Ever since they began play in the 1996 season, the Baltimore Ravens have been a very competitive NFL franchise.
They have won several AFC North division titles, as well as two Super Bowl championships, yet there is something basic they have never managed to pull off: send a full-time wide receiver to the Pro Bowl.
On Monday, they signed wideout Odell Beckham Jr., a three-time Pro Bowler, to a one-year, $15 million contract in order to jump-start their weak passing game.
If Beckham is healthy and spry, he may have a shot at becoming the first Ravens wideout to be named to the Pro Bowl.
Will OBJ be the first WR in the Pro Bowl from the Ravens? 🤔 pic.twitter.com/wy4Wgs8BdV
— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) April 10, 2023
Although the Ravens have one of the game’s strongest running attacks behind dual-threat quarterback Lamar Jackson, they ranked just 28th in passing yards last season.
Although tight end Mark Andrews made the Pro Bowl and posted 847 yards and five touchdowns, none of Baltimore’s wide receivers reached even 500 yards in 2022.
No one should expect Beckham to be the player he was early in his career when he put up at least 1,300 yards in each of his first three seasons, but if he has retained enough of his world-class speed and quickness, he could be poised for a nice bounce-back season.
He suffered two ACL injuries in rather quick succession: one during the 2020 season and the other during Super Bowl LVI less than 18 months later, therefore it is natural to be skeptical that he can be productive moving forward.
But the hope is that the Ravens’ rock-solid rushing game will open things up downfield for Beckham in 2023.
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