The Baltimore Ravens created a hole at wide receiver for themselves over the course off the past month or so. Evidently, the 2022 NFL Draft didn’t quite play out in a way that they felt it made the most sense for them to address the position, either.
That means they now have to turn to the secondary free agency market, which is admittedly something they are very familiar with. The Ravens more than any other team rely on signing free agents who were either released or who are still available after the compensatory window closes—they’ve even actively asked players to wait to sign with them after the window closes, but that doesn’t always work out, as occasionally they end up taking another offer in the meantime.
Former Pittsburgh Steelers tackle Alejandro Villanueva just last year was one example of the Ravens using the post-compensatory unrestricted free agent market to bolster their roster. In the past, they have done it to address the wide receiver position—with mixed success. Now they’ll have to do so again after trading Marquise Brown, as general manager Eric DeCosta acknowledged.
“It’s not much different from the draft”, he said of the free-agency market. “If what we ascribe as the value of the player, if that value is such that we can get a really good player at a discount right now, we’ll consider that – knowing that whatever we spend right now we won’t have during the regular season”.
Right now, the Ravens have about $7 million in salary cap space, and that doesn’t include the rookie class yet, so clearly they’re still going to have to make more room later on this year. They have big deals for Ronnie Stanley, Marlon Humphrey, and Marcus Peters that can all be restructured, however, to create that space.
“There are players out there right now that could help our team, but it’s got to make sense for us and it’s got to make sense for them”, DeCosta added. “If you get that match, then there’s a good chance that the deal is going to get done”.
Some of the top names currently available on the market at wide receiver include Jarvis Landry, Julio Jones, and Odell Beckham Jr., the latter of whom is recovering from a torn ACL that he suffered in the Super Bowl. Two of the three were members of the Cleveland Browns in 2021.
Reportedly, Landry is the one player—or at least one of the players—the Ravens are interested in, and he would surely be the cheapest. They are said to have expressed interest in Landry since the draft ended. The Browns released Landry on March 14, and he has been available since then.