The Baltimore Ravens want to build their franchise around Lamar Jackson, providing the quarterback with a contract and supporting cast worthy of an NFL star. With that in mind, the Ravens might finally be kicking the tires on Kenny Golladay.
It’s been an unexpectedly slow start for the best free-agent wide receiver on the market. As a majority of the top free-agent talents have signed lucrative contracts, Golladay finds himself without a home. While he’s generated interest from a few teams, even meeting with the New York Giants and Chicago Bears, the 2019 Pro Bowl selection is unsigned.
The Ravens might be looking to change that. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Baltimore recently reached out to Golladay’s agent to inquire about his interest in the Ravens and a potential asking price.
It comes as a surprise, since Baltimore wasn’t expected to get involved with the top free-agent wide receivers. While the front office recognizes it as a positional need, the 2021 NFL Draft offers starting-caliber receivers and they would be much cheaper for the Ravens. However, as one of the NFL’s top teams, the Ravens likely couldn’t draft a player who would make the same impact as Golladay.
Golladay’s potential impact on Baltimore Ravens
Baltimore tried to make things work with Dez Bryan this past season, adding the former star to its receiving corps. Between his declining play and Marquise Brown’s struggles, the Ravens got very little from their wide receivers.
- Marquise Brown stats (2020): 100 targets, 58 receptions, 769 receiving yards, 58% catch rate, 13.3 yards per catch and eight touchdowns
- Willie Snead stats (2020): 48 targets, 33 receptions, 432 receiving yards, 68.8% catch rate, 13.1 yards per catch and three touchdowns
- Miles Boykin stats (2020): 33 targets, 19 receptions, 266 receiving yards, 57.6% catch rate, 14.0 yards per catch and four touchdowns
While the Ravens have Pro Bowl tight end Mark Andrews and deploy a run-heavy offensive scheme, they lack quality red-zone weapons. Jackson ranked 18th in red-zone pass attempts (58) this past year, but he did complete 67.24% of his throws and had a 19-0 TD-INT ratio inside the 20-yard line.
Golladay would change a lot of things for the Ravens. While injuries derailed his 2020 season and clearly have impacted his market this spring, his performance from the previous two years can’t be forgotten. Golladay had consecutive 1,000-yard seasons, averaging more than 15 ypc and finished with 16 total touchdowns.
At 6-foot-4 with great athleticism and strong hands, he is capable of making plays deep and being a quarterback’s go-to target in the end zone. Jackson has never had a weapon like this before, someone who deserves 150-plus targets a season and opponents always must account for on every play.
If the Baltimore Ravens sign Golladay, it helps everyone. Life becomes easier for Jackson, Brown’s speed becomes more effective with defenses not able to shade coverage over the top his way and the field opens more for Andrews. If there’s a chance to get a deal done, the Ravens should do it.