The Baltimore Ravens, like all NFL teams, are gearing up for the upcoming season. And like every other NFL team, the front office, headed by long time General Manager, Ozzie Newsome, is doing their part in making sure every position of need is taken care of. The Ravens were able to cover quite a few bases during the beginning of free agency with the addition of safety Tony Jefferson and running back Danny Woodhead, as well as the re-signing of massive nose tackle Brandon Williams.
In the draft, they were able to find players in the needed positions of cornerback and pass rusher. But there is one position in particular that still remains questionable. The retirement of Steve Smith and the loss of Kamar Aiken in free agency left what seems to be a hole in the wide-receiver unit. Although the Ravens do have wide receivers Breshad Perriman, Mike Wallace, and Chris Moore, I am not confident they can handle the job alone.
Of the current wide receivers, I would say the most questionable is Perriman. Some say he could be a starting receiver, or even the Ravens number one receiver this season, but others are not yet convinced. He sat out his entire rookie season due to a knee injury. As fans were getting excited for his return the following season, he suffered another injury to his other knee in the beginning of training camp. Fortunately, he returned from this injury with a week left in the preseason. He managed to play the whole season, totaling 33 catches for 499 yards and 3 touchdowns. These numbers aren’t bad, but they are not the numbers of a former first round pick and starting wide receiver. Throughout the season, he had trouble connecting with quarter back, Joe Flacco, and dropped easy catches. If he wants to be considered for the starting position, he has to improve in these areas. To his credit, he has been working hard this offseason to do just that.
The most stable wide receiver on the Ravens currently is veteran Mike Wallace. The Ravens picked up Wallace during free agency last year from the Minnesota Vikings. He had a total of 72 catches for 1,017 yards and 4 touchdowns last season, including a franchise long TD of 95 yards. But with this being his 9th season coming up, the Ravens need to be looking to the future and add someone else.
When the draft ended, GM Ozzie Newsome let it be known that he isn’t finished adding players. Based on all of the moves that had already been made it was obvious he was hinting towards the addition of a wide receiver. Many have speculated on possible wide receivers being signed by the Ravens late in free agency. Some of these players include free agents Victor Cruz, and former Raven Anquan Boldin. Cruz was released by the New York Giants, and has yet to meet with the Ravens, but it sounds like the Ravens have expressed interest in setting up a meeting.
For years now the mantra for loyal Raven’s fans has been “In Ozzie we trust”. This has never been more evident than this off-season. Last year’s season ending drive against the Steelers has jolted the team’s management, not to mention the fan base in to the realization that “close only counts in horseshoes”. Now that the Ravens are about to complete a massive make-over of their once proud defense, we can only wait and see whether Ozzie has still got the “mojo” that has made him one of the most respected GMs in the NFL.
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