Advertisement

Ravens keep losing tight ends, but one free agent says he hasn't received a call

The Ravens have lost two tight ends in the past month, but they haven't contacted one of the position's top remaining free agents.

Gary Barnidge has a combined 134 catches for 1,655 yards in the past two seasons, but the 31-year-old, who the Cleveland Browns cut in April, said he hasn't garnered Baltimore's interest.

Advertisement

"They know who to contact, who to call," Barnidge said Thursday on Glenn Clark Radio. "I just know we haven't heard anything yet, which is fine.

"I'm in no hurry," he added of his approach to finding a new team. "I'm staying in shape. I'll be ready when that call comes, so I'm in no rush right now."

Barnidge is two years removed from his career-best 1,043 yards and nine touchdowns on 79 receptions. Last year, he had 55 catches for 612 yards and two scores.

Entering his 10th season, Barnidge feels his production in four years with the Browns has been especially impressive, given the franchise's instability at quarterback and fluctuation in offensive coaching and schemes.

"In the last two years with eight different quarterbacks, I was able to still put up really good numbers," Barnidge said. "I was still one of the top tight ends in the NFL over a two-year period … I don't think there's any other guy that can say they've done that."

But that hasn't yet earned him a chance with the Ravens.

Since the Browns cut Barnidge in late April after selecting tight end David Njoku in the first round, tight end Dennis Pitta dislocated his right hip in early June for the third time in his career, and the Ravens cut him less than a week later. The seven-year veteran led all NFL tight ends with 86 catches in 2016.

Tight end Darren Waller, meanwhile, received at least a year-long suspension last week for violating the league's substance-abuse policy for the second time in as many seasons.

Waller's absence added to a tight ends group that already faced uncertain availability when training camp begins in late July.

Maxx Williams is recovering from a knee surgery coach John Harbaugh said during OTAs had never been performed on a football player.

Benjamin Watson, who did individual work during mandatory minicamp, declined to estimate a timeframe for his return from a torn Achilles tendon he suffered during the preseason last August.

Plus, Crockett Gillmore tweaked his hamstring and didn't participate in minicamp in mid-June.

That leaves Nick Boyle, who had six catches for 44 yards after a 10-game, performance-enhancing drug suspension last year, and Ryan Malleck, a second-year undrafted player signed in June after Pitta's injury, as the Ravens' current options at the position.

Advertisement

Barnidge said he thinks many NFL teams wanted to evaluate their prospects during offseason training before committing to him as a veteran in the preseason, so he's not yet worried about his outlook for 2017.

"I still think I have the ability to be a No. 1, and I've showed that the last two years," Barnidge said. "One thing people always talk about is your age, your age, your age. They talked about it two years ago. They talked about it last year. And my age has not done anything. I've been able to produce at my age, no slowing down."

Advertisement
Advertisement