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Juju Smith-Schuster turns down KC, BAL, Philly to stay in Pittsburgh

The Ravens might actually value receivers

NFL: Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

Juju Smith-Schuster will stay in Pittsburgh on a one-year, $8 million contract. He reportedly chose Pittsburgh over higher offers from the Chiefs, Ravens and Eagles.

While there is a certain scorn involved in being turned down by a free agent to return to a bitter rival, there’s solace to be found in the fact that the Ravens are, indeed, valuing acquiring a wide receiver. The Ravens have sent mixed signals, such as Eric DeCosta’s comments following the Ravens playoff loss to the Buffalo Bills.

However, the smoke and mirrors have been lifted. The Ravens made a strong push to sign a second contract receiver to a costly one-year deal. Baltimore finished first in passing efficiency (DVOA) in 2019, and saw that drop to 17th in 2020 after not effectively replacing Marshal Yanda or Hayden Hurst. With Kevin Zeitler added to help provide stability in the trenches, the Ravens are wisely exploring options to put the finishing touch on their passing game.

With reported interest in Kenny Golladay, all eyes are on Baltimore to see how they capitalize on the final cheap year of 2019 NFL MVP Lamar Jackson’s rookie contract. After reports surfaced that the Ravens inquired about DeAndre Hopkins and Adam Thielen within the past year, it seems the Ravens have been seeking a productive veteran presence in their wide receiver room. With only two top 100 picks in the 2021 NFL Draft, the Ravens might have to be aggressive in pursuing potential trades or trade ups to ensure they have enough firepower to advance further than they have the past three seasons and contend for a Conference Championship and Super Bowl.