Breshad Perriman has not lived up to the expectations associated with being the 26th overall selection in the 2015 NFL draft, but that apparently will not dissuade the Ravens from potentially keeping the 24-year-old wide receiver on their roster.
ESPN first reported Thursday morning that the franchise plans to pick up Perriman’s $649,485 roster bonus, which is due Saturday. The move does not guarantee the wideout’s spot on the active 53-man roster, and the team decided in May to decline the fifth-year 2019 option for just over $9 million.
Perriman practiced Thursday afternoon, but did not make himself available for comment after the session. Coach John Harbaugh danced around the topic after practice.
“I don’t know,” he said. “I haven’t been informed on what the plans are at this point. So I don’t know. That’d be a good question for [general manager] Ozzie [Newsome]. If he was answering questions, he could probably answer it for you, but I don’t think he will. So you’re probably not going to get an answer on that. We’ll just see that and see what happens.”
Perriman has played in 27 of 48 games through his first three years and slogged through a disappointing 2017 season in which he caught only 10 passes for 77 yards. Perriman, who had more than one catch in only three games and was a healthy scratch in four of the final seven games, has been unable to use his speed to separate himself from cornerbacks and become a legitimate downfield threat.
Perriman has not enjoyed a full training camp since turning pro. His 2015 season was erased by a partially torn posterior cruciate ligament in his right knee. His return in 2016 was delayed by a partially torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during an offseason training activity in June that kept him on the team’s physically unable to perform list until Aug. 18. And a strained right hamstring kept him on the sideline for much of the 2017 preseason.
Perriman is facing a crowded field for a spot on the roster. The Ravens added a trio of free agents in Michael Crabtree, John Brown and Willie Snead IV, and all three figure to be on the roster unless there is a serious injury.
The team also took a pair of rookies in Jaleel Scott and Jordan Lasley in the fourth and fifth rounds, respectively, of April’s draft, and both players will be given plenty of room to make the roster. Chris Moore caught 18 passes for 248 yards and three touchdowns last season and was the primary kick returner.
Perriman figures to be battling Moore, Scott, Lasley, Quincy Adeboyejo, DeVier Posey and Tim White for the right to remain with the team.