Ravens Listed as Candidate to Pair Lamar Jackson With Super Bowl Champion WR1

Ravens QB Lamar Jackson prepares to go deep against Chiefs.

Getty Ravens QB Lamar Jackson prepares to go deep against Chiefs.

The Baltimore Ravens have had a dominant rushing attack the last few seasons but have been attempting to balance their offense with a stronger attack through the air. 2024’s offseason wide receiver free agency class is a deep class with options that could bolster the Ravens heading into the season.

Adam Thompson, of Bookies.com, released an article analyzing their odds for where a player’s next team could potentially be. Bookies.com gave the Ravens a +2000 or 4.8% implied odds of signing Super Bowl champion WR Mike Evans.

Evans was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the first round of 2014 and has been one of the most consistent receivers in the NFL since he entered.

According to Thompson, “The belief is he’ll command upwards of $20 million annually, on a deal that could range 3-4 years.”

Evans is a big bodied red zone threat that can also take the top off of the defense. “Evans has surpassed 1,000 receiving yards in all 10 seasons. His 1,255 yards in 2023 was the third-highest total of his career,” Thompson wrote.

The Houston Texans are currently the favorite at +300 with Evans’ longtime team, the Buccaneers, coming in right behind them at +325.

Thompson wrote, “The Baltimore Ravens must replace Odell Beckham Jr., but they are over the cap as the off-season begins.”

Mike Evans Could Take Lamar Jackson to Another Level

The Ravens switched their focus to improving the receiving corps after a disappointing 2022 season. They drafted WR Zay Flowers in the first round and brought in Beckham on a 1-year deal.

While the Ravens currently are 8th in odds at +2000, Thompson wrote, “The thought of playing with Lamar Jackson and competing for a Super Bowl keeps open a glimmer of a shot.”

While the Buccaneers did make the playoffs and have a successful season with Baker Mayfield, Evans would be joining a Super Bowl caliber team in the Ravens led by Jackson.

Evans would be the threat in the endzone at WR the Ravens have been missing for years. No Ravens WR had more than 5 receiving touchdowns this season and TE Mark Andrews led the team with 6 touchdowns and he missed a majority of the season.

Evans in his career has 99 touchdowns (both regular season and playoffs) and scored 12 touchdowns this season, which is the 5th time he has hit double-digits in his career.

Thompson pointed out the fact that Evans hit 1,000 receiving yards for the 10th season in a row, Flowers as a rookie was the closest with 858 and Beckham was next at 565.

Adding Evans would give the Ravens a tandem of Flowers/Evans with Andrews and Isaiah Likely at the tight end position.

Jackson threw for a career high 3,678 passing yards this season and with Evans, a second year Flowers and the return of Andrews the Ravens could have one of the most dominant passing attacks in the league.

Money & Age Could Hold Ravens Back From Signing

As Thompson pointed out, the money will be the first issue the Ravens will need to address. Spotrac’s market value predictor tool projects Evans to be worth a 4-year, $95.3 million contract.

That will be a difficult contract for the Ravens to hand out due to the fact that according to OverTheCap, the Ravens only have $7.3 million in cap space currently. Add in having big time free agents DT Justin Madubuike and LB Patrick Queen that need to be addressed, and the Ravens may not have the luxury of targeting Evans.

Now the Ravens could create significant cap space by cutting players like OL Ronnie Stanley or even superstar CB Marlon Humprey. However, the question for general manager Eric DeCosta will be is the contract worth handing out.

Thompson spoke about the positives of adding Evans, but he also discussed a major negative. He wrote, “His advanced age for a star receiver (31 by the start of next season) could mean a slew of nagging injuries he’s battled through may start costing him games.”

The good thing about Beckham’s contract was that it was a short-term deal. Evans will be looking for a longer contract and at his age that may scare some teams away.

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