Ravens Reportedly Have Explored Trades for DeAndre Hopkins, Courtland Sutton
When Head Coach John Harbaugh spoke about the Ravens signing veteran wide receiver Nelson Agholor at the NFL Owners Meetings earlier this week, he made it clear that the team isn't done making moves at the position. Harbaugh also noted that the team has "had trade conversations with lots of teams about lots of players."
According to ESPN's Jeremy Fowler, two of those players are wide receivers DeAndre Hopkins of the Arizona Cardinals and Courtland Sutton of the Denver Broncos.
"The Ravens have been fairly active in the wide receiver market," Fowler wrote. "…They seem open to potentially adding a quality outside receiver, whether [Lamar] Jackson is in the lineup or not."
There have been conflicting reports about the Ravens' interest level in Hopkins. Landing the three-time All-Pro would give Baltimore the true No 1 wide receiver fans have been clamoring for, but pulling off such a blockbuster trade is easier said than done. For one, the Cardinals' asking price reportedly is steep.
"They're looking for almost like a Christian McCaffrey package," Fowler wrote, referring to the trade in which the Carolina Panthers traded the running back to the San Francisco 49ers for 2023 second-, third-, and fourth-round picks and a 2024 fifth-round pick. The Ravens have just five draft picks this year and do not have a second-round selection.
Hopkins' salary is another potential stumbling block. The Ravens have about $6.1 million in cap space, according to OverTheCap.com.
"[The Cardinals would] save about $9 million and carry about $21 million in dead money this year if they traded him (more savings if they waited until after June 1 to trade him), but the acquiring team would still be taking on $19.45 million in cash and cap for a receiver who turns 31 in June," ESPN's Dan Graziano wrote. "Hopkins showed last year he has a lot left in the tank, but I couldn't find a team at the meetings that sounded eager to bring him on without the Cardinals eating some of the money. And eating some of the money would seem to defeat the purpose of Arizona trading him."
As for Sutton, Graziano said the Broncos are listening to offers for both him and wide receiver Jerry Jeudy, but the team is "still asking for a lot in return."
"We will see if things change as the draft gets closer, but for now Jeudy and Sutton remain Broncos and nothing seems like it's close to happening to change that," Graziano wrote.
Sutton, 27, is younger than Hopkins but not as accomplished. The 2018 second-round pick's lone 1,000-yard season was in 2019.
Ravens Reportedly Making 'Competitive Effort' to Sign Odell Beckham Jr.
In other news on the wide receiver front, the Ravens are "putting in a noteworthy and competitive effort" to sign free agent Odell Beckham Jr., according to CBS Sports' Josina Anderson.
Beckham met with the Ravens and other teams at the NFL Owners Meetings in Phoenix. The three-time Pro Bowler is "looking for something in the neighborhood of $15 million per year," according to Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer.
"That's down from where he was previously, so I do think there's room for negotiation here," Breer wrote.
Graziano echoed previous reports that Beckham's preference is to sign with the New York Jets.
"Odell Beckham Jr. has offers on the table from multiple teams, and I am told the Jets are the most likely landing spot but that Beckham could be waiting to make sure the Aaron Rodgers deal gets completed before finalizing his own decision," Graziano wrote. "Baltimore has made a push for Beckham as well."
Beckham, 30, is looking to resurrect his career after missing all of last season as he recovered from a torn ACL.
Analytics-Based Mock Draft Has Ravens Selecting WR Quentin Johnston
We conclude today's Late for Work with an item on … a wide receiver!
The latest pundit to mock TCU wide receiver Quentin Johnston to the Ravens at No. 22 overall is NFL Network analytics expert Cynthia Frelund. Unlike other mock drafts, Frelund's team-prospect pairings are based on optimizing for wins in the upcoming season only.
"Johnston edged out the available corners by a slim margin," Frelund wrote. "Whoever's lining up under center for Baltimore (I'm assuming it'll still be Lamar Jackson) will appreciate Johnston's size (6-3, 208) and 8.9 yards after the catch per reception (tied 10th, per Pro Football Focus)."
Cornerbacks Joey Porter Jr., Deonte Banks, and Cam Smith were all still on the board when Frelund made her pick for the Ravens.
A roundup of which players the pundits have the Ravens selecting in the latest batch of mock drafts can be found here.