredith notched 66 receptions, for 888 yards, and 4 touchdowns with Jay Cutler, Matt Barkley, and Brian Hoyer under center.
With Meredith now going to New Orleans, the tide turns to Snead who from 2015-2016, caught 141 receptions, for 1,879 yards, and 7 touchdowns. In 2014, Snead signed as an undrafted free agent with the Cleveland Browns and spent time on the practice squad’s of the Browns and Carolina Panthers before signing with the Saints. The Ravens now could use Meredith going to the Saints to their advantage by giving Snead an offer sheet, knowing full well New Orleans probably won’t match. All in all, an interesting domino has fallen in this NFL off-season.