With each passing day we appear to be getting closer and closer to solidifying Baltimore Ravens fourth-year wide receiver Breshad Perriman as a bust. The Ravens selected him in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft, but he has found very little success to date and may be on the outside looking in for a roster spot in 2018.
A month ago, Baltimore elected not to pick up Perriman’s fifth-year option, meaning that he will be an unrestricted free agent in 2019, assuming he makes the team this year. Prior to their reaching this decision, the team signed three wide receiver in unrestricted free agency, and then drafted two more.
The big Central Florida product came into the league with a rough game that included a reputation for dropping passes, and he has certainly lived up to that over the course of his career. According to ESPN’s Ravens beat writer, Jamison Hensley, nothing has changed on that front.
That is going to be a problem, considering he has little margin for error. Baltimore figures to utilize their three free agent signings as their top three wide receivers as it is, and he may not even be kept around to compete for the scraps left over.
Michael Crabtree has been drawing rave reviews already during his first several practices with the team, and figures to take over the number one receiver role. John Brown and Willie Snead will complement Crabtree, while Chris Moore and the two rookie wide receivers will be in competition for however many remaining bodies they choose to keep at the position.
Of course it’s also no guarantee that either of those rookie wide receivers makes the team, either. Hensley also noted that fifth-round pick Jordan Lasley dropped three passes in a recent practice. We are still a long way away from training camp, however.
Should Perriman fail to make the roster, the Ravens can clear more than $1 million in cap space after roster displacement. His roster bonus of nearly $650,000 alone would cover the displacement amount, and his base salary is close to $1 million itself. He would count for $1.1 million in dead money stemming from his rookie signing bonus, but that will be there whether he is on the team or not.
Baltimore has not had a good history of drafting wide receivers, with arguably the most successful draft pick being second-rounder Torrey Smith. A glance at their all-time leaders in receiving statistics finds a lot of names of players that were signed as veteran free agents.
Can General Manager-in-waiting Eric DeCosta change the team’s fortunes in that regard? The team has only ever known one General Manager in its history in Ozzie Newsome, but the latter is taking a backseat following this season and allowing DeCosta to step into that role.