It was a widely held belief that the Baltimore Ravens through the NFL Draft and free agency had not adequately addressed the wide receiver position in the wake of the retirement of Steve Smith. Mike Wallace, who they had only signed the year before, was the closest they had to a sure thing.
That is until they managed to sign sudden cast-off free agency Jeremy Maclin after he was released by the Chiefs in a late unanticipated move. Maclin and Wallace figure to make for an interesting combination for the Ravens’ offense, though it will depend upon how well they are able to utilize their skill sets.
One of the largely unexplored ramifications of the signing of Maclin, however, is the consequences it will have on third-year wide receiver Breshad Perriman, whom the team drafted in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft. He missed all of his rookie season due to an injury, but contributed in a supporting role with fine results last year.
Not that it is overly important how one particular player on a roster performs, of course, as the ultimate goal is for the team to succeed and win games, and adding to your wide receiver talent can hardly be viewed in a negative light.
With Wallace, Maclin, and Perriman, Baltimore could now potentially have a respectable, if not quite good group of wide receivers, which is not something that anybody found themselves saying just a month or two ago. It is virtually forgotten about that they also lost Kamar Aiken as well.
Perriman did manage to play in all 16 games for the Ravens last season, though he only logged 484 snaps, under 43 percent of the team’s total offensive snaps. He did produce 33 receptions for 499 yards and three touchdowns.
His two contests against the Steelers were neither great nor terrible, catching three passes in each of them for 65 total yards, nearly split evenly between the two games. He only had more than three catches once on the year. He did have three catches of 40 or more yards, and another of 39.
There are some who believe that the signing of Maclin will be of benefit for Perriman, who now is obviously facing far less pressure to perform. The expectation is that he will be their primary third receiver this year, which is already a bigger role than he had a year ago in terms of consistent playing time.
With the pressure off, though, the thinking is that he can now develop at his own pace without the burden of having to perform or else. For what it’s worth, though, he has been getting glowing reviews for his work during spring drills.