Newsome will add a playmaker, one way or another

Newsome will add a playmaker, one way or another
January 9, 2014, 12:00 pm
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Ozzie Newsome wants Dennis Pitta back for Ravens

Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome made it clear Wednesday that adding an offensive playmaker is an offseason priority. Whether it’s a wide receiver or a tight end, the Ravens desperately need another go-to guy who can get open consistently. They finished 29th overall in total offense, and will not return to being a Super Bowl contender until their offense becomes more explosive and consistent.

The Ravens may draft a receiver, they may trade for one, or they could acquire one in free agency. Here are some names to keep in mind as the Ravens zero in on adding at least one playmaker to their passing game:

- Free agents that could attract attention from the Ravens:

Anquan Boldin (remember him?) of the 49ers, Eric Decker of the Broncos, Julian Edelman of the Patriots, Hakeem Nicks of the Giants, and James Jones of the Packers. Some of them could be too pricey for the Ravens. But Newsome has added some veteran wide receivers in the past, including Derrick Mason, Lee Evans, and T. J. Houshmandzadeh. Newsome may opt for a proven commodity over a draft pick who might take several years to develop.

RELATED: [Ozzie: Offensive line needs to be bigger]

- Potential receivers for the Ravens in the draft:

Kelvin Benjamin of Florida St., Sammy Watkins of Clemson, Mike Evans of Texas A & M, Marqise Lee of USC, and Jordan Matthews of Vanderbilt. Benjamin has yet to declare for the draft, but he has first-round potential. Watkins is widely regarded as the top prospect at wide receiver, and unless the Ravens trade up, Watkins is likely to be gone when the Ravens pick 16th or 17th. However, this draft is deep at wide receiver, and getting deeper as more underclassmen declare. 

The Ravens could also fall in love with a tight end, like Eric Ebron of North Carolina. No matter what happens, Newsome guarantees the Ravens will add at least one playmaker by next season – no excuses.

“I think we’ve identified the type of player that we’re looking for,” Newsome said. “That player will be available between now (and the start of the season), whether it’s in free agency, whether it’s in the draft or whether it’s through trade.”