Ravens Reportedly Looking to Trade Miles Boykin
The Ravens had high hopes for wide receiver Miles Boykin when they drafted him in the third round in 2019, but he has fallen on the depth chart and is now on the trade block, according to CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora, who said a deal is likely.
Trading or releasing Boykin would save the Ravens $2.54 million. A change of scenery could benefit Boykin as well.
"Getting anything in return for a player that will likely be released will be a positive for Baltimore, while Boykin will get the chance to catch on in another offense that may better utilize his skill set," Baltimore Beatdown’s Justin Cox wrote.
When the Ravens drafted him, they envisioned the 6-foot-4, 220-pound Boykin to be the X-receiver opposite 2019 first-round pick Marquise "Hollywood" Brown, but Boykin has just 33 catches for 470 yards in his three seasons. He has been a superb outside blocker, however.
Last season, Boykin had just one reception, as he played almost exclusively on special teams. Injuries to his hamstring and finger limited Boykin to eight games.
"Now entering his fourth season with the Ravens, [Boykin] finds himself behind several younger players on the depth chart that Baltimore has drafted in recent years, including first-rounder Rashod Bateman, Devin Duvernay and James Proche," Cox wrote. "The Ravens will likely want to give second-year fourth-round pick Tylan Wallace more playing time as well this season and could potentially add another receiver at some point during this year's draft."
Ravens Reportedly One of Many Teams Interested in Bobby Wagner
A "massive market" is developing for middle linebacker Bobby Wagner, and the Ravens are among 12 teams interested in the six-time All-Pro and eight-time Pro Bowler, according to NFL analyst Jordan Schultz.
As noted in yesterday’s Late for Work, Wagner and the Ravens seem like an ideal fit. However, with limited cap space, they might not be able to win a bidding war for the former Seattle Seahawks star.
"Would Wagner help the Ravens? Sure. He'd be a typical Ravens signing, an accomplished veteran with a few more solid years left in him and motivation to get back to the Super Bowl," The Athletic's Jeff Zrebiec wrote. "It doesn't hurt that he was just released, so he wouldn't factor in the compensatory pick formula and he can sign before the market opens. That was the situation with the Kevin Zeitler signing last year.
"But the more pertinent question is what would adding Wagner cost the Ravens, not just with the contract but in terms of preventing other additions? He won't come cheap and using a chunk of the team's modest cap space on a position where the Ravens invested a first- and third-round pick just two years ago and have serviceable and cheap options available, is hardly a slam dunk."
Five Free Agents Who Might Be Right Player at Right Price
"Right player, right price," has long been the Ravens' approach to free agency. Zrebiec compiled a list of free agents who might fit that profile. Here's a look at five of them:
C Brian Allen (Rams)
"The Ravens have consistently shown a hesitancy to invest big at the center position, which is why it appears they won't re-sign Bradley Bozeman and a reunion with Ryan Jensen might be a pipe dream. Allen, who is just 26 and was a two-year starter for the reigning Super Bowl champs, could be a cheaper alternative."
C Ben Jones (Titans)
"Jones turns 33 in July, so the veteran would qualify as a solid stopgap replacement for Bozeman. If he doesn't return to the Titans, Jones might relish an opportunity to play in another run-heavy offense. He's a well-respected teammate with strong leadership skills."
DT Larry Ogunjobi (Bengals)
"The Ravens have long talked about the respect they have for Ogunjobi, who has spent his career in the AFC North. He's always played well against them. Signing him would not only impact a divisional rival, but it would add much-needed juice to the interior pass rush. Ogunjobi has averaged just over five sacks and nine tackles for loss over the past four seasons."
OLB Haason Reddick (Panthers)
"Baltimore was a finalist for Reddick last offseason and the linebacker chose to join his former Temple head coach, Matt Rhule, in Carolina. Reddick won't have to accept a one-year deal this offseason, not after a second straight double-digit sack season. The Ravens would probably prefer a cheaper option, but with Odafe Oweh and Tyus Bowser both coming off offseason surgeries and Justin Houston and Pernell McPhee hitting free agency, this would be the time to invest in a dynamic pass rusher."
S Justin Reid (Texans)
"The 25-year-old has been a solid performer for the Texans and he likely will be a cheaper alternative to top free-agent safeties Marcus Williams and Tyrann Mathieu. Reid is a true free safety, which the Ravens need, and his skill set includes strong ball skills. Reid has seven interceptions and 23 pass breakups in four NFL seasons."
Free agency officially begins Wednesday, although teams can begin talking to outside free agents Monday.
Akiem Hicks Is a 'Realistic Dream Signing' for Ravens
Bleacher Report’s Brent Sobleski defines a realistic dream signing in free agency as "the best possible fit at a position of need and at the price each team can afford," which sounds like another way of saying "right player, right price."
For the Ravens, Sobleski says Chicago Bears defensive lineman Akiem Hicks is that player.
"With the potential losses of [Calais] Campbell and fellow free agent Brandon Williams, Hicks can become the tone-setter for the entire Ravens defense," Sobleski wrote. "When Hicks is healthy and on his game, he's a wrecking ball along the interior. His power at the point of attack is difficult to replicate. Having Hicks collapse the pocket while Odafe Oweh and Tyus Bowser work off the edges would be a boon for the Ravens."
The popular opinion is that the Ravens need to get younger and more explosive on the defensive line. At 32, Hicks is only slightly younger than Campbell (34) and Williams (33 (33).
Hicks had 23 sacks from 2016-2018, but he's missed 20 games over the past three seasons, recording eight sacks in 29 games.