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Ravens still weighing options at receiver position

Posted on 03 November 2015 by Luke Jones

The Ravens continue to weigh their options at wide receiver in the aftermath of Steve Smith’s season-ending Achilles injury.

On Tuesday, the organization worked out wide receivers Hakeem Nicks, Joe Morgan, and Chuck Jacobs, but it remained to be seen if any of the three would be signed to the 53-man roster to take Smith’s spot. Jacobs posted on his official Twitter account that he was joining the Ravens, but the former San Francisco 49er was a more likely candidate to be signed to the practice squad since he’s never played a game in the NFL.

The 27-year-old Nicks is the most accomplished receiver of the group, but the former New York Giant has now tried out with five different teams since being cut by Tennessee before the start of the season. After back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons in 2010 and 2011, Nicks has declined rapidly in part due to injuries and caught a career-low 38 passes for 405 yards with Indianapolis last season.

With San Diego cutting ex-Raven Jacoby Jones on Tuesday, some fans began asking whether a reunion was in order, but that would appear unlikely. Though one of the heroes during Baltimore’s run to Super Bowl XLVII, Jones has declined rapidly over the last two seasons, evident with his poor performance as a returner against the Ravens on Sunday.

The 31-year-old has caught just nine passes for 131 yards since the start of the 2014 season and was averaging just 21.4 yards per kickoff for the Chargers, his lowest mark since his rookie year in 2007. Jones also returned five punts for just minus-4 yards.

After fumbling four times as a returner and falling out of the picture as a receiver last year, Jones was released in the offseason.

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Ravens exploring trade before Tuesday’s deadline?

Posted on 28 October 2013 by Luke Jones

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With Tuesday’s trade deadline quickly approaching and the Ravens returning to work after their Week 8 bye, there has been plenty of discussion over general manager Ozzie Newsome potentially having another trick up his sleeve to augment the defending Super Bowl champions.

Below the .500 mark this late in a season for the first time in the John Harbaugh era, the 3-4 Ravens would benefit from a potential upgrade at a number of positions, including wide receiver, tight end, center, and even safety. History suggests that most trade discussion results in being little more than talk-radio material as the NFL’s deadline activity pales in comparison to the other professional sports in most seasons, but Harbaugh wouldn’t say whether he anticipated a move being made on Monday afternoon.

“I wouldn’t comment on that anyway if I did,” Harbaugh said, “so it’s probably best just to stay away from that.”

Though not entirely impossible, imagining the Ravens pulling off a second in-season trade after dealing fourth- and fifth-round picks to Jacksonville for left tackle Eugene Monroe earlier this month seems like a stretch after Newsome had never completed a trade in the middle of a season in the 18-year history of the franchise. Baltimore is also working with slightly less than $2 million in salary cap space, eliminating many scenarios for high-priced players who might become available.

According to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, the Ravens are “deep in the process” of trying to add a wide receiver as a number of intriguing names are reportedly on the market, but what that exactly means remains to be seen as Tuesday’s 4 p.m. deadline approaches.

Here’s a list of the plausible names — Arizona’s Larry Fitzgerald and his gigantic contract don’t fit that description — being discussed with a thought on each:

Kenny Britt, Tennessee
Contract status: 2013 base salary of $897,500 and will become a free agent at the end of the season
Skinny: The Titans’ reported asking price of a third-round pick is way too high and will likely come down, but is Britt even worth a late pick with the lack of production accompanying his well-documented baggage off the field?

Josh Gordon, Cleveland
Contract status: 2013 base salary of $558,355 and has two years remaining on his rookie deal
Skinny: I’m still trying to figure out exactly why the Browns want to trade a talented — and admittedly troubled — 6-foot-3 receiver in his second year, but they surely aren’t dealing him to a division rival for any kind of reasonable price. 

Hakeem Nicks, New York Giants
Contract status: 2013 base salary of $2.75 million and will become a free agent at the end of the season
Skinny: The Giants have said consistently that they’re not trading Nicks and a two-game winning streak actually gives them a shot in the mediocre NFC East, meaning they’ll be asking for way too much to even entertain the possibility. 

Greg Little, Cleveland
Contract status: 2013 base salary of $602,500 with one year remaining on his rookie deal
Skinny: Too many drops and not enough upside make this unappealing and the Browns aren’t looking to do Baltimore any favors as was already mentioned.

Jon Baldwin, San Francisco
Contract status: 2013 base salary of $1.061 million with one year remaining on his rookie deal
Skinny: This third-year wideout has already been traded once and has three receptions this season for the receiver-needy 49ers, making you wonder why any team would give up anything for this 2011 draft bust.

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