The Baltimore Ravens have been an open house when it comes to wide receivers this offseason. General manager Ozzie Newsome talked about rebuilding the unit from scratch and he’s done that in the first month of free agency. Jeremy Maclin and Mike Wallace are out and in comes John Brown and Michael Crabtree. Even tight end Ben Watson was not brought back as he signed a one-year deal in return to the New Orleans Saints. Michael Campanaro is taking visits with the Tennessee Titans, but Baltimore still maintains interest.
While the Ravens haven’t signed a receiver since the Crabtree signing, they have brought players in for visits and workouts. During the pre-draft presser on Wednesday, Newsome mentioned the possibility of signing a wide receiver before the NFL Draft, and that does look possible when you look at some of the receivers the Ravens have hosted for visits since acquiring Crabtree.
Baltimore first did something they rarely do, shop at the restricted free agent market. The team brought in Cameron Meredith of the Chicago Bears, and Willie Snead of the Saints for visits earlier last month. While Meredith missed all of 2017 with a torn ACL, he broke out in 2016, catching 66 passes for 888 yards and four touchdowns with three different quarterbacks. While Snead had a roller coaster season thanks to injuries and suspension last year, he was very productive for the Saints the previous two years before. From 2015-2016, Snead notched 141 receptions, 1,879 yards, and seven touchdowns. The one key thing that both possess is youth; they are both 25-years old and the Ravens are reportedly considering giving Meredith an offer sheet. If either are given an offer sheet, the Bears or Saints would have five days to match.
This doesn’t mean the Ravens are focusing primarily on Meredith. Snead was recently brought back for a workout, along with another free agent wide receiver who is still young and talented, yet troubled; Michael Floyd. It’s been a rough two years for Floyd, he was arrested in December of 2016 and charged with two counts of driving under the influence and passing out behind the wheel. That arrest led to his release from the Arizona Cardinals. Last year, he was found guilty of extreme DUI, and was sentenced to 24 days in jail, along with 96 days of house arrest.
In Arizona, Floyd was a reliable target catching 209 receptions, for 3,293 yards, and 19 touchdowns from 2012-2015. Since being released, he hasn’t done much for either the New England Patriots, who picked him up after he was released by Arizona two years ago, and the Minnesota Vikings last season. If he can stay out of trouble, Floyd could be a low-risk, high reward signing that pays off nicely. Especially if you can get at least some of his ability from Arizona. At 28 years old, it isn’t too late for Floyd.
Lastly, the Ravens brought in a savvy veteran on Thursday for a visit in the form of Eric Decker. Decker turned 31 last month, and is coming off a down season in Tennessee after recovering from a torn labrum in his shoulder and hip surgery that ended his 2016 year with the New York Jets. Decker finished his year with Tennessee notching 56 catches, 563 yards, and a single touchdown. Maybe in year two of the recovery process from those two injuries, especially the hip surgery, he can help produce for Baltimore if they decide to sign him. Baltimore was interested in him last year, and just like Meredith and Snead, he can help the team in the slot. The downside is his age at 31-years old compared to Meredith and Snead being 25.
While the Ravens continue to search for more receiver help, and with the draft coming up for chances to get Calvin Ridley, D.J. Moore or Courtland Sutton, among others, the question is who does the team sign prior to draft day? Not only are Decker, Meredith, Floyd, and Snead available, other players such as Jermaine Kearse and Dez Bryant could also be released. A lot of teams, including Baltimore, have to be keeping a close eye on the situation between Bryant and the Dallas Cowboys. There is also the trade rumors of Odell Beckham Jr. and the New York Giants, but that seems way outside the Ravens ballpark.
Which wide receiver do the Ravens sign before the Draft?
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