John Harbaugh builds a 53-man team for Ravens
EARLY BIRD: Waking up with the Ravens on Saturday, Aug. 31.
Two-minute topic: The Ravens must cut the roster to 53 players by tonight at 6 p.m. Might they turn to a trade to ease the logjam at wide receiver?
The Ravens seemingly have more talented receivers than they do spots on the 53-man roster for all them, and on Friday coach John Harbaugh hinted that trading a wide receiver remains a possibility.
The Ravens already traded away one receiver this year -- sending David Reed to the Colts for running back Delone Carter -- but are still trying to crunch the numbers and see if there is room on the roster for the eight receivers they still have in camp.
Torrey Smith, Jacoby Jones and Brandon Stokley figure to be locks to make the roster, but beyond that, the Ravens are trying to decide whether there is room for all the others -- Deonte Thompson, Tandon Doss, LaQuan Williams and promising rookies Aaron Mellette and Marlon Brown. The Ravens have historically kept only five or six receivers on the 53-man roster.
"We’ve got a bunch of guys, and I would like to think that we would hear from somebody, and some of the calls that we make would yield some fruit in the next 24 hours," Harbaugh said. "We’re heavy at certain positions, we’ve got players, and we’re not going to just let a good player walk out the door here. We’re just not going to do it."
Mellette and Brown as rookies both would be eligible for the Ravens practice squad, but with their strong showings in camp, it's highly unlikely either would pass through waivers if they were cut, which is necessary before signing them back to the practice squad.
Thompson has an ankle injury and Williams, mainly a special teams ace, reportedly suffered a hamstring injury against the Rams, although Harbaugh made no mention of it. But injury concerns probably eliminate both out as trade bait, leaving Doss, a third-year player, as perhaps the most viable trade candidate.
The phones will be buzzing, though, because the 53-man roster must be set by Saturday at 6 p.m.
"We’d love for someone who has a need, or who has a strength in an area where we need something, you’d like to think that we could do some business," Harbaugh added. "We are heavy in certain areas, and wide receiver is one of them."
Hitting the Links