Ravens Still in the Mix for Eric Decker
The Ravens made a major splash Monday by signing wide receiver Jeremy Maclin.
Maclin is exactly the kind of veteran receiver the Ravens have coveted this offseason, and their strong recruiting pitch convinced him to come to Baltimore over reported offers from multiple other teams.
So, signing Maclin means the Ravens are done adding free-agent receivers, right?
Not necessarily, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.
The Jets released Decker Monday after they were unable to trade him. Baltimore had reportedly engaged in trade talks with the Jets about Decker, but signing Maclin ultimately meant a trade wasn't going to happen.
Teams were hesitant to take on Decker's $8.75 million cap hit as he's coming off season-ending hip surgery, but he'll likely sign a smaller contract in free agency.
It's unknown exactly how much money the Ravens have under the salary cap because the details of Maclin's contract have yet to be released. The Ravens are likely tight, but General Manager Ozzie Newsome has shown creativity throughout his career in fitting players under the cap.
Decker, 30, is a much different receiver than Maclin. The 6-foot-3, 214-pound wideout is a big-bodied target who is a real asset in the red zone. When he was healthy in 2015, Decker had 12 touchdown catches and 1,027 receiving yards for the Jets.
If the Ravens were to sign Decker, he would help offset the loss of tight end Dennis Pitta, who hauled in 86 receptions last season.
Reaction to Maclin Signing
Regardless of what happens with Decker, the Ravens offense has already taken a big step forward this week. Maclin is a significant upgrade to the receiving corps and he gives quarterback Joe Flacco a proven weapon.
"The signing of Maclin is a coup for the Ravens after it appeared the 29-year-old was set to sign with the Buffalo Bills," wrote The Baltimore Sun's Jeff Zrebiec.
The Ravens have said since the season ended that adding firepower to the receiving group was a priority. They were reportedly interested in a handful of receivers early in free agency and targeted some in the draft, but none of those options came to fruition.
The delay created plenty of angst among Ravens fans, but Monday's signing reminded Zrebiec of what Newsome has said over and over again.
"Newsome reminded reporters on a few occasions that there will be opportunities to upgrade the roster at several spots, including receiver, all the way up until the regular-season opener," Zrebiec wrote. "He proved prophetic."
Adding Maclin to the mix gives the Ravens another former Pro Bowler who can take the top off the defense, and ESPN's Jamison Hensley believes he is a "potential new No. 1 receiver."
"His track record suggests he'll take the lead role in a group topped by Mike Wallace and Breshad Perriman and become the go-to target that Steve Smith Sr. had become," Hensley wrote.
"In Maclin's seven NFL seasons, he has averaged 67 catches, 913 yards receiving and six touchdown catches. Since 2010, there's been only one Ravens player (Smith in 2014) to reach all those marks in a single season, according to ESPN Stats & Information."
The Ravens will determine over the next few months how they want to use Maclin, Wallace and Perriman. Wallace led Baltimore in receiving yards last year (1,017) and Perriman has shined during offseason practices.
Maclin has the speed and the route running ability to move the chains, and his arrival will go a long way in helping the Ravens replace key pass catchers.
"Maclin is exactly the type of proven receiver the Ravens needed," Hensley wrote. "Baltimore lost a total of 156 receptions, 1,528 yards receiving and seven touchdowns with Smith retiring at the end of last season and tight end Dennis Pitta getting released after reinjuring his hip earlier this month."
Dunlap Decides to Retire
If there's an area the Ravens could still look to address in free agency, it's likely the offensive line. The Ravens have to replace a pair of starters from last season (center Jeremy Zuttah and right tackle Rick Wagner), and reporters have speculated that Baltimore could be interested in a handful of veteran linemen still on the market.
That list of options is now a little smaller, as offensive tackle King Dunlap announced his retirement Monday.
NFL Media's Ian Rapoport wrote that Dunlap "had opportunities to sign this year," but he didn't specify whether the Ravens pursued him.
Dunlap, 31, spent nine seasons in the NFL playing for the San Diego Chargers and Philadelphia Eagles. The Chargers released him in March.
James Hurst has taken all the snaps at right tackle with the first-team offense during open Organized Team Activities.
Ravens Share Photos and Videos From Intense Video Shoot
The Ravens Productions team put together quite the setup inside the fieldhouse this week.
A tunnel with pyrotechnics has taken over the indoor practice field as part of a video shoot, and several players shared photos and videos from the shoot.