Dez Bryant may be headed to the AFC North. But it doesn’t matter as long as the Pittsburgh Steelers stay healthy.
The Baltimore Ravens are on a mission this offseason to redefine their wide receiving core. Joe Flacco hasn’t had much help in recent years, and Baltimore has realized that needs to change.
After signing Michael Crabtree to a two-year deal, they’re now hunting for an even bigger named free agent. Dez Bryant may not be the superstar he was three years ago, but he’s still considered one of the best wideouts in the league. The Ravens know this, and are hoping to land the Pro Bowl receiver.
The Ravens have more than enough cap space to make a move on Bryant. Their $10 million in cap room makes them real appealing to a player who’s coming from a major deal.
If Bryant ends up in Baltimore, though, it doesn’t impact the division. The Ravens will become the favorite to finish second in the AFC North, but competing with the Steelers still isn’t realistic.
Bryant’s average catch last season was only 12.1 yards. At 29-years-old, he’s quickly becoming a more reliable red zone threat than deep ball target. Pittsburgh has the weapons to defend a west coast receiver, and Bryant isn’t going to get much done against a defense like the Steelers’.
While Joe Haden will have the difficult task of shutting down Crabtree on deep routes, Artie Burns can concentrate on his strengths as a corner. He thrives in short route coverage and despite being undersized compared to Bryant, his technique is good enough to out-compete him.
Keeping up with an evolving receiver core in Baltimore won’t come with much difficulty. While the Ravens made improvements to their offense, Pittsburgh has a new and improved secondary that will remove all hot zones for the wide receiver.
Cameron Sutton and Mike Hilton ultimately shut down short outside routes, and with Burns covering man on Bryant, his effectiveness is nearly zeroed out. So, for all the fans worried about the Ravens turning their offense into a powerhouse, don’t. Everything is covered.