OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Baltimore Ravens finally added a desperately needed wide receiver, agreeing with free agent Jeremy Maclin on a two-year deal Monday, the team announced.
Jeremy Maclin can emerge as the Ravens’ new No. 1 receiver
By signing Jeremy Maclin to a two-year deal, the Ravens have found a younger replacement for Steve Smith Sr. The only question is: Can he stay healthy?
Maclin, 29, who was surprisingly cut by the Kansas City Chiefs on June 2, made visits to both the Ravens and the Buffalo Bills last week. However, a source told ESPN’s Josina Anderson that Maclin’s decision came down to the Ravens and Philadelphia Eagles and that the Bills were not a factor in his final decision.
Maclin will sign his contract before the Ravens’ first mandatory minicamp practice Tuesday. He passed his physical last week during his visit to Baltimore.
Last week, Jimmy’s Famous Seafood, a restaurant in Baltimore, promised Maclin free crab cakes for the life of his contract if he signed with the Ravens and then upped the offer a day later to free crab cakes for life. Maclin on Monday let the restaurant know that he saw their tweet and the establishment said it would honor the promise when asked about it by a Ravens fan.
You drive a hard bargain, Mr. Maclin. We’ll up the offer to free crab cakes for life. Now sign already! 📋 pic.twitter.com/XVjwjwZhHS
— Jimmy’s Seafood (@JimmysSeafood) June 8, 2017
@JimmysSeafood I read what y’all said…I love crab cakes! Lol
— Jeremy Maclin (@jmac___19) June 12, 2017
We are crabs of our word! https://t.co/4TFnR8HLkt
— Jimmy’s Seafood (@JimmysSeafood) June 12, 2017
The addition of Maclin gives Joe Flacco the best available wide receiver on the free-agent market and significantly improves a Baltimore passing attack that lost two of its top three targets. Maclin has averaged 68 catches, 900-plus receiving yards and six touchdowns in his seven-year NFL career.
Baltimore had one of the most unproven wide receiver groups in the NFL before acquiring Maclin. Mike Wallace and Breshad Perriman are the only returning wide receivers who caught over 30 passes for Baltimore last season.
In order to lure Maclin, the Ravens recruited him heavily, bringing him to watch Game 3 of the NBA Finals with some players at safety Tony Jefferson‘s house last Wednesday and getting Steve Smith Sr. to talk to him at the team facility on Thursday.
It has been a difficult offseason for the Ravens’ offense. Smith retired after the season, and tight end Dennis Pitta was released this month after reinjuring his hip.
The Ravens didn’t sign a wide receiver in free agency, although they attempted to get Brandon Marshall and Pierre Garcon. Baltimore also didn’t draft a wide receiver for the first time in eight years.
Maclin is coming off a career-worst season, totaling 44 catches for 536 yards. He was limited to 12 games because of a groin injury. The Chiefs saved $10 million in salary-cap space by cutting Maclin.
There is some familiarity for Maclin in coming to Baltimore. Ravens offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg served in the same position for Maclin’s first four seasons with the Eagles.
Maclin is expected to participate in the Ravens’ mandatory minicamp this week.