With Eric Decker either getting traded or being released, the Baltimore Ravens have to go all out to land the wide receiver.
Despite it being somewhat downplayed, the Baltimore Ravens offense had a relatively tepid outlook heading into 2017 after the draft. They beefed up their defense to make it exceptionally deep and strong. However, they failed to replace the departures of guys like Steve Smith Sr. and Kamar Aiken in the passing game.
However, the one ace in the hole that the Ravens had offensively was Dennis Pitta. Unfortunately for Baltimore,Justin Tucker Jersey the operative word there is “was”. Pitta suffered yet another hip injury in a disappointing line of them. Thus, his season was effectively determined to be over and the Ravens released the veteran tight end.
Now things are in a bad way for the Baltimore offense. And at this point in the offseason, the moves they can make to adjust are scarce. However, one move sticks out as the obvious play for the Ravens front office: pursuing Eric Decker.
When the New York Jets announced their intentions to try and trade Decker, and that they would release him if they couldn’t find a partner,Joe Flacco Jersey many people connected the dots to the Ravens. What’s more, there were reports that Baltimore had talked to the Jets about a trade, per Albert Breer of The MMQB. Three days since that report, however, and Decker remains with the Jets.
For the Ravens, though, this isn’t just a move that would make sense. Point blank,Dennis Pitta Jersey they have to get Eric Decker if they want to be a playoff team in 2017.
I’ve discussed on a number of occasions the shortcomings presented by the Ravens offense as currently constituted. Their receiving corps as of now consists of the wildly inconsistent Mike Wallace and the wholly unproven Breshad Perriman in terms of quality options. They don’t just need a body — they need a reliable playmaker. Decker is that surely, but he’s also a nice complement to Wallace and Perriman.
Even at his older age, Wallace still makes his bones as a deep threat. Meanwhile, Perriman is another player known for his speed. When you take those two and insert Decker into the mix,Eric Weddle Jersey the 30-year old out of Minnesota becomes a nasty possession target that can beat teams inside and that can open up the field for the duo already in-tow.
The fit of Decker in Baltimore is why he’s a far superior option to another available receiver in Jeremy Maclin. Again, adding Maclin wouldn’t be the worst thing considering how dire the Ravens’ need is. But he’s not nearly as natural of a fit in the current group as Decker.
Given that the Ravens have talked about a trade, though, the complicated issue becomes how they go about pursuing him. On one hand, the Jets have no leverage really in a trade if they’ve already said they intend to release him. Thus, Baltimore could just wait to sign him outright. But with other teams also being in need of Decker’s services, trying to sign him as a free agent creates the risk of him choosing to play elsewhere.