EXPLORING UFA’s: WR’s That Could Lure The Ravens

anquan boldin money

It’s no secret that the Ravens offense was bad last year, so they’ll seek to get better this year in every way possible. The draft is deep with wide receivers and offensive linemen, two positions from which the Ravens need improvement.

There are also plenty of free agents the Ravens may have their eye on. Wide receivers Anquan Boldin, James Jones, Eric Decker and Julian Edelman could flourish in Baltimore’s offense. Those players have all played in a Super Bowl in the last four years, so they’ll be able to quickly identify with Baltimore’s aspirations.

Regardless of what they do in the draft, the Ravens will at least explore the possibility of signing free agent wide receivers and free agent offensive linemen.

We’ll look at the best free agent offensive linemen later this week. For now, let’s take a look at which free agent wide outs Baltimore should pursue.

Anquan Boldin

• 2013 stats (w/ San Francisco): 85 receptions, 1,179 yards, 8 touchdowns
• 2013 cap hit: $6 million
Why Baltimore should sign him: Boldin came up enormous for the Ravens in their run to the Super Bowl XLVII championship. He wasn’t bad during the 2012 regular season either. While he will turn 34 on October 3, he doesn’t play like most 34-year olds. The key here would be getting him back at the right price, which for Baltimore is not $6 million.

James Jones

• 2013 stats (w/ Green Bay): 59 receptions, 817 yards, 3 touchdowns
• 2013 cap hit: $3.75 million
Why Baltimore should sign him: Jones is built like Boldin. He can play in the slot and can make tough catches along the boundary and in the end zone. He’ll likely see a lot of 1-on-1 coverage after defenses account for Torrey Smith, Ray Rice and Dennis Pitta (assuming he stays in Baltimore). Also since he had a “down” year, he shouldn’t expect a big contract.

Eric Decker

• 2013 stats (w/ Denver): 87 receptions, 1,288 yards, 11 touchdowns
• 2013 cap hit: $1,506,037
Why Baltimore should sign him: Many people think that just because Decker played with Peyton Manning, he had a breakout year. I say that while having Manning as your quarterback boosts your value, it doesn’t make you something you’re not. Unfortunately Decker could be asking for a new contract in the neighborhood of $8-10 million per year.

Julian Edelman

• 2013 stats (w/ New England): 105 receptions, 1,056 yards, 6 touchdowns
• 2013 cap hit: $765,000
Why Baltimore should sign him: Edelman plays like a Raven. He’s tough, football savvy, dependable and also returns punts. With Jacoby Jones’ status as an unrestricted free agent the Ravens might consider replacing the Super Bowl XLVII hero and dual threat with the very capable Edelman.

With approximately $11.4 million in cap space, the Ravens should be able to make a bid for the services of Jones or Edelman. Quite frankly, I think Boldin and Decker will ask for more than Baltimore is willing to offer.

It’s my opinion that the Ravens ought to shore up their offensive line first and foremost. But if they think adding a wide receiver to the mix is more important, they’ll obviously do that, despite the fact it’ll be more expensive.

Little to no cap space hasn’t stopped the Ravens from winning before. Let’s see how their front office works its magic again this year. But regardless of which wide receiver is or isn’t signed this offseason, perhaps the best way for Baltimore to jump start its passing game is to get the running game going.

And the key to that as we’ve seen is to re-tool the offensive line.

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About Mike Fast

Mike Fast
I was born and raised in Baltimore. But after a year at York College of Pennsylvania, I transferred to Towson University. At York and Towson, I hosted various radio shows, wrote for the school paper, spoke on a panel RE: college game day presentation at IBS conference in Manhattan and...more

10 Raves on “EXPLORING UFA’s: WR’s That Could Lure The Ravens

  1. Jacody on said:

    I think the only WR that makes sense is James Jones. He’ll be turning 30 so not breaking bank and he has strong hands and gets run after the catch. He would be a nice compliment torrey.

  2. Cheri on said:

    This was one of the most sense pieces I read to date. This piece is what I have been preaching since the season ended that they need 2 WR’s ..One from F/A and one from the draft that is how pathetic our offense was this year, and no it was not all coaching as some people make it out to be though Kubiak will help in a BIG way, he needs players. This F/A and draft is just loaded with talent and thus we need to double dip in it while it is deep .
    AS much as I would love Boldin back as Sarcasticfury pointed out he will probably resign with the 49ers in the coming days. Decker would be great too but too expensive for Ozzie’s taste I am guessing. James Jones has never put up really good numbers despite playing with a great QB which Flacco isn’t .He’s decent but he is not top 5. On your list Edelman would be awsome as a slot guy then draft Evans now with Torry, Endelman Evans and Brown now we go from poor to I think very good wr core.

  3. slabyarddog on said:

    I am of the opinion that if we fix the oline the running and passing games will be fine resign pitta and give Mellette and brown the chance to shine also sign a blocking tight end in later rounds but the oline is the key to a successful offense

  4. Jay on said:

    Maclin plus Evans/Lee/ebron in the first round and Matthews/Robinson/sefarian-jenkins in the second….. the o-line can be fixed with a healthy osemele and yanda and a cheap right tackle and the right scheme and coaching. That was also the problem with the run game. The draft is deep with good receivers this year and it needs to be taken advantage of. Give kubiak and flacco some weapons to work with and the results will be immediate.

  5. Brandon on said:

    I believe we address the O-line through FA. Pick up a wide receiver in the draft- Marquise Lee or Kelvin Benjamin. Give Brown and Smith more time to develop. The O-line is more important. Yes the receiving corps need life, but the O-line needs immediate attention.

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