Ravens Rumors: Are they freeing up space for a trade?

Ravens rumors
Derick E. Hingle - USA TODAY Sports

I have been seeing some Ravens rumors lately in regards to an attempt by the Ravens to trade Orlando Brown Jr. for a number one wide receiver. If you are a Ravens fan, you know that Orlando Brown Jr. wants to play left tackle and that it won’t happen in Baltimore.

It’s hard to say if any of the Ravens rumors are true or just wishful thinking by fans. However, I wanted to take some time and speculate on possible “number one wide receiver” targets for the Ravens. I mean, the Ravens did just free up around $4.5 million (they now have around $18.5 million in cap space) by putting in some contract work on Brandon Williams and Calais Campbell.

The following players have at some point been in the NFL trade conversations:

Michael Thomas – New Orleans Saints

There was a conversation between Pat McAfee and Ian Rapoport on January 18th, 2021. In that conversation, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network told Pat McAfee that he would “not rule anything out” in regards to a possible trade involving Michael Thomas.

The Saints are currently over the cap by about $500,000. Yes, they are in the negative. Michael Thomas has a cap hit of $10 million, which increases to $24 million in 2022, $25 million in 2023, and $24 million in 2024. In order for the Ravens to do this trade, I feel that they would require those numbers to be stretched out in some sort of contraction restructure/extension. However, Michael Thomas is worth every penny, to be honest with you.

How good is Michael Thomas?

In fact, Michael Thomas is so good that even with the injury he suffered this season, he still earned a PFF grade of 85.2. He only started in 5 games and still had 40 receptions on 55 targets for 438 yards. In the other four seasons of his NFL career, he has gone over 1,000 yards every time, including an NFL record of 149 receptions for 1,725 yards and 9 touchdowns.

For Michael Thomas, I am not entirely sure how the Ravens would make this trade work, though. The Saints have pretty solid tackles with Terron Armstead and Ryan Ramczyk. As you know, Orlando Brown Jr. is the Ravens’ best trade ammo right now. But if there is any truth to the Saints being open to dealing Michael Thomas, just make it happen Baltimore. You can have my stimulus check to sweeten the offer. Drew Brees retired, so why not trade Michael Thomas now?

Julio Jones – Atlanta Falcons

I have heard this Ravens rumor a few times now. A lot of fans are open to this. And at the beginning of 2021, Arthur Blank did say that no player is off limits in the trade market. Julio Jones is a bit different because he is 32 years old, but he can still play at a high level.

The problem here, though, is that the Falcons would create a lot of dead money if they trade Julio Jones. That is, unless, they wait until after June 1st. If they trade Julio Jones after June 1st, they would only create $7.7 million in dead money over the next 3 years. They would also free up around $37 million total over that same period.

Ravens rumors

This could be a good thing for the Baltimore Ravens because then they could use a pick or two from next year to try and trade for Julio Jones, instead of picks from this year. Of course, Orlando Brown Jr. may or may not be involved in this trade. The Falcons don’t have the worst left tackle in Jake Matthews, but Brown would be an upgrade.

This Ravens rumor may actually be a strong possibility. Even in a season where he was only able to play 9 games, Julio Jones still put up 771 yards. Julio Jones is a first-ballot Hall of Famer nearing the end of his career. This would be a Baltimore Ravens move, remember Anquan Boldin, Steve Smith Sr., or Derrick Mason.

Allen Robinson – Chicago Bears

I will not lie to you. As far as Ravens rumors go, this is my favorite one. I think any Baltimore Ravens fan can agree with that. I mean, I wanted him to be a free agent so bad. At the end of last season, I thought for sure this was finally the year the Ravens would land that number one wide receiver. Allen Robinson is literally the perfect fit.

Ravens rumors

While no one really knows if he is even on the market, Sportsnaut has the Baltimore Ravens as the top landing spot for an Allen Robinson trade package. I mean, the Bears have yet to be able to work out a deal with Allen Robinson. Let’s be honest, he deserves to play on a team with a better quarterback. He finished as PFF’s No. 5 overall-graded receiver even with one of the worst quarterbacks in the NFL.

Allen Robinson has led the NFL in contested catches the last two years with 47. Coming off two 1,000 yard seasons, Robinson is only getting better. It’s time to give Robinson a quarterback and Lamar Jackson a number one receiver. Sportsnaut actually has the Bears taking Orlando Brown Jr. alone for Allen Robinson and giving us a conditional 2022 fourth-round pick. I am all for that if Eric DeCosta can get it done!

Have you heard any other Ravens rumors? If so, what’s your favorite one?

While you are here, check out more Ravens news:
Ravens News: What has happened so far this offseason?
Antonio Brown Ravens: Could AB help out the Ravens passing game?
Sammy Watkins Twitter Rumor: Watkins to the Baltimore Ravens?
Baltimore Ravens Gear
Ravens Free Agency: Kevin Zeitler Signing, Haason Reddick?

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