After sending star wide receiver Marquise “Hollywood” Brown to the Arizona Cardinals in a blockbuster trade, the Baltimore Ravens are expected to add a wideout to their offense before the start of the 2022 season.
The Ravens could first look to the free agency market, where ex-Indianapolis Colts veteran T.Y. Hilton has already been mentioned as a potential signing. But Hilton told reporters in April 2021 that he turned down a multi-year offer for more money from the Ravens to sign a one-year, $8 million deal to stay in Indianapolis, so it’s unclear if he’d have any interest in coming to Baltimore.
Instead, the Ravens might pursue Jarvis Landry, who was released by the Cleveland Browns just before the start of free agency. Lamar Jackson could use a target with veteran savvy like Landry, especially after losing his favorite target last week.
Ex-Ravens GM Linked to Landry
Michelle Bruton of Bleacher Report thinks that might be a smart idea, noting a tweet from Omar Kelly of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel about Baltimore’s previous interest in Landry under former general manager Ozzie Newsome.
“Newsome may not be calling the shots in Baltimore anymore, but he remains a link to Landry within the organization,” wrote Bruton.
While Eric DeCosta took over as general manager in 2019, Newsome stayed on as the Ravens’ executive vice president of player personnel, so he still wields plenty of influence in Baltimore.
Newsome’s standing interest in Landry plus Baltimore’s sudden need at wide receiver might be enough for the Ravens to make an offer to the veteran receiver.
Potential Contract for Landry
But, as with any potential move to add a wide receiver, the issue comes down to cost. Wide receiver contracts have exploded this offseason, and according to ProFootballTalk’s Mike Florio, Landry was hoping to cash in on that trend.
Florio wrote back on March 26 that Landry “had hoped to get a contract in the range of $20 million per year,” before changing his agent when his market didn’t materialize.
That definitely wouldn’t work for the Ravens, who have $7.1 million of salary cap space, per OverTheCap. That figure accounts for the Hollywood Brown trade, but not Baltimore’s incoming rookie class, which includes two first-round picks.
Baltimore already cut 2019 third-rounder Miles Boykin to create some cap space, while releasing offensive guard Ben Powers and tight end Josh Oliver could free up another $2.6 million. A few other moves, including a restructure for Marlon Humphrey or an extension for Marcus Peters, could give the Ravens as much as $15 million to work with. That would definitely put them within striking range of signing Landry, especially coming off his worst statistical pro season.
“He did miss time with a knee injury,” wrote Bruton, “but his stat line of 52 receptions for 570 yards and two touchdowns in 2021 was a career-low for the 29-year-old.”
Landry’s knee sprain is a potential cause for concern, but his five missed games in 2021 were his first injury-related absences of his career. He played all 16 games for his first six seasons in Miami and Cleveland before missing one game in 2020 due to COVID-19.
If his knee has fully recovered, Landry would be an excellent veteran addition to the Ravens’ inexperienced wide receiver room, similar to Sammy Watkins in 2021.
Landry’s 2.04 yards per route run in 2019 and 2020 ranked among the top 20 receivers in the NFL, per Pro Football Focus, and there’s no reason to believe a healthy Landry can’t put up similar numbers in 2022.
Even last season in Cleveland, with Baker Mayfield playing through injury, Landry still put up 1.78 yards per route run, a top-30 mark in the league despite the Browns’ anemic passing offense. He may lack the top-tier speed that left with Brown, but his route-running and hands are still the starting-quality in the NFL.
“The Ravens don’t have a ton of cap space to work with, but no one will meet the top end of Landry’s demands. If Baltimore can work some cap magic, Landry and his team should recognize it’s a good situation,” concluded Bruton.