Monday, July 27, 2009

Back to the Receiver Drawing Board

Upon news of Drew Bennett retiring plus Joe Flacco saying he's unsure if Derrick Mason will return (credit both to the Baltimore Sun), the Ravens are back to the drawing board with a new wide receiver. So, looking at the possible options, what are the pros and cons of the next possible moves?

Option A: Sign a new wide receiver.
--Possibilities: Marvin Harrison, Plaxico Burress, D.J. Hackett, Joe Horn, Amani Toomer among others
--Pros: It will not cost much and allows the Ravens to sign who they want to the offense without another team's say.
--Cons: None of these players have been signed yet, making you wonder if they still have what it takes to be a big wide receiver. Plus, some of these players are having issues with the law, which could affect their ability as well.

Option B: Trade for a receiver.
--Possibilities: Brandon Marshall of the Broncos, Anquan Boldin of the Cardinals
--Pros: Both are proven receivers that could become #1-WR easily in their spot. Plus, they want out of their current location, and a place with a team that reached the AFC Championship last season as the clear #1 would likely get them to play hard.
--Cons: For both, money is a certain factor. They will cost high draft picks to bring here plus a very high contract to either one after a year. Plus, neither have good reputations; Marshall with the law, Boldin as a teammate. These factors could be problems for the Ravens.

Option C: Go with who you have.
--Pros: No extra money is spent plus you can grow your current WR corps. Expect a lot of two tight end sets with Todd Heap and L.J. Smith with this decision. Plus, you can only gain something if Derrick Mason returns.
--Cons: The current WR corps minus Mark Clayton is unproven, so there is a lot of risk. Plus, injuries would be issues with most of them.

Option D: Try to get Derrick Mason to return.
--Pros: If successful, you get back Mason, who is a solid leader on the field plus a reliable receiver.
--Cons: Even if you get Mason back, the WR corps is still a problem with injuries. Plus, it is very unlikely that Mason will return, and the Ravens would not have a backup plan if that happened.

Obviously this is not a good situation, and with the start of training camp today for the rookies, it might be a lot worse. But Ozzie Newsome and John Harbaugh will have decisions to make soon.

Personally, I believe going after Marshall or Boldin is not worth the overall price. Although talent wise they are the best, the Ravens will have issues with them short and long term. Although it won't solve a lot, bringing in a D.J. Hackett or someone probably is the best way to go; a low cost wide receiver that could compete with Clayton and Williams. The point is that no decision is a perfect one for the Ravens.

No comments: