The Ravens have 11 players set to become unrestricted free agents, and we will provide a breakdown for each of them heading into the start of the new league year on March 9.
Let's continue the series with wide receiver Kamar Aiken.
2016 stats: 29 catches, 328 yards, 1 TD
Aiken isn't going into free agency at exactly the best time considering he's coming off a down season. After having a breakout year in 2015, Aiken fell down the depth chart last season with the arrival of Mike Wallace and healthy returns of Steve Smith Sr. and Breshad Perriman. Aiken was used mostly as the fourth receiving option and a special teamer, and he admitted that it was a disappointing season.
Why Ravens Should Keep Him
The former undrafted receiver has shown he can be productive. When given the chance to start in 2015, Aiken caught 75 passes for 944 yards and five touchdowns. He's a durable receiver who can make tough, contested catches to move the chains and keep drives alive. The Ravens need that kind of receiver now that Smith is retired. Baltimore already has speed merchants in Perriman and Wallace, and Assistant General Manager Eric DeCosta said at the Senior Bowl last month, "We're looking for a guy that can catch the ball, move the chains and get critical first downs when needed." Aiken could fit the bill and he's not likely to generate big offers on the open market after the season he had last year.
Why Aiken May Walk
Aiken didn't hide his disappointment at the end of the season– he said it was "probably the most frustrating year I've had since I've been in the league" – and he told reporters at locker cleanout that the frustration would affect his free-agency decision. "I'm open," he said. "This will be the first time in my career to hit the market and see what it is. I'm happy and I'm looking forward to it." Those comments suggest that Aiken will listen to other offers that come his way, and he could pursue a team where he thinks he'll have a better opportunity to win a starting job.