According to multiple reports, the Baltimore Ravens and Philadelphia Eagles held discussions on draft weekend centered around a trade that could have sent Eagles receiver Jalen Reagor to the Ravens in exchange for safety Chuck Clark. Talks allegedly fell through.
Although the Ravens must seriously consider adding another starting-caliber receiver to their lineup, acquiring Reagor would not qualify as a solution to their current depth chart issues. The Ravens have refused to invest in the continuation of the newfound success they found in the passing game in 2021 this offseason and a move for Reagor would represent the ultimate Hail Mary.
A first-round selection of the Eagles in the 2020 NFL Draft (did you know Philadelphia took Reagor just one pick before the Minnesota Vikings took Justin Jefferson? It’s not mentioned often), Reagor has failed to appropriately acclimate to the NFL game. Reagor has routinely struggled with drops and other consistency issues as a route-runner throughout a less-than-desirable two-year tenure in Philadelphia. As a rookie, Reagor managed to record just 31 receptions for 396 yards. He somehow took a step backward as a sophomore in 2021, matching his 2020 total of 31 receptions while accounting for considerably less yardage (280).
Eagles General Manager Howie Roseman quickly realized Reagor was failing to develop into the star receiver they hoped he’d become. Just one year after drafting Reagor in the first round, Roseman doubled down by selecting former Alabama receiver DeVonta Smith with a top-10 selection in the 2021 NFL Draft. Roseman has continued to invest premium capital into fixing Philadelphia’s long-standing receiver woes by trading away a 2022 first-round selection to the Tennessee Titans in exchange for superstar receiver A.J. Brown. The Eagles quickly gave Brown a four-year contract extension worth $100 million, making Brown one of the highest-paid receivers in the league. It’s essentially an admittance of failure on Reagor, who has quickly become a forgotten man in Philadelphia.
Reagor’s lack of efficiency makes him a poor fit in Baltimore. Superstar quarterback Lamar Jackson has often been criticized for his inconsistencies as a pure thrower of the football. Ravens Offensive Coordinator Greg Roman is a run-first coach that has crafted an effective offense centered around the threat Jackson poses with his legs.
Critics have often called for the Ravens to become a more balanced offense and crucial strides were taken in 2021. The Ravens finished the campaign with a 13th-best average of 233 passing yards per contest. It represented a notable improvement on their 2020 campaign in which they averaged a league-low of 171.2 passing yards per game.
Baltimore’s chances of fielding a moderately successful passing offense in 2022 took a major blow when general manager Eric DeCosta executed a stunning draft-day trade with the Arizona Cardinals that sent Marquise “Hollywood” Brown to the desert in exchange for Arizona’s first-round selection. Brown undeniably served as Baltimore’s No. 1 receiver last season after crossing the 1,000-yard receiving mark for the first time in his professional career.
Brown’s absence leaves the Ravens with several question marks at the pass-catching position. Second-year receiver Rashod Bateman now steps into a starring role on the boundary and the depth behind him leaves plenty to be desired. Devin Duvernay, Tylan Wallace, and James Proche II currently help round out Baltimore’s receiver room. Not exactly a murderer’s row of pass catchers. The Ravens shockingly refused to draft a receiver in the 2022 NFL Draft despite making a league-leading 11 selections. Baltimore instead doubled down on their run-first identity by drafting the likes of center Tyler Linderbaum, offensive tackle Daniel Faalele, running back Tyler Badie, and two tight ends in Charlie Kolar and Isaiah Likely.
As we swiftly head toward training camp, the Ravens should continue to address their lack of star power at receiver. Several receivers that qualify as difference-makers remain unrestricted free agents—Odell Beckham Jr. most notably. Making a signing of that caliber may be difficult for a Ravens squad that currently possesses just $6.9 million in available cap space, via Spotrac, and must still sign their rookie draft class. Creating additional financial freedom has become increasingly easy in today’s league, however.
The Ravens have reportedly shown interest in Jarvis Landry, who would immediately become their starting slot receiver. Julio Jones, Cole Beasley, and Will Fuller help round out an impressive list of available receivers. The Ravens would be wise to strike a deal with any of these options.
Reagor isn’t the answer.
- Sep 29, 2023
- Sep 29, 2023