After looking like a Super Bowl contender for most of the 2022 season, the Baltimore Ravens could not capitalize in the playoffs. With quarterback Lamar Jackson out with an injury, they fell to the Cincinnati Bengals 24-17 in the AFC Wild Card Round. Baltimore had the chance of taking the lead, but a fumble just before the goal line was returned for a Cincinnati touchdown.
To make matters worse, Jackson revealed he requested a trade in early March. The Ravens placed the non-exclusive franchise tag this offseason after failing to reach an agreement on a contract extension. Now, the 2019 MVP could be on his way out of the franchise.
While most eyes are on the Jackson situation, Baltimore has been acting on other areas as well. Even if the star quarterback leaves, the Ravens are bringing in players who could contribute right away.
With that being said, here is the Ravens’ sneakiest signing in the 2023 NFL Free Agency.
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Ravens’ sneakiest 2023 NFL free agency signing: WR Nelson Agholor
Other than quarterback with the uncertainty surrounding Jackson, perhaps the biggest need for the Ravens is the wide receiver position. The team had no wideouts with more than 500 receiving yards, with the only player surpassing that mark being tight end Mark Andrews.
In 2022, many predicted a breakout year for Rashod Bateman. The 2021 first-round pick entered his second year in the league full of expectations and under pressure. In his rookie campaign, he appeared in only 12 games as he dealt with a groin injury.
This past season, he played just six games as he injured his foot and underwent surgery in November. He ended up registering only 15 catches for 285 yards and two touchdowns.
With Bateman struggling with injuries in his early years in the league, the Ravens explored other options for the wideout position. The team ended up signing Nelson Agholor to a one-year, $3.25 million contract.
Last season with the New England Patriots, he had 31 receptions for 362 yards and two touchdowns. Although those numbers are not eye-catching, Agholor has plenty of experience in the NFL.
He has eight seasons under his belt, which means he brings experience to the team. He also made the playoffs on three occasions. Most notably, he won Super Bowl LII with the Philadelphia Eagles. In that season, he started 10 out of the team’s 16 games in the regular season, scoring a career-high eight touchdowns.
While his numbers are not as great as they once were, Agholor could be either a WR1 or WR2 depending on what the Ravens do in the next few months. He has experience as a starter and could serve as a mentor to the younger players, including Bateman.
His contract could become a low-risk, high-reward type of deal. The team is not seriously affecting its cap space but is addressing a major need. Since Jackson is potentially leaving, Baltimore might go through a rebuilding phase. If that is the case, the wideout could be one of the leaders of the roster as it transitions to a new era.
While the Ravens should still consider a young wideout in the 2023 NFL Draft, Agholor is a solid choice. He can help the team in the receiving department and the locker room.
All things considered, Nelson Agholor could turn out to be an underrated move for the Ravens. He could contribute right away and maybe influence the team’s offensive plans regardless of who is the quarterback.