Pundit Says Ravens Should Make 'Aggressive Offer' If Giants Wide Receiver Is Cut
Speculation about the Ravens signing a veteran wide receiver has mostly focused on the free-agent market, but it's possible the team could trade for a receiver or sign one who becomes a cap casualty.
Regarding the latter, Bleacher Report’s Maurice Moton said the Ravens should seize the opportunity to sign New York Giants wide receiver Darius Slayton if he's cut.
"If New York lets Slayton go, the Baltimore Ravens should make an aggressive offer for him," Moton wrote. "Averaging 15.2 yards per catch through his first two seasons, Slayton can make big plays for the Ravens as a field-stretching replacement for Marquise Brown, whom Baltimore traded to the Arizona Cardinals."
A 2019 fifth-round pick, Slayton had a combined 98 catches for 1,491 yards and 11 touchdowns in 30 games over his first two seasons. Those numbers are very similar to what Brown produced in his first two seasons (30 games, 104 catches, 1,353 yards, 15 touchdowns). Brown has averaged 12.1 yards per catch for his career.
Slayton had a huge drop off in production last season, finishing with 26 catches for 339 yards and two touchdowns in 13 games, and he sits behind Kenny Golladay, Sterling Shepard and Kadarius Toney on the Giants' depth chart. The Giants selected wide receiver Wan'Dale Robinson in the second round in last month's draft.
Slayton, who is entering the final year of his rookie contract, has been on the trade block this offseason, according to The Athletic's Dan Duggan.
Sashi Brown: No Reason to Be Alarmed About Lamar Jackson Missing OTAs
Ravens President Sashi Brown, who took over earlier this year after longtime president Dick Cass retired, sat down for in-studio interviews with WBAL and 98 Rock, the Ravens' flagship radio stations. Here are some highlights from the conversations:
Whether Ravens fans should be concerned about Lamar Jackson not being at OTAs: "No. Voluntary does mean voluntary. Lamar's been out working this offseason; Eric [DeCosta] and John [Harbaugh] talked about it. So, no, I don't think [there is] any reason for alarm. He's been very vocal … in terms of his support and his desire to be in Baltimore. So we're pleased that he's out there working and [we're] not going to make a big deal out of this."
Whether Ravens fans have been spoiled by the team's success: "We want that. It's a tremendous legacy. And hats off to Ozzie [Newsome], Brian Billick, Steve Bisciotti, Art [Modell], John Harbaugh, Eric DeCosta, all of whom have contributed in big ways to that winning tradition here. And it's not to be taken lightly. I can tell you those guys are competitive. They're not just resting on their laurels. They're hungry; they want to get after it every day and get better every day."
What excites him about the organization: "I think the first thing is Eric and John, and Ozzie before Eric, have put the organization, the team, in such a great place. They have a really strong culture, some really young players who are going to be here for a long period of time, be able to compete at a high level. So really the first thing we want to be about every day is football. And a big piece of that is driving what has been and will continue to be the greatest fan experience in the NFL and in sports."
The Ravens' draft being universally praised: "We try not to pat ourselves on the back too much. … Eric and his team do a marvelous job. It was great to be able to watch them. Ozzie, obviously, [is] there still supporting. We were really excited with the results and the players we were able to get through the draft. And now we've got to put them out on the field, develop them and put them in positions to succeed. But there's do no doubt Eric did an outstanding job and there's no question that people notice. They pay attention to what the outside does say, but you have your own convictions and you keep moving."
AFC North Ranked As Second-Toughest Division
Not only will the Ravens have plenty of competition in a loaded AFC, but they also play in one of the league's toughest divisions.
With Cincinnati and Cleveland joining traditional division powers Baltimore and Pittsburgh as contenders over the past two seasons, the AFC North came in at No. 2 in CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora’s division power rankings.
"Baltimore and Pittsburgh are annual playoff contenders," La Canfora wrote. "Big Ben hadn't been giving the Steelers much these last few years and Mike Tomlin still doesn't have a losing season. That 'D' is legit. The Ravens can't have a redux of their 2021 injury situation. The Bengals are looking like a model franchise with all of their young talent still on the cheap and the Browns will probably still Brown it up, but have the makings of a better defense and if Deshaun Watson plays most of the season and does so at the level he performed for the Texans, then all four of these teams have a legit postseason shot."
The AFC West was ranked No. 1 after several top players headed there this offseason, including Russell Wilson (Denver), Khalil Mack (Los Angeles Chargers) and Devante Adams (Las Vegas).
Ravens' Recent Signings Earn Good Grades
Not all free-agent signings are splashy, but that doesn't mean they aren't significant. You know, right player, right price and all that.
Ebony Bird’s Kristen Wong graded some of the Ravens' most recent roster additions. Here are some excerpts:
CB Kyle Fuller
"In Fuller, Baltimore finally gets its veteran cornerback behind Marlon Humphrey and Marcus Peters who can also help the rookies develop in the backfield. Given his production levels and his reliability, Fuller ranks as one of the team's best signings so far this offseason and will provide much-needed insurance to the Ravens' cornerback room. Grade: A."
DL Brent Urban
"At 6-foot-7 and 308 pounds, the mammoth defensive lineman can make a huge difference in defending against the run as he enters his eighth year in the league. Urban has bounced around from team to team, but the Ravens are lucky to nab him as a backup piece to Calais Campbell. Given Derek Wolfe's nagging injuries, Urban could get a fair share of defensive snaps and may be relied upon as a pillar of strength in the trenches. Grade: B+."
LB Vince Biegel
"Biegel spent two years in the league before he finally became a full-time starter in 2019 playing for the Miami Dolphins. That 2019 season is his most productive by far, and Biegel recorded 59 combined tackles, 2.5 sacks, and one interception in 15 games. Unfortunately, Biegel tore his Achilles the following year and dropped down the depth chart. Grade: B."
RB Mike Davis
"With J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards recovering from injury and possibly not being healthy enough to start the season, Baltimore can put the ball in Davis' hands and expect solid production. 2021 taught Baltimore a hard lesson about running back depth, and Davis gives the team exactly what they're looking for as they look to kick off a comeback year. Grade: B+."
- The Ravens' 2018 draft class earned an A+ grade from Pro Football Focus