Photo Courtesy: USA Today

Ravens showing interest in veteran WR Dez Bryant

April 16, 2018 - 4:03 pm

By Joe Schiller

Since acquiring Michael Crabtree and the John Brown in the early portions of the offseason, the Baltimore Ravens have been relatively quiet in the free agent receiver market. They’ve brought in a handful of receivers for workouts and visits but have yet to make any more additions to a completely revamped wide receiver corps.

General manager Ozzie Newsome has a knack for being patient and did exactly that with a late offseason signing of Jeremy Maclin last year. The recent release of Dez Bryant has offered Newsome a similar opportunity to completely bolster the wide receiver depth chart.

With just 10 days before the start of the NFL draft, the Ravens have expressed interest in signing the veteran wide receiver, according to Jeff Zrebiec of The Baltimore Sun.

Bryant’s release from the Dallas Cowboys capped off a drama-filled offseason for the star wide receiver. Entering the penultimate year of a five-year, $70 million contract, Jerry Jones and the front office chose to cut their losses in a surprising move. Bryant left the Cowboys’ facility in spite on Friday afternoon and is now free to sign with any of the remaining 31 teams.

The 29-year old has yet to post a 1,000-yard season since signing his monster contract extension back in 2015 but is an immediate upgrade for the Ravens. While his production didn’t reach the contract standards in Dallas, Bryant’s 838 receiving yards and six touchdowns would have ranked first among the receivers in Baltimore last season.

Adding another cap casualty wide receiver fits the free agent blueprint Newsome has followed over the years. The Ravens possess the wiggle room to strike a deal with Bryant and signing him will not count against the team’s compensatory pick formula. That’s crucial to consider after already losing center Ryan Jensen along with pass-catchers Mike Wallace, Michael Campanaro, and Ben Watson.

Bryant has expressed strong interest in staying within the NFC East but the circumstances alone are enough to warrant interest from the Ravens. Adding a much-needed possession target for Joe Flacco would be crucial in the team’s playoff chances this season.