The Baltimore Ravens extended their streak of consecutive preseason victories to 21 by defeating the Tennessee Titans 23-10 on Thursday. Several Ravens rookies impressed in their debut showings, but Baltimore didn’t escape unscathed. Tylan Wallace suffered a knee sprain injury that is expected to cause him to miss time, per reports. Fellow receiver James Proche II didn’t feature against the Titans as he continues to nurse a soft tissue injury. A clear-cut timetable for his return hasn’t been established.
The Ravens’ receiver room isn’t deep enough to survive injuries to Proche and Wallace. It leaves Rashod Bateman running alongside the likes of Devin Duvernay and not much else. Duvernay, who just recently returned from a thigh bruise injury, didn’t play against the Titans either for precautionary reasons. The Ravens probably should have considered acquiring a veteran receiver even prior to the injuries suffered by Wallace and Proche on Thursday. It’s arguably become non-negotiable now.
With one of the league’s least attractive receiver rooms now dealing with an abundance of injuries, we’ve identified three veteran receivers the Ravens could potentially acquire via trade.
NELSON AGHOLOR, NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
The Patriots’ receiver room has become awfully crowded this offseason. Nelson Agholor, Jakobi Meyers, and Kendrick Bourne were joined by DeVante Parker and Tyquan Thornton. All five receivers have alternated with the first-team offense throughout training camp. Something has to give because the Patriots can’t head into the season with five starting wide receivers. Agholor may find himself being the odd man out.
The Patriots possess an abundance of receivers, especially for an offense that will likely run 12-personnel with frequency. Agholor is entering a contract season. The former Philadelphia Eagle is set to carry a cap hit of approximately $14.882 million and the cash-strapped Patriots would save nearly $10 million by trading him, via Spotrac. If the Patriots were satisfied with Agholor’s performance last season, they wouldn’t have spent premium capital to acquire two receivers in the offseason. Agholor to the Ravens makes sense.
DARIUS SLAYTON, NEW YORK GIANTS
Darius Slayton is a prime candidate to be traded or released before Week 1 marks its arrival. The Giants have a clear top-three at receiver in Kenny Golladay, Sterling Shepard, and Kadarius Toney. Behind them, Slayton has forfeited reps to training camp standout Collin Johnson. A towering boundary target (6-foot-6), Johnson led all Giants receivers with 82 yards on seven receptions against the Patriots on Thursday. Furthermore, new Giants general manager Joe Schoen drafted former Kentucky standout Wan’Dale Robinson.
Slayton recently practiced with the third-team offense during the Giants’ recent Blue-White scrimmage. The writing may be on the wall for Slayton.
Once touted as an intriguing deep-speed threat, Slayton could potentially help the Ravens replace the field-stretching ability their offense lost when they traded Marquise Brown to the Arizona Cardinals. The Giants have a surplus at receiver and the Ravens could utilize Slayton’s skill set.
MARQUEZ CALLAWAY, NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
The Saints completely revamped their receiver room this offseason by drafting Chris Olave and signing Jarvis Landry. Saints general manager Mickey Loomis is expecting his franchise to field a pass-happier offense this offseason and he’s made the necessary acquisitions to bring that wish to fruition. It’s pushed Marquez Callaway way down the depth chart.
Callaway’s path to snaps in New Orleans’ new-look offense appears dicey. The coaching staff remains high on Tre’Quan Smith, who’s an excellent blocker in the running game. New Orleans’ offseason activity has bumped Callaway into a positional battle to make the Saints’ final 53-man roster. Callaway is a quality NFL receiver that deserves more snaps and targets than he’ll find in New Orleans. The Ravens could provide Callaway with that opportunity.
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