Breshad Perriman confirmed after Friday’s practice that the Ravens intend to pick up his $649,485 roster bonus by Saturday, virtually guaranteeing that the wide receiver will remain with the team for much of the preseason.
“Of course it’s a blessing, but at the same time, I’m just focused on what I’ve got to prove and doing good on the field and improving myself,” he said. “It’s good to get it, but that’s not where my focus is.”
However, the bonus does not assure the first-round pick in the 2015 NFL draft of a spot on the team’s active roster, and the franchise decided in May to decline the fifth-year 2019 option for just over $9 million. Perriman, 24, acknowledged the precariousness of his future.
“It’s a scary topic,” he said. “You know what’s on the line; you know that everything is on the line. It’s kind of like a make-or-break year, but at the same time, you can’t put that extra pressure on yourself. So I just really want to go out there and get better every day and control what you can control. Go out there and get better every day and go hard and everything will play out.”
Injuries and ineffectiveness have prevented Perriman from playing in 21 of 48 games through his first three years. Last season might have been his most difficult as he caught only 10 passes for 77 yards and was a healthy scratch in four of the team’s final seven games.
With the free-agent signings of Michael Crabtree, John Brown and Willie Snead IV and the drafting of rookies Jaleel Scott and Jordan Lasley, the wide receiver position is suddenly crowded. Perriman said he is embracing the opportunity to prove himself to his coaches and teammates.
“This whole game is nothing but competition,” he said. “So it’s basically just the same thing. We all embrace it, and we all know that it’s a lot of competition. At the same time, we still want the best for each other and we still encourage each other and motivate each other. When we step out here between these lines, we’re all just trying to compete and make plays.”
Crabtree said Perriman’s only goal should be concentrating on his game.
“It’s kind of hard on him because the media is real hard on him,” Crabtree said. “But like I tell him, ‘Man, just go play ball, and don’t worry about nobody and what they say to you. Just keep getting better and better every day, because once you prove it on the field, then all that goes away.’”
While cognizant of the criticism about his lack of productivity, Perriman said he has not questioned his path.
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“I’ve got faith in myself, and I’ve got faith in God,” he said. “I don’t have any doubts at all about this upcoming season.”