Baltimore’s wide receiver group looks to be in store for a shakeup in 2018.
The Ravens want to add game-changing receivers through free agency and the draft this offseason, and General Manager Ozzie Newsome indicated that the roster will undergo a significant transformation at the position.
“We’re looking for the opportunity to change that room, in terms of personnel and the people that are in that room,” Newsome said from the NFL Scouting Combine Friday morning. “And we’re going to leave no stones unturned.”
The Ravens knew the position would undergo a transition this offseason as Mike Wallace and Michael Campanaro are both unrestricted free agents. Chris Moore and Quincy Adeboyejo are under contract and inexpensive options for this season.
Jeremy Maclin and Breshad Perriman are both signed through this year, but their future in Baltimore appears in doubt.
Maclin, who caught 40 passes for 440 yards and three touchdowns last year, is scheduled to carry a $7.5 million salary-cap hit. Cutting him would save $5 million in cap space, and Newsome said the Ravens would decide on Maclin’s future before the new league year opens on March 14.
“We have some decisions that we have to make in the next two weeks,” Newsome said. “We have not come to a point where we have decided, ‘This guy is going to be here and this guy is not.’ But that will occur in the next two weeks.”
Perriman, the No. 26 overall pick in the 2015 draft, is entering the final year of his rookie deal. He’s been unable to establish himself at the NFL level and caught just 10 passes for 77 yards last year. The Ravens will give him another opportunity during the offseason program and likely training camp, but his spot on the roster is not guaranteed.
“He’s going to come back in the offseason program and it’s up to Breshad. Breshad knows that,” Newsome said. “It’s up to him whether he can string together, stack together some practices, because he was doing really, really well during OTAs and training camp last year, and then he missed four weeks with a hamstring. I don’t think he ever recovered. He knows that this is his opportunity to make or break being part of the Ravens.”
The receiver position has been the one blemish on Newsome’s sterling executive resume. He hasn’t been able to find a true top receiver in his 22 years leading Baltimore’s draft, and he will undoubtedly take another shot at it this year. He will also look for options in free agency, where he’s found success in adding veterans like Wallace, Derrick Mason, Anquan Boldin and Steve Smith Sr..
This year’s draft doesn’t have a clear top-caliber receiver widely regarded as a top-10 pick, but the group is considered deep. The Ravens could use multiple selections to upgrade the group, and Newsome said they are evaluating their process of scouting the position to try to improve the results. “It’s like anything. You learn from the good things you do, but you really learn from your failures,” Newsome said. “I was just in a discussion before I came here with Eric [DeCosta] on some ideas, so we’re continually trying to study why and why not. Hopefully it will get us to the point where we can have more success with bringing receivers in.”