The Ravens have announced that they signed wide receiver Brandon Stokley to a one-year deal, confirming a Sun report from Saturday night. Stokley was expected to practice with the Ravens today at M&T Bank Stadium.
Stokley, 37, is an established possession receiver who caught 45 passes for 544 yards and five touchdowns last season for the Denver Broncos.
Stokley could provide a reliable route-running presence and sure hands for a receiving corps that lost veteran wide receiver Anquan Boldin via an offseason trade to the San Francisco 49ers following a contract dispute and tight end Dennis Pitta to a season-ending fractured and dislocated hip.
The Ravens also have an injury situation with wide receiver Deonte Thompson, sidelined with a left foot-ankle injury.
Following practice Saturday, Ravens receivers coach Jim Hostler acknowledged the challenge the Ravens are facing without Boldin and Pitta.
"You take our top two inside guys out of the equation, there’s going to be some pressure," Hostler said. "Guys are going to have to step up. Guys are going to have to do things that they’ve never done before. They’re going to have to carry the team. They’re going to have to make plays in critical situations. That’s where we’re at. We’ve got a lot of guys outside. We’ll be fine. We can run. We’ve got a lot of speed.
"We’ve just got to find those couple guys inside that can go in there on third down and make plays in critical situations to move the chains. And that’s where we’re at – we’re trying to discover those guys. We’ve got a couple that we’ve got that are working, that are good players. Nobody knows them. So until they do it, we’re going to be answering that question the rest of the year.”
Stokley was drafted by the Ravens in the fourth round of the 1999 NFL draft and caught a 38-yard touchdown pass in a Super Bowl XXXV victory over the New York Giants. Stokley was a fan favorite during his first stint in Baltimore.
Stokley has 384 career receptions for 5,224 yards and 39 touchdowns in 14 NFL seasons.
During the 2004 season with the Colts, Stokley caught a career-high 68 passes for 1,077 yards and 10 touchdowns.