The Baltimore Ravens were the only team in the league that has yet to sign an outside free agent that either sat out or played for another team in 2022 almost two weeks into free agency but according to Jordan Schultz of The Score, that changed on Friday, March 24, 2023, when they agreed to a one-year deal with veteran wide receiver Nelson Agholor.
Sources informed The Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec that the deal is worth $3.25 million with another $3 million available through incentives.
The Ravens had the former first-round pick of the Philadephia Eagles in 2015 in for a visit earlier in the week and it must have gone well since they made him their first outside free-agent addition after sitting out the initial wave of free agency.
Agholor is heading into his ninth season in the league and will be on his fourth team but he has shown that he can still be a dangerous deep threat on the perimeter that is also capable of taking short routes to the distance once he gets the ball in his hands in space.
He most recently played for the New England Patriots where he recorded just 68 receptions for 835 receiving yards and 5 touchdowns in 31 games over the past two years per Pro Football Reference. Prior to that, he had recorded career highs in receiving yards (896), yards per catch (18.7), and touchdowns (8) in a one-year stint with the Las Vegas Raiders in 2020.
If can capitalize on this one-year deal like he did his last, the 29-year-old might just be in line for another sizeable payday this time next year whether it’s in the form of an extension with the Ravens or cashing in elsewhere. In the meantime, he’ll be a valuable weapon for quarterback Lamar Jackson and new offensive coordinator Todd Monken to utilize in the passing attack.
Head coach John Harbaugh vowed that the team’s intention is to build up their receiver room this offseason and while this is the first new building block and a promising one at that, it likely won’t be the last as they expected to address the position early in this year’s draft and potential with another veteran via free agency or trade.
Ravens to Host Former NFC North Standout Safety for Visit: Report
However, according to ESPN insider Jeremy Fowler on Thursday, March 23, 2023, the team hosted veteran safety Adrian Amos for their third visit in the past week. The first was former second-round cornerback Rock Ya-Sin and Agholor was the second.
Amos is a Baltimore native who attended Calvert Hall High School, played his collegiately at Penn State, and has spent his entire career up to this point in the NFC North. He spent his first four years in the league with the Chicago Bears from 2015-2018 and the last four with their rival Green Bay Packers from 2019-2022. During his time with the Bears, he recorded the only touchdown of his career on an interception return against the Ravens in 2017.
When the Ravens traded away a durable starting strong safety when they agreed to send Chuck Clark to the New York Jets in exchange for a 2024 seventh-round pick earlier in the month in a move that was made official once the new league year began on March 15.
Amos would provide defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald with the same schematic flexibility they had with Clark. It would free up 2022 first-round pick, Kyle Hamilton, to continue to play in the hybrid slot role that he excelled in as a rookie during the second half of the season and led to him earning the finishing as Pro Football Focus’ highest graded safety since 2014.
In his eight-year career, Amos has been durable, dependable, and a physical presence in the box but has also shown the ability to make plays on the ball deep down the field as well.
He has played a full season in six of his eight seasons including the last five in a row. Last season with the Packers he recorded career-highs in total tackles (102) and tackles for loss (7) and also logged an interception, a sack, a fumble recovery, 2 quarterback hits, and 5 pass deflections according to Pro Football Reference.
Ex-Ravens Pro Bowl Defender to Visit Former Team: Report
The market for veteran defensive lineman Calais Campbell is beginning to heat up a week after the Ravens released him on March 13, 2023, in a final move to get under the salary cap before the new league year began. According to a report from Demetrius Harvey of Florida Times-Union, the six-time Pro Bowler visited one of his other former teams on Thursday, March 23, 2023, in the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Campbell played three seasons with the Jaguars from 2017-2019 before being traded to the Ravens in the 2020 offseason. During that time, he was part of a ferocious defense that was nicknamed ‘Sacksonville’ and recorded 195 total tackles including 44 for loss, 31.5 sacks, 77 quarterback hits, 6 forced fumbles, 2 fumble recoveries, 6 pass deflections, and 2 touchdowns according to Pro Football Reference.
This marks his second reported visit of the week after he reportedly met with the Atlanta Falcons earlier in the week. Unlike the Falcons who haven’t made the postseason since 2017, the Jaguars are fresh off snapping their four-year playoff drought in which they completed an incredible comeback to beat Los Angles Chargers in the wildcard round and lost to the eventual Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs in the divisional round.
While Ravens’ general manager Eric DeCosta left the door open for Campbell’s potential return to the team at a later point, the more he is in demand by legit contenders, the less likely a reunion will be given the team’s lack of cap space. Until they get Jackson signed to a long-term contract, their hands will continue to be tied when it comes to veteran players that are viewed more as luxuries than necessities.
Ravens Remain ‘1 of 5 Teams In On’ 5-Time Pro Bowl WR: Report
While the Agholor signing is a solid one and should quell some of the unrest from the team’s fan base, a big swing for a more notable player at the receiver position would do more than just satiate their desire for more reinforcements. According to Adam Pacman Jones on the Pat McAfee Show, the Ravens are one of five teams that are interested in acquiring veteran wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins.
“If Lamar’s deal goes and gets done, my sources tell me that might be a landing spot,” Jones said.
The five-time Pro Bowler and three-time First-Team All-Pro has been at the top of offseason wishlist for Ravens fans since before the season even ended and for good reason. He is everything that they’ve been clamoring for in a true No. 1 wide receiver and then some.
Hopkins is a contested catch specialist that is open even when he’s double or triple covered and while he has never been known as a speed merchant, he is still able to get behind defenders and gain separation with savvy and crisp route running.
Despite missing the first six games while serving a performance-enhancing drug suspension and the last two due to injury, Hopkins still managed to finish with 64 receptions, 717 receiving yards, and 3 touchdowns in nine games with the Arizona Cardinals according to Pro Football Reference.
The biggest deterrent that has prevented a potential trade happen up until this point according to reports is Hopkins’ current contract and his desire to receive another lucrative extension. However, according to Jones’ sources, the 30-year-old wants to play for a championship contender more than cash in with a team that can offer him the most money.
“I don’t think it’s about the money for him right now,” he said. “He wants to win and get a shot.”
According to spotrac.com, Hopkins is slated to make a base salary of $19.4 million in 2023 and $14.9 in 2024 with cap hits of $30.7 and $26.2 million. If the Cardinals are willing to pay some of his 2023 salary to help facilitate a trade, perhaps a team like the Ravens could be in serious contention to land him.