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Ravens see potential in WR Hardy

James Hardy has made 10 catches in his three-year career, but the Ravens saw enough to sign the former Bills receiver to a future contract during their playoff run. Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome was asked about the under-the-radar signing during last week's season-ending press conference.

"He's coming off an ACL [injury] that he had in his first year, but we think he's a guy that has the opportunity to become a good player in this league, and maybe he can do that here in Baltimore," Newsome said of the 6-foot-5, 220-pound Hardy, who was the Bills' second-round pick in 2008.

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Hardy did not play in 2010 after the Bills gave up on him and gave his roster spot to God's wideout Stevie Johnson. With the Ravens likely to experience significant turnover at wide receiver, Hardy will get a shot to impress the coaches in offseason workouts (if there are offseason workouts).

The Ravens have a serious need for downfield speed, but Hardy is hardly a burner. He does have size and height, though, so he could hammer at a niche -- maybe in the red zone. Given the potential that got him drafted in the second round and the fact that he is just 25, the Ravens were wise to kick the tires on Hardy. Chances are he won't break out, but hey, you never know.

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