Will Ravens Consider Reunion With Anquan Boldin?
The Ravens suddenly have a bit of a need at wide receiver.
Breshad Perriman is reportedly in danger of missing the entire season with a partially torn ACL, and he will undergo a procedure today to determine the full extent of the injury. Michael Campanaro has also dealt with a calf issue this offseason and Steve Smith Sr. is still working his way back from a torn Achilles without a timetable for his return.
If the Ravens look to the free-agent market to add depth to the position, will they consider a reunion with Anquan Boldin?
Boldin was a fan favorite during his three years in Baltimore, and is a key reason why there is a second Lombardi Trophy sitting in the lobby of the Under Armour Performance Center. He's a big-game performer who "would be an insurance policy for Smith coming off a torn Achilles," NFL Media's Gregg Rosenthal wrote.
"Boldin would add production, good hands, leadership, play-making ability and something very important: proven chemistry with Flacco," wrote Baltimore Beatdown's Evan Mazza.
But there could also be some hesitation* *in bringing him back to the Ravens.
The 35-year-old receiver is coming off the worst season of his career since 2004, putting up 789 receiving yards and four touchdowns with the 49ers.
He also isn't the exact kind of receiver the Ravens would likely target if Perriman does miss extended time. Boldin is a tough, sure-handed target who can move the chains, but doesn't have great speed. The Ravens already have plenty of chain movers with Smith, Kamar Aiken and a bounty of tight ends.
The other holdup is that Boldin may be on his way to the Midwest. He reportedly visited with Detroit Monday and is interested in playing for Lions Head Coach Jim Caldwell, who was his offensive coordinator in Baltimore. The Lions did not immediately sign him after the visit, but they did add veteran receiver Andre Caldwell yesterday.
Boldin played for the Ravens from 2010-2012, and put up 2,645 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns over that stretch. The Ravens traded him to the 49ers after the 2012 season as part of an effort to clear salary-cap space.
Boldin has built a resume worthy of Hall of Fame consideration over his 13-year career, but the Ravens would have to determine how much he has left before signing him again.
Justin Tucker Says New Deal Is Only A Matter Of Time
The Ravens still have time to work out a contract extension with Justin Tucker, and the kicker is confident they can come to an agreement. Tucker is currently set to play under the one-year franchise tag, but his hope is to reach a long-team deal with Baltimore.
"As of right now, there hasn't been a whole lot happening, but there's still time," Tucker told The Baltimore Sun Sunday at safety Lardarius Webb's charity softball game. "Like I've said before, I'm optimistic that something will get done. It's a matter of when, not if."
Tucker and the Ravens have until July 15 to work out an extension. If it doesn't happen by then, he will play this year under the $4.57 million franchise tag.
Tucker has been optimistic all offseason about reaching a new deal, and the fact that he participated in the voluntary offseason workouts is a good sign. He even flew back to Baltimore just a couple weeks after his wife gave birth to the couple's first child.
"Tucker was not only in attendance at the sessions, he did some extra-curricular stuff for the team in delivering season-ticket packages to fans," wrote The Sun's Jeff Zrebiec. "In doing so, Tucker reiterated his long-term commitment to the organization. I still think the Ravens will reward him with a lucrative contract extension before the July 15 deadline to sign franchise players."
Impressive Rookie Offensive Lineman
When it comes to Ravens rookie offensive linemen, first-round pick Ronnie Stanley attracts most of the attention.
But fourth-round pick Alex Lewis has also started to generate a little buzz. The 6-foot-6 lineman from Nebraska has worked at guard during the offseason practices, and he's impressed some of his veteran teammates.
"The early returns on fourth-round offensive lineman Alex Lewis have been very good," Zrebiec said.
The Ravens have an open spot at left guard after the offseason departure of Kelechi Osemele, and Lewis believes he could "thrive at that position." He will complete with John Urschel, Ryan Jensen and Vladimir Ducasse for that spot, but the rookie has all the physical tools to win the job.
Lewis, Reed Make Miami's Mount Rushmore
Few college football programs have produced as many NFL stars as the University of Miami. "The U" has long been a pipeline for NFL teams, and the Ravens drafted two of the best to ever play for the Hurricanes.
Ray Lewis and Ed Reed turned the Ravens defense into a perennial powerhouse, and they have both been selected by NFL.com as members of Miami's Mount Rushmore. The other two selections are quarterback Jim Kelly and wide receiver Michael Irvin, who are both already in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
"Lewis is in the conversation among the greatest linebackers in league history," NFL Media's Jim Reineking wrote. "Reed was a nine-time Pro Bowler, won the NFL Defensive Player of the Year award in 2004, and was a part of the Ravens' Super Bowl XLVII-winning team."
Miami has produced 325 NFL players, including 64 first-round picks. Some of the other considerations for the Mount Rushmore were Warren Sapp, Reggie Wayne and Edgerrin James.