Ravens Can Make Room for Pro-Bowl WR After Marlon Humphrey Decision

Marlon Humphrey

Getty Marlon Humphrey's restructured contract can help the Ravens sign a Pro-Bowl WR.

Marlon Humphrey may have helped the Baltimore Ravens finally make room for the Pro-Bowl calibre wide receiver still missing from the roster.

Humphrey, one of the Ravens’ starting cornerbacks and one of the many key players being counted on to bounce back from injury this year, had his contract restructured on Monday, July 25. The restructure has saved the franchise a bundle and created some much-needed room under the salary cap, according to ESPN’s Field Yates:

That $7.172 million worth of space gives the Ravens enough room to add a former NFL receiving yardage leader. This free agent is also a four-time Pro-Bowler who has drawn interest from Baltimore in the past.

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Room Under the Cap for Productive Veteran

T.Y. Hilton’s track record should be too good to pass up for a receiver-needy team like the Ravens. Hilton led the NFL in receiving yards in 2016, posted five 1,000-yard seasons and scored 53 touchdowns during a prodigious career with the Indianapolis Colts.

That kind of pedigree is why Hilton’s market value remains high, despite him being 32 and troubled by injuries in recent years. The productive veteran still commands a market value of $6.2 million annually, based on calculations from Spotrac.com.

There’s room now for a salary in that neighbourhood, provided the Ravens are still among Hilton’s admirers. They were back in 2021, but the player gave up on a “significant” offer from the Ravens, who made a “really hard run” to sign the wideout, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

More details were provided by Tony Lombardi of the Russell Street Report:

Hilton opted to stay with the Colts for another year, leaving the Ravens to sign Sammy Watkins instead. The latter moved to the Green Bay Packers in this year’s free-agency market, and the Ravens have yet to replace him or Marquise ‘Hollywood’ Brown, who was traded to the Arizona Cardinals on draft day.

Putting a proven commodity in the receiving room should be the priority for general manager Eric DeCosta during training camp. Hilton fits the bill as somebody capable of easing the burden on a young and unproven group of pass-catchers.

WR Room Lacking Established Talent

Rashod Bateman faces a tall order emerging as a legitimate No. 1 receiver during his second season. His cause won’t be helped by the lack of a credible supporting cast at his position.

Beyond Bateman, there’s James Proche, Tylan Wallace and Devin Duvernay. This unheralded trio combined for 51 receptions and just two touchdowns last season.

This a group lacking credentials that’s widely expected to disappoint. Duvernay is predicted to be the team’s biggest bust by Bleacher Report’s Alex Kay, who deems it unlikely the 24-year-old will “make a seamless transition to WR2.”

Hilton’s the established playmaker the Ravens need to draw coverage away from All-Pro tight end Mark Andrews and help Bateman develop. He isn’t the player he once was, but Hilton, who hasn’t completed a full season since 2017, can still make plays in the clutch, the way he did against the Cardinals in Week 16:

DeCosta has created space for a veteran who still has some tread on his tires over on defense, where Justin Houston was brought back to help the pass rush. Doing the same at receiver would help solidify the last remaining worrisome spot on the roster.

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