After trading Hollywood Brown to the Arizona Cardinals, the Baltimore Ravens are still looking for another receiving target for Lamar Jackson, with several veteran free agents mentioned as potential signings.
Wide receiver coach Tee Martin even brought in former University of Tennessee track star Mustaqeem Williams for a tryout on June 14.
The Bucs leaned on Tyler Johnson and ex-Ravens first-rounder Breshad Perriman after Chris Godwin’s injury and Antonio Brown’s walkout last season.
That left Miller as the “forgotten man” of Tampa Bay’s wide receiving corps, according to Wharton, and the Buccaneers’ addition of Russell Gage this offseason only pushes him further down the depth chart.
Enter Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta, who has proven to be a shrewd operator in the trade market in recent years. Miller emerged as a reliable receiver in 2020 with 33 catches and 501 yards, but could not repeat the performance in 2021. He appeared in only nine games due to turf toe and totaled just five catches for 38 yards for the season.
“Miller’s lack of impact was shocking, considering the success he found with Tom Brady in their first year together,” wrote Wharton. “He’s stuck behind the deepest receiving corps in the league but would catch on in Baltimore with his ability to get open quickly.”
Miller’s step back in 2021 and the Buccaneers’ wide receiver depth might lower his trade value enough for the Ravens to acquire him using a Day 3 draft pick.
Wharton suggested a fifth-round pick as compensation for Miller, a price the Ravens could certainly pay. Baltimore currently has their own 2023 fifth-rounders and the New England Patriots’ pick, which was acquired in last year’s Shaun Wade trade.
Should the Ravens Make a Move?
Miller would only bring a $965,000 cap hit to Baltimore, though he is in the last year of his contract, per Over The Cap. He’s affordable for the 2022 season, but the Ravens should be sold on his talent before giving up a draft pick.
The 2018 sixth-rounder proved in 2020 that he could be an effective downfield weapon in the passing game, recording 15.2 yards per catch and a 16.1-yard average depth of target, per Pro Football Focus. While Miller hasn’t amassed the same career yardage as Hollywood Brown, he could fill Brown’s role as a speedy deep threat who can line up outside or in the slot for a fraction of the price.
A fifth-round pick would be a fair price to pay for Miller, as long as they can quickly come to terms on a contract extension.
Potential Deals for Miller
The price of wide receiving talent has shot up this summer, making it difficult to predict what kind of deal Miller would want.
In 2021, wide receivers with similar ages and pedigrees to Miller cost between $4.5 and $5 million per year, per Spotrac. Kendrick Bourne signed a three-year, $15 million deal while Jamal Agnew received a three-year, $14.3 million deal.
That would be a reasonable price for Miller, but the going rate for wide receivers has increased after this offseason’s spending spree.
The average annual value of contracts for similar receivers has increased, Cedrick Wilson and Zay Jones signing contracts worth more than $22 million over the next three years. Braxton Berrios got a two-year, $12 million deal, making the Saints’ two-year, $6 million contract for Tre’Quan Smith look like a bargain.
Miller’s step back in 2021 could lower his asking price for an extension, something the Ravens should capitalize on before Miller has a chance to raise his stock this season.