Some thought Kamar Aiken could boomerang his way back to the Ravens after sitting on the free-agent market for more than a week.
That won't be the case, as Aiken will sign a one-year deal with the Indianapolis Colts later today, his agent announced.
The departure is not surprising considering Aiken expressed frustration with how last season went for him in Baltimore.
After injuries to Steve Smith Sr. (Achilles) and Breshad Perriman (knee) in 2015, Aiken stepped up as Baltimore's top receiver, leading the team with 75 receptions for 944 yards and five touchdowns. It was the breakout year he had long worked for.
Yet when Smith and Perriman returned, and the Ravens signed Mike Wallace, Aiken returned to being the No. 4 option in Baltimore's offense last season. He posted 29 catches for 328 yards and one score.
He went from 127 targets in 2015 to 50 last season. That drop in opportunities was difficult for Aiken, who felt he had proven himself after being an undrafted free agent in 2011. When he landed on the Ravens practice squad midway through the 2013 season, it was his fourth NFL team and 16th transaction.
Still, Aiken expressed his appreciation for the Ravens being the team that gave him his first big break.
Aiken will still be fighting for targets in Indianapolis, and will likely be looking for a longer-term contract.
The Colts are led by Pro Bowl wide receiver T.Y. Hilton (91 receptions, 1,448 yards), and No. 2 target Phillip Dorsett (33 receptions, 528 yards) is a first-round pick. The Colts also have Donte Moncrief (30 receptions, 307 yards). The Colts did trade reliable tight end Dwayne Allen to the Patriots, so they needed a chain mover and red-zone threat.
The Colts travel to M&T Bank Stadium in 2017, so Baltimore will see more of Aiken.
Meanwhile, the Ravens are still looking to add a wide receiver to step in for Smith, and now are thinner without Aiken.
The Ravens have just two wide receivers with at least 10 catches last year (Wallace and Perriman). Chris Moore and Michael Campanaro could step into larger roles, and the Ravens are expected to address the position in free agency and the draft.
Aiken's signing should create another compensatory pick for the Ravens next season. Those who have departed are Rick Wagner (Detroit Lions), Kyle Juszczyk (San Francisco 49ers), Vlad Ducasse (Buffalo Bills), Lawrence Guy (New England Patriots) and now Aiken. The Ravens have signed three unrestricted agents: Tony Jefferson, Danny Woodhead and Brandon Carr. That leaves two potential compensatory picks, including a likely third-round pick for Wagner.