Breshad Perriman has been given the news he hoped to avoid.
The Ravens released Perriman on Saturday, ending his disappointing nearly four-year saga after the team made him a first-round pick (26th overall) in 2015.
Injuries, inconsistency, and lack of production kept Perriman from being a wide receiver the Ravens could count on. He was well-liked by coaches and teammates, but the tone was set for Perriman on his first day of training camp as a rookie when he suffered a knee injury that became more serious than originally thought. Perriman missed his entire rookie season, a setback that started an uphill battle he never overcame.
Ironically, Perriman had the best training camp and preseason of his career this summer and remained healthy throughout. He led the team in preseason catches (11) and receiving yards (136), along with one touchdown. Perriman thought he had done enough to make the 53-man roster following Thursday's preseason victory over the Redskins.
"In my opinion, I feel like I had a good camp and a good preseason," Perriman said. "But there are a lot of things that go behind it. Once the decision has been made, I'll deal with it then.
"I feel like I made a strong case. Fifth preseason game, still healthy? That was huge for me. I didn't have to sit out practices, sit out any time. I could just focus on my craft, keep getting better."
However, Perriman was well behind the top four receivers on the depth chart – Michael Crabtree, John Brown, Willie Snead IV and Chris Moore. Jordan Lasley is a promising fifth-round pick who would be dangerous to part with quickly. That left Perriman competing for one of the final roster spots, and he was not a contributor on special teams, another strike against him.
Asked if he thought Thursday's game would be his last with the Ravens, Perriman said he tried not to focus on his future.
"I didn't really think about it," Perriman said. "That's not why I was out there. Everybody knows the situation that's going on. That wasn't my job to be out there thinking about it. I had a game to play, still wanted to show myself and others what I could do."
Perriman was targeted four times and caught three passes for 24 yards Thursday night. However, the target Perriman did not catch exemplified his career.
Lamar Jackson threw a deep ball to Perriman who was being defended one-on-one by Redskins rookie cornerback Adonis Alexander. Both Perriman and Alexander had a chance to make a play, but it was Alexander who reacted more like a wide receiver, getting inside position on Perriman and nearly making an interception.
Despite his size (6-foot-2, 215 pounds) and speed, Perriman played like a smaller receiver and did not give quarterbacks a consistent throwing window.
He will turn 25 years old Sept. 10, so Perriman is still young enough to make an impact elsewhere. But at this point, it is probably better for Perriman and the Ravens that he finds a fresh start. NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported that the Ravens tried to trade Perriman before informing him of his release.