In case you’re looking for a bit of schadenfreude of the expense of the Baltimore Ravens, I have some for you. It seems that even their official beat writers on the payroll are desperate for an answer to their offensive prayers, as evidenced by a recent article on their website from John Eisenberg.
In a piece entitled “Ravens Offense Is Overdue for Good News”, Eisenberg outlines all of the lousy things that have gone wrong for Baltimore on the offensive side of the ball since the end of last season and why it’s so important for them to be able to land one of the late-emerging talented free agent wide receivers, in both of whom they have expressed interest.
Those receiver would be Jeremy Maclin, formerly of the Eagles and Chiefs, whom the Ravens have already hosted but did not sign, and Eric Decker, former Bronco and still current Jet, about whom they have inquired, as New York is attempting to trade him. Failing that, they will reportedly release him.
Baltimore has since last offseason seen the retirement of Steve Smith and the departure in free agency of Kamar Aiken, losing two of their four best wide receivers. They also lost tight end Dennis Pitta, who put up career numbers last season in receptions and receiving yards, who suffered what figures to be a career-ending third hip dislocation.
Eisenberg talked about watching Ravens General Manager Ozzie Newsome, and how seemingly preoccupied that he was during a recent press conference around the time of Maclin’s visit. The obvious implication from the author was that Newsome was as tense about the situation as is the fan base.
At the wide receiver position, Baltimore currently has very little—and nothing proven—outside of Mike Wallace, the former Steeler, and Breshad Perriman, the former first-round draft pick who has dealt with injuries to start his career. While offseason reports on the latter have been glowing, he needs to do it in games that count first before any Ravens fan should get excited.
“I think I’m safe in saying the offense is overdue for some welcomed news, as opposed to the kind that sags shoulders. There’s been a run of the latter in recent months”, the author wrote in the referenced article. “They really need to add one” of Decker or Maclin”.
He pointed to the salary cap as an obstacle, and it is, in this case, a legitimate one. Both Maclin and Decker are or were highly-compensated wide receivers who are not at a stage in their career either due to age or declining performance that would dictate a substantial reduction in pay.
Somebody is going to pay Maclin, and somebody is going to pay Decker. Whether or not the Ravens can swing it remains to be seen, but there seems to be a slight sense of desperation even from the brass in Baltimore. Of course, this is a position largely of their own making after failing to address the offense much in free agency or during the draft.