Adding a chain mover to the receiving corps is one of the top offseason priorities for the Ravens.
General Manager Ozzie Newsome specified receiver as an area of need after the season, and now the Ravens have a chance to snag one on the open market.
There is a talented group of receivers slated to hit free agency, and here’s a closer look at some of the options.
Hakeem Nicks, New York Giants
Unrestricted; 6th season; 26 years old; 6-foot-1, 208 pounds
The big-bodied target is one of the top offensive weapons on the market this offseason, and he has been a valuable player during his career with the Giants. Nicks had a down season in 2013 and went without a touchdown for the first time in his career, but he still caught 56 passes for 896 yards. Nicks has solid hands and is a versatile target that can play on the edge or over the middle. Pairing him with
Eric Decker, Denver Broncos
Unrestricted; 5th season; 26 years old; 6-3, 214
Decker has been highly productive the last two seasons in a potent Broncos offense. The question teams have to ask is whether his numbers are inflated because of playing with Peyton Manning for the last two seasons. Decker has 24 touchdowns over the last two years, and he caught 87 passes for 1,288 yards last season. Before Manning arrived, Decker was catching passes from Tim Tebow and had 44 catches for 612 yards and eight touchdowns. He is another big target with the ability to play inside and outside, and he should get a big deal on the market.
Julian Edelman, New England Patriots
Unrestricted; 6th season, 27 years old; 5-10, 198
Edelman is coming off a career season where he was Tom Brady’s most reliable target and caught 105 passes for 1,056 yards and six touchdowns. He is a quick slot receiver that knows how to find the soft spots in coverage to pick up first downs. The Ravens want to add a chain mover, and Edelman could fit that mold. Similar to Decker, the question is whether he was a product of catching passes from Brady and whether he can replicate that production on another team.
Golden Tate, Seattle Seahawks
Unrestricted; 5th season, 25 years old, 5-10, 202
The former first-round pick never fully lived up to expectations in Seattle, but he is still a quality target that could be a No. 2 receiver in Baltimore. Tate had 64 catches for 898 yards and five touchdowns last season, showing that can he can be a productive weapon. He is still young and could have room to grow, and he will not command the same big deals as some of the other free agents.
James Jones, Green Bay Packers
Unrestricted; 8th season; 29 years old; 6-1, 208
Jones was been a reliable target for Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay the last few seasons, but is not a top receiver like Nicks or Decker. He had 59 catches for 817 yards and three touchdowns last season, which was the best season of his career. As an eight-year veteran, Jones will likely not get a big deal like some of the other targets, so the Ravens could potentially get him at a bargain.
Sidney Rice, Seattle Seahawks
Unrestricted; 8th season, 27 years old; 6-4, 202
The big target was released by the defending Super Bowl champions this offseason after an injury-riddled season where he caught just 15 passes for 231 yards and three touchdowns. Rice could provide a boost for the Ravens offense if he’s able to stay healthy, which has been a struggle throughout his career. Rice has played a full 16-game season just twice. His best season came in 2009 when he put up 1,312 yards and eight touchdowns with the Vikings, but he has been unable to match that production since.
Other Potential Targets:
- Andre Roberts, Arizona Cardinals
- Kenny Britt, Tennessee Titans
- Emmanuel Sanders, Pittsburgh Steelers
- Ted Ginn, Carolina Panthers