As we covered yesterday, one of the very few areas that the Browns did not seem to appropriately address during the offseason was the wide receiver position. The same can be said for their division rivals in the Baltimore Ravens, but fortunately for them, they are being given a late opportunity to do so.
With former Eagles and Chiefs wide receiver Jeremy Maclin being a late-offseason cap casualty, he is a rare big name coming on to the market in a late stage, and he is already in Baltimore to meet with them about potentially joining their team after being wined and dined for two days in Buffalo.
Given that he made it out of the Bills’ facilities where he would have been reunited with former teammate and good friend LeSean McCoy, one might think that he is not necessarily in a hurry to make a decision. After all, at the tail end of OTAs, there really won’t be much for him to do with his new team for a month at the start of training camp.
But while the Ravens have had cap issues, they did just recoup a couple million dollars yesterday after releasing veteran tight end Dennis Pitta with an injury designation. In a story that we previously covered, after the veteran tight end suffered a non-contact injury in a hip dislocation for the third time in four years, it is his reported intention to retire.
While his absence is a loss, the tight end position was deeper than the wide receiver group—although admittedly not many of their tight ends are currently healthy—and they are hoping to strengthen arguably their weakest position with the addition of Maclin to pair with Mike Wallace and Breshad Perriman.
After Steve Smith retired and Kamar Aiken was also lost in free agency, Baltimore has found itself without much in the way of solid substitutes for the talent lost. While Wallace had a good season last year, and Perriman finally showed a bit of something, it is still asking a lot for those two to shoulder the load.
The addition of an established and productive veteran with a history of reliable hands would do much to smooth things over for Joe Flacco after watching key pieces of his offense chip away around him, including the loss of two starting offensive linemen, neither of whom have been sufficiently replaced.
Baltimore could be an attractive options for Maclin given that he would be given a clearly-defined and significant role from the get-to, which might not be said in Buffalo. But it could very well come down to whether or not they can match his contract demands.
As mentioned earlier, the Ravens, while adding a bit of wiggle room with Pitta’s release, they are not swimming in money (I believe they have roughly $6 million in cap space). Maclin will have the opportunity, should he choose to take it, to mull over his options before signing, given the time of year.