Ravens Wide Receivers 2021: What free agent options remain at WR?

Anquan Boldin Ravens

The Ravens wide receivers group still needs an upgrade. While there is potential with the younger guys on the roster, like Devin Duvernay and James Proche, the Ravens should add an experienced wide receiver. At this point, it seems like a trade may be the best option.

Now that almost all the top options are gone, including Kenny Golladay, Corey Davis, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Marvin Jones, and most recently T.Y. Hilton, is there anyone left for the Ravens to bring in. If so, would it even classify as an upgrade for the Ravens wide receivers group?

I feel like the Ravens need to figure out who can be that reliable, possession receiver, and kind of act like an Anquan Boldin or Steve Smith Sr.

Let’s take a look at the wide receivers left in free agency:

Antonio Brown

I already covered how I think this is the best possible option left to boost the Ravens wide receivers group. My opinion on this has not changed. And honestly, I am kind of hoping that the Ravens front office is forced to reconsider this. I am not sure that Antonio Brown’s pride will allow him to sign with the Ravens, though, since they wouldn’t go after him last offseason. Lamar Jackson wanted them to sign Antonio Brown.

I think this is the best option left, but the Buccaneers also haven’t closed the door on re-signing Antonio Brown. There is also a rumor that Russell Wilson wants the Seahawks to bring in Antonio Brown. I think the chemistry between Lamar Jackson and Antonio Brown would be there immediately. Plus, the rest of the younger receivers, especially his cousin Marquise Brown, would respect Antonio. It would do wonders for the development of the younger Ravens wide receivers.

Ravens wide receivers
Can’t tell me it wouldn’t look good.

Sammy Watkins

I also wrote on Sammy Watkins potentially coming to Baltimore. I prefer that they add Antonio Brown to the Ravens wide receivers group, but I am not against Sammy Watkins. At this point, it’s the other best option. Now, Watkins has battled injuries through his career, but they don’t call him “Playoff Sammy” for no reason.

When the Chiefs won the Super Bowl in 2020, Sammy Watkins put up 300 receiving yards in the playoffs, including a 60-yard touchdown in the AFC Championship game against the Titans. That reliable playoff receiver is what the Ravens are missing on the other side of Marquise Brown. Marquise Brown and Mark Andrews cannot do it all in the playoffs.

I believe this is still the most likely option because of Sammy Watkins connection to Greg Roman and Keith Williams. Both of Sammy Watkins best seasons statistically (982 yards and 1,047 yards) came when Roman was the offensive coordinator.

Ravens wide receivers
Photo Credit: Raw Chili

Larry Fitzgerald

So, the Ravens are trying to develop their younger wide receivers. I understand that, but I also feel that they still need some experience in the Ravens wide receivers room. That makes Larry Fitzgerald an intriguing option. He is a first-ballot Hall of Famer easily. Fitzgerald is an 11-time Pro Bowler. Yes, I know he may or may not retire and his best days are behind him.

In 2020, he did only put up 409 yards, but it came on 54 receptions. He had a catch percentage of 75%. And in 2018 and 2019, he put up 734 yards and 804 yards respectively. The 3 years prior (2015, 2016, and 2017), Fitzgerald made the Pro Bowl all 3 years and put up over 1,000 yards. He has shown that he can still be a reliable target in his 30’s.

Larry Fitzgerald may want to retire with a Super Bowl, so if the Ravens can bring him in as a reliable target in the passing game on a cheap deal, why not? It is his best chance of getting that Super Bowl before he retires. This move also wouldn’t stop the Ravens from drafting another receiver or from having the ability to give their younger receivers more play time.

Larry Fitzgerald Ravens
Larry has great hands still. He also deserves the best chance at a Super Bowl.

Who are some other options to improve the Ravens wide receivers group?

At this point in NFL free agency, Antonio Brown and Sammy Watkins headline the top wide receivers available. So, I believe that a trade or the 2021 NFL Draft may be better at this point. But bringing in Antonio Brown or an experienced guy and using the Draft may not be a bad idea. I do have faith in some of the younger Ravens wide receivers, like Devin Duvernay, but I still feel they need experience on the outside.

Here are some other available wide receivers:

  • Golden Tate – 2020 stats: 35 receptions for 388 yards and 2 touchdowns. Tate dealt with injuries last season. In 2019, he had 49 receptions for 676 yards and 6 touchdowns.
  • Alshon Jeffrey (missed most of 2020) – 2019 stats: 43 receptions for 490 yards and 4 touchdowns. Jeffrey has dealt with injuries the past couple of years. In 2018, he had 65 receptions for 843 yards and 6 touchdowns. Prior to the past two seasons, he usually averaged 700 to 800 yards a season.
  • Marquise Goodwin – 2020 stats: 12 receptions for 186 yards and a touchdown. Dealt with injuries his career, last full season was 2017 where he put up 962 yards on 56 receptions.
  • Cordarrelle Patterson – 2020 stats: 21 receptions for 132 yards, no receiving touchdowns. 64 rushes for 232 yards, 1 touchdown. He also made the Pro Bowl for kick returns 35 returns for 1,017 yards and a touchdown.
  • Demarcus Robinson – 2020 stats: 45 receptions for 466 yards and 3 touchdowns. (Re-signed with Chiefs)
  • Danny Amendola – 2020 stats: 46 receptions for 602 yards, no touchdowns.
  • Damiere Byrd – 2020 stats: 47 receptions for 604 yards, 1 touchdown.
  • Dede Westbrook (season-ending injury in 2020) – 2019 stats: 66 receptions for 660 yards, 3 touchdowns.
  • Adam Humphries – 2020 stats: 23 catches for 228 yards and 2 touchdowns.

There are definitely no wide receivers left that seem like “must-haves,” but hopefully the Ravens can at least bring in someone reliable on the outside that can move the chain. This may end up being through a trade or the draft, but we shall see.

While you are here, check out more Ravens news:
Ravens Rumors: Are they freeing up space for a trade?
Ravens News: What has happened so far this offseason?
Where to find the Cheapest Baltimore Ravens Gear?
Antonio Brown Ravens: Could AB help out the Ravens passing game?
Sammy Watkins Twitter Rumor: Watkins to the Baltimore Ravens?
Ravens Free Agency: Kevin Zeitler Signing, Haason Reddick?

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