I began the day with a blog about the Ravens’ plan to upgrade their wide receiving corps and that’s how I’m going to end it.
Both General Manager Ozzie Newsome and head coach John Harbaugh discussed the matter today and their comments indicate that the Ravens are absolutely considering picking a wide receiver early in the draft while it is unlikely that the team will make a big splash and sign one of the celebrated free agent wideouts.
The group of free agent receivers could include Vincent Jackson, Dwayne Bowe, Wes Welker, Reggie Wayne and Marques Colston among others.
“I don’t know how realistic it is but we definitely are going to explore it,” said Harbaugh. “I don’t see us spending high numbers on a wide receiver. We just don’t have the cap room. It wouldn’t be a smart way to distribute the money. You get the right player for the right price, then you have to look at it.”
The Ravens seem more likely to add a second-tier type receiver to replace Lee Evans and fit in with Anquan Boldin, Torrey Smith, LaQuan Williams and Tandon Doss.
That guy could come in free agency – Pierre Garcon, Robert Meachem, Brandon Lloyd and Mario Manningham are among the No.2 wide receiver types out there – or it could come in the draft.
“We are considering both,” Newsome said. “I don’t know how strong this class is. Like I said, this is the very outset of us starting our evaluation. But if there is someone there at the 29th pick that we think could help us at wide receiver, we’d definitely take him.”
Despite some speculation, Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Mike Wallace doesn’t appear to be an option that the Ravens are considering. Wallace is a restricted free agent, which means that the Ravens would have to give up their first-round draft pick and negotiate a huge deal for the opportunity to sign him.
Newsome didn’t completely rule it out, but he made it clear that’s not something that he is keen on doing.
“I’ve gone on record of saying that the problem of going after restricted free agents, at that point the player and the agent has the leverage. You have to do a deal that you don’t think the other team is going to match,” Newsome said. “And then giving up a first-round pick and with the new rules, that first-round pick, the amount of money you have to pay on the first four years is not what it was in the previous [collective bargaining agreement]. So you have to factor all of those things in before you decide to make that decision. Will some teams do it? There are teams that have two ones this year. Could they do it? Possibly, but they’ll be thinking about all of those other ramifications.”
Following the Wallace questions, Newsome was then asked by someone, who may have forgotten about the blazing speed that Smith possesses, about the Ravens’ need for a deep threat.
“Did you watch us play this year?,” Newsome asked the reporter. “Do you think we need a deep threat after this year?”