Surrounding weapons around Joe Flacco should be one of the Ravens priority. The Pittsburgh game exposed this weakness. Derrick Mason is the reliable receiver in the Ravens receiver group. There is some talent in that group with Marcus Smith and Demetrius Williams. Marcus Smith has been relegated to special teams duty to start his career, though he could blossom in his second season. Williams was suppose to have a big year this season, but that was not the case injuries derailed his season. He has a slight build so getting of the line of scrimmage is a problem, but he does possess good speed to go deep. He is still a raw route runner. The Ravens also have Mark Clayton, Terrence Copper, and Yamon Figurs. Mark Clayton has been a disappointment since being drafted. He had one breakout year and the other years were subpar. The lack of production can attributed to injuries or lack of development. Yamon Figurs is a bust and Copper is a roster filler. That is what Flacco had to work with this season, along with Le'Ron McClain, Willis McGahee, Ray Rice, and Todd Heap. That is not good enough especially in the receiving corps.
TJ Houshmandzadeh probably won't make it free agency. The Bengals will probably franchise tag him. Letting him go would set the Bengals back for years and I don't think Carson Palmer would not be a happy camper, along with Chad Johnson. The Ravens should rule out TJ at this point and while we're at it, Ocho Cinco should be eliminated from their minds. Baltimore does not need this head ache especially with a young man at quarterback. See Tony Romo.
Here are other possible options hitting the market that I personally like: Antonio Bryant, Bryant Johnson, and Amani Toomer. Of the bunch, Amani Toomer seems the least likely player to sign with the Ravens as I think the Giants will re-sign him or he retires. Antonio Bryant seem to have resurrected his career this season with the Buccaneers. I know he has had his problems in the past with drunk driving and substance abuse, but he was a really good number one receiver for the Buccaneers. He has the size and speed that the Ravens need at the WR position. Bryant is a good route runner, strong, agile, and has good speed. He is a big play receiver and may have finally mature as a player and person. Given what he did for the Bucs, his contract should be many times more than the league minimum. Bryant Johnson would be a good buy low player. He didn't have the season he was expecting because of the quarterback play. I wanted the Ravens to sign him last year but that didn't happen. Johnson would be a good addition for the Ravens and be a solid number two receiver. By the way, Bryant Johnson is a Baltimore native.
I doubt the Ravens will upgrade the running back position as McGahee will be a Raven next year. The Ravens won't release Willis McGahee because of the possible cap hit. Hopefully, Ray Rice will be given more opportunities to contribute on offense. He is a good change of pace back for the Ravens, though he is not as explosive as one would think given his size.
As for the TE position, Todd Heap has been more of a blocking tight end than a receiving tight end. I think he'll be a Raven next year, though I am not a fan of him. He gets injured way too often and isn't even that great blocking either. Owen Daniels might become available when free agency starts. He is a Todd Heap clone and might be a bit better at this point. I think the Texans will re-sign to a long term deal.
I'll address ways to improve the offense through the draft later.
Jarrell Miller headlines November 17th DAZN card
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