The Baltimore Ravens may or may not be in the current Julio Jones sweepstakes. One thing is for sure though, the Ravens don’t need to make the move to be a contender.
As frustrating as the offense was in the playoff loss to the Buffalo Bills, the Ravens stayed in the game an awfully long time. If Jackson didn’t get concussed or Huntley hit Marquise Brown on that deep ball, the Ravens could have made it work.
The Ravens had the 2019 NFL MVP. He’s still around. The Ravens have gone to the playoffs three straight years and Lamar Jackson got his first playoff victory last year against the Tennessee Titans. Coming off an 11-5 record, it seems like Baltimore is a contender without Julio Jones.
The Baltimore Ravens led the league in rushing yards but had the lowest passing output of any team in the league last season. The speculation about receivers grows from this. Until Julio Jones is finally moved, the question is never going to go away. Reporter, Josina Anderson, tweeted out that the Ravens don’t seem to be in on Jones at the moment.
Baltimore Ravens adding Rashod Bateman may have been what the doctor ordered
I’m not making the argument for or against the Ravens trading Jones. From day one, it never felt like something that was going to happen. The only thing we can do here is to sit back and wait to see what happens. When you live in a reality where Jones isn’t coming to the Ravens one way or another, it may be less exciting. The outlook is still promising for the Ravens’ receivers.
The good news for the Ravens passing attack is that it’s already efficient. The passing game needed weapons and volume. Adding three wide receivers this offseason would have been an empty gesture if the Ravens weren’t looking to increase their aggressiveness through the air.
The hardest part about talking about the speculation with Jones and the Ravens is that it’s hard to know what the Ravens would have to give up in the trade. It’s also unknown how much of that contract the Atlanta Falcons would be willing to help out with as part of the deal.
Keeping a mostly young receiving corps together is a good idea. For years, pundits have critiqued the Ravens for not drafting receivers. Now it’s time to see what the Ravens have in Rashod Bateman. It’s time to see if Devin Duvernay or Tylan Wallace can elevate the passing attack.
Bateman was a first-round pick. He should give the Ravens an extra element in the passing game. Bateman will step in right away and at the minimum offer a lot more than Miles Boykin. The reason a lot of fans want Jones is that he would offer catch radius and proven talent for Jackson.
Bateman has to show it, but the catch radius is there. He’s six feet tall, a reputation for making contested catches, and incredible body control. The passing game will be much more equipped. Watkins is better than Willie Snead and Miles Boykin. Bateman will have a big impact. Marquise Brown and Mark Andrews didn’t go anywhere.
Trading for Jones could help, it isn’t needed
The Ravens are investing in Jackson. Trading for Jones would be spoiling him, and I don’t think anyone would really mind having the long-time Falcon becoming a Raven. “Julio Jones will make the team worse” is a sentence that nobody has ever said in the history of football.
Saying the Ravens have enough on the roster to win a Super Bowl isn’t spitting on the value Jones could bring to the purple and black. Even after losing Orlando Brown Jr., the Ravens don’t scare me with the offensive line. Mark Andrews and Nick Boyle are the best duo of complementary tight ends in football. The run game is basically a lock to lead the NFL. Jackson is amazing. Okay, the offense doesn’t really have excuses at the moment.
The pass rush is still a concern for the Ravens. That being said the rest of the defense looks rock solid. Marlon Humphrey and Marcus Peters are the best duo at the cornerback positions. The defensive line is strong, and if Calais Campbell stays healthy it could be scary good. Patrick Queen and Malik Harrison now have a year of experience to work with. They could take a huge step forward and L.J. Fort and Chris Board are still here.
The Ravens have a solid roster. They should compete at a level that gives them a chance to win the AFC. The Ravens don’t need to become the Chiefs. It may actually be detrimental to the Ravens to go too far with the focus on the passing game. They have to be true to who they are as a team.
The Bottom Line:
The Ravens don’t need Jones. He would be a luxury, one that the Baltimore Ravens may or may not be able to afford. I’ll leave that up to the creativity of Eric DeCosta and his team. With or without Jones, I expect the passing numbers to go up for Baltimore. There are not a lot of things Ravens fans should be actively worried about if this team can stay healthy.
The Baltimore Ravens have a lot to prove with the passing game. If you’re worried about it, you won’t find any cure for that concern in the offseason. You may have to see it to believe it, but the Ravens should take a step forward in the 2021 season. The Baltimore Ravens are objectively contenders with their current roster.