Season after season, the Ravens offense struggles to be a dominant force on the field. Whether its injuries sidelining half the squad or lack of communication between quarterback Joe Flacco and his receivers, the lackluster team had led to some frustrating fans.
Besides the recent changes to the coaching staff and administration, the Ravens have been looking for a talented player that has the speed, hands, and aggression to bring Baltimore’s offensive record out of the dumps. An experienced, three-time Pro Bowler with 400 career receptions sounds like just the person to get the job done. Where can the Ravens find such a player? In Miami.
Wide receiver Jarvis Landry is in the prime of his career and the Ravens have their eye on him. The only problem is he won’t come cheap. Baltimore is known for going after veteran receivers in order to get them at a bargain rate, but Spotrac projects that Landry’s market value is somewhere around $13.8 million per season for five years—and $58 million overall. That doesn’t include giving up the third-round pick to Miami in order to get Landry from the Dolphins.
The last time the Ravens stepped out of their comfort zone and dished out a large sum for a wide receiver was in 2010 for Anquan Boldin, which was about $8.3 million per season. Since winning the last Super Bowl in 2012, Baltimore’s free-agency signings have been less than what Landry is expecting: Jacoby Jones (four years, $12 million), Brandon Stokley (one year, $940,000), Steve Smith Sr. (three years, $10.5 million), Mike Wallace (two years, $11.5 million), and Jeremy Maclin (two years, $11 million).
With the craziness of the NFL’s salary cap requirements, the Ravens do have some extra money to throw around in free-agency. The only way to pull off the Landry deal—or any, for that matter—is to make some tough cuts. Cutting wide receiver Maclin and veteran safety Ladarius Webb would save about $7 million. Restructuring some of the larger contracts like defensive tackle Brandon Williams ($11.5 million) and cornerback Jimmy Smith ($15.6 million) is another way to go if the Ravens want any chance of getting quality players in the off-season.
Another popular option for the Ravens is signing recently cut players. That list could include some big names like Green Bay’s Jordy Nelson, Baltimore native and Los Angeles Ram Tavon Austin, and former Raven and recent Super Bowl champ Torrey Smith. While it’s the least expensive route to go, it also seems like Baltimore’s safest bet.
Securing a top receiver like Landry would be great, but the question is one person really worth all the money?