Despite Reports, Ravens Not Expected To Pursue WR Reggie Wayne
The Reggie Wayne to Baltimore idea lasted about a minute.
The veteran wide receiver said last week he's heard from several teams about the possibility of joining them this year, and a report from WRTV-6 in Indianapolis named the Ravens as one of the teams showing interest.
You have to wonder if that was an agent drumming up buzz around his client because it didn't take long for The Baltimore Sun's Aaron Wilson and ESPN's Jamison Hensley to report within an hour of each other that the Ravens "are not expected to pursue" Wayne.
"Team officials don't consider wide receiver to be a pressing need entering training camp, and they don't want to push down younger receivers," wrote Hensley.
"[T]he two aren't a strong fit due to the receiver's age and the presence of five-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Steve Smith, a fellow 36-year-old," added Wilson.
The competition at wide receiver is expected to be the fiercest during Ravens training camp this summer. Honestly, nobody could tell you the exact pecking order behind Steve Smith Sr. at Nos. 2 through 6.
The No. 2 starting role is up for grabs between rookie Breshad Perriman, Kamar Aikman and Marlon Brown. There's also Michael Campanaro, Jeremy Butler and sixth-round rookie Darren Waller. If the Ravens brought in Wayne, they would only be pushing all these players down the depth chart – and maybe one off the 53-man roster – and the team seems to have confidence that some good options will emerge.
"The Ravens are upbeat about their young wide receivers and want to see them compete in training camp," wrote Wilson.
General Manager Ozzie Newsome has a history of signing veteran receivers, so it wasn't a crazy idea that he might bring in an experienced, respected and successful player like Wayne. Just think of Derrick Mason, Anquan Boldin, Lee Evans and Smith.
But it's because of Smith's presence that Wayne doesn't fit into the Ravens' plans. They both are heading into their 15th seasons, but Smith (36) seems to be in better physical condition than Wayne (37). Wayne had three surgeries the past two seasons, including on his ACL, triceps and a knee scope.
Wayne caught just 64 passes last season for 779 yards, which is the fewest of any fullt healthy season since 2003. Meanwhile, Smith had a resurgent year with the Ravens, notching 79 receptions for 1,065 yards.
"It just doesn't make much sense for the Ravens to add Wayne," Hensley wrote.
And in case you were wondering, Hensley added that the Ravens are also not expected to show interest in wide receiver-returner Ace Sanders. The third-year player and former fourth-round pick was released by the Jaguars Friday afternoon.
In two seasons, Sanders ranked No. 35 in the league with a 7.1 punt return average.
"Even though Baltimore doesn't have an established returner to replace Jacoby Jones, Sanders wasn't impressive running back kicks for the Jaguars," Hensley wrote.
Pitta: I Have A Hip Of An 80 Year Old
Well, look who's a funny guy.
Pitta has maintained an upbeat attitude throughout his recovery, and that certainly shines through in this video from BYU Sports' YouTube channel (hat tip Russell Street Report). He sat down for an interview with former BYU teammate Jan Jorgensen, who now does MMA, and they clearly have a friendship that thrives off ribbing one another.
Pitta is known as one of the nicest guys in the locker room, so it's fun to see him playfully jabbing, and he certainly takes the returned jabs in stride. The two were asked how the other has changed since they were playing college football together in 2009.
"You want to know how Dennis has changed?" asked Jorgensen. "He's developed osteoporosis."
"I do have a hip of an 80 year old," Pitta joked. "But it's a healthy 80 year old."
"Where's the ring?" Jorgensen asked.
Pitta looked down, and noticed he's not wearing his Super Bowl XLVII ring or another important piece of hardware.
"You know, I don't even have my wedding ring on … and I am married," Pitta said.
Check out the rest below:
Who Will Win The Division?
When all four ESPN AFC North writers were asked who will win the division, only one said the Ravens will come out on top.
Can you guess who? That's right, Ravens reporter Jamison Hensley.
"The Ravens are going to be the only team that makes it out of the AFC North this season," wrote Hensley. "The Steelers' downfall is going to be their defense. The Bengals didn't take the necessary step forward this offseason after a fourth straight one-and-done in the postseason. And the Browns should struggle with the lack of a legitimate passing attack."
Steelers reporter Jeremy Fowler did predict the Ravens will make it to the playoffs as a wild-card team behind Pittsburgh, but both Bengals reporter Coley Harvey and Browns reporter Pat McManamon think the second (and perhaps last) playoff spot will go to Cincy.