Veteran NFL Wideout Declines Ravens Workout Request: Report

Russell Shepard

Getty Russell Shepard celebrates a touchdown.

The Baltimore Ravens are scouring the market for wideout help, and have looked at names such as Dez Bryant and Dwayne Harris in recent days.

One more player the team wanted to see up close and personal? Wideout Russell Shepard, formally of the New York Giants. According to NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport, the Ravens reached out to Shepard with a workout request, but the wideout rebuffed them and will not be playing during the 2020 season.

Shepard, a veteran of 7 seasons in the league, has 847 yards and 6 touchdowns to his credit in the NFL. He started his career in Philadelphia, then bounced to Tampa Bay and Carolina before landing for a pair of seasons in New York. While with the Giants, Shepard played a small role with the team and was injured most of the 2019 year with a foot ailment.

The news only proves how motivated the Ravens are to find another veteran fit at wideout ahead of the 2020 season to provide some depth.

Analysts Think Ravens Should Sign Dez Bryant

Bryant has a slightly bigger stature than Shepard around the league. Should the team make the move? One one hand, Bryant is 31 years old and hasn’t played a meaningful snap since 2017. On the other, he still could have more than a little juice left in the tank as it relates to playing the game. Recently, the cast of Good Morning Football broke down the potential of Bryant to the Ravens and found a good fit for the most part.

Here’s how the crew reacted:

“No doubt about it. Dez has this insatiable appetite that can only be satisfied by getting back on the football field and ending his career the way he wants to,” Nate Burleson said. “He’s almost the perfect compliment to what they have. They have the speedster in Hollywood Brown. They need a guy who can come in and be a possession guy who loves to block. He also matches that ‘too close but didn’t get there’ vibe that the Ravens are living in right now. I do feel like this would be a great fit.”

“I think Dez might make an impact. His size, his performance. I’m all for it,” Peter Schrager said. Absolutely love his swagger and think he could bring something to the Ravens.”

“It would be nice to see him in that room. A real veteran presence for Hollywood Brown, Miles Boykin. Who outworks him? He’s one of the hardest working wideouts we’ve seen,” Kay Adams said.

While fellow analyst Kyle Brandt wasn’t completely sold on the prospect of Bryant in Baltimore, it’s clear the overwhelming consensus is the team should roll the dice on Bryant, take a risk and add him to the team’s offense.

Will the Ravens do just that? It will be worth watching in the coming days to see what happens.

Ravens Host Dez Bryant for Workout

According to ESPN’s Josina Anderson, the Ravens have been in talks about getting Bryant in for a workout in recent days. Bryant has been on the sidelines for the last few seasons, but could be looking to jump back into the game now after flirting with teams on social media for the last few years.

The Ravens did end up hosting Bryant for the workout, but it’s clear they are not finished looking around at the position.

Ravens Could Sign Top Wideout

The Ravens have reportedly been scouring the market for one more top pass catching option for a while, and Bryant is merely the latest addition to the list they may target. Many have wondered if the Ravens might sign Antonio Brown, as several have lobbied for it within the organization. Nothing has happened on that front, but it does seem as if the Ravens want one more player to complement their offense and give them a big play threat.

Likely, the team is banking on Marquise Brown becoming an elite wideout, and the team has depth with Willie Snead, Miles Boykin and a duo of draft picks in James Proche and Devin Duvernay on the roster.

Obviously, the team is looking for some sort of solution ahead of the season, and is trying to turn over whatever rocks they can to find the right veteran fit for their squad.

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