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Baltimore Ravens targeting top wide receivers on NFL trade block

The Baltimore Ravens find themselves mired in major drama with franchise-tagged quarterback Lamar Jackson. It has pretty much defined their offseason after a premature exit in the NFL Playoffs.

This isn’t stopping general manager Eric DeCosta from attempting to make moves to improve the team.

According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, Baltimore has been inquiring about trades for Arizona Cardinals Pro Bowl wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins and fellow pass-catcher Courtland Sutton of the Denver Broncos.

This comes at the same time that Baltimore’s brass is readying for a meet-and-greet with top free agent wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.

It remains to be seen whether the Ravens’ newfound interest in wide receivers is directly related to the Jackson situation. But this is an interesting development.

Outside of the financial issues relating to Jackson’s relationship with the Ravens, their lack of true wide receiver talent has been a problem. Could this be Baltimore’s way of appeasing Jackson shortly after he made a trade request public?

Related: Sportsnaut’s updated NFL trade rumors

Baltimore Ravens need more wide receiver help

baltimore ravens deandre hopkins trade
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Signing Nelson Agholor earlier in NFL free agency doesn’t really change the dynamics too much in Baltimore. Current free agent Demarcus Robinson led all Ravens wide receivers in catches (48) and yards (458) a season ago. That’s just not sustainable in today’s NFL.

While the Ravens do expect to get Rashod Bateman back at 100% ater the former first-round pick missed all but six games of his sophomore campaign, wide receiver remains a major need for the team. That’s true no matter who is under center in Maryland next season.

Related: NFL trade tracker with grades

Baltimore Ravens trade targets

NFL: Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs
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Sportsnaut NFL insider Benjamin Allbright noted recently that Courtland Sutton could probably be had for a Day 2 selection in the 2023 NFL Draft. At 27 years old, he might be a better long-term option than Hopkins.

A Pro Bowler as a sophomore back in 2019, Sutton missed all but one game of the 2020 campaign due to a torn ACL. He’s responded by hauling in 122 passes for 1,605 yards over the past two seasons. Most view Sutton as a solid No. 2 option.

As for Hopkins, he’s pretty much been a No. 1 since the Houston Texans made him a first-round pick back in 2013. From 2017-20, Hopkins averaged 108 receptions for 1,381 yards and nine touchdowns.

At issue here is the fact that Hopkins is on the wrong side of 30. He’s also slated to make roughly $34 million over the next two seasons and was suspended the first six games of last season after violating the NFL’s performance enhancing drug (PED) policy.

Again, the Lamar Jackson situation is going to play a role in the Baltimore Ravens’ decision-making process. The two sides remain at odds with Jackson himself taking to a public forum as a way to air his grievances.

It remains to be seen what is going to happen on this front. What we do know is that a trade seems more likely now than ever before. Perhaps, adding a starting wide receiver to the mix would show Jackson that the Ravens mean business. Though, that obviously plays second fiddle to the finances pertaining to Jackson’s rift with Baltimore’s organization.

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