The Ravens continue to reshape their roster in the wake of last month's draft, as the team announced it has signed wide receiver Michael Floyd and outside linebacker Shane Ray.
The timing of the moves shouldn't be surprising, as they come a week after free-agent signings do not factor into the formula for assigning compensatory draft picks. And they address two of the Ravens' most pressing positional needs.
Floyd, 29, adds a veteran presence to a receiver group that is largely untested.
Seth Roberts has also been signed
this offseason, joining a positional group that returned just two players (Willie Snead and Chris Moore) who have caught any passes in a regular-season NFL game.
John Brown, who led the Ravens with 715 receiving yards last year, was signed by the Buffalo Bills as a free agent, and Michael Crabtree (54 catches, 607 yards) was released after one season with the Ravens.
Floyd had 10 catches for 100 yards and one touchdown in 13 games for the Redskins last year. He signed with the Redskins after taking part in a spring tryout with the Ravens that also included quarterback Robert Griffin III, who was ultimately signed by the team.
Floyd began his career with the Arizona Cardinals, who drafted him No. 13 overall out of Notre Dame in 2012. He recorded career bests with 65 catches for 1,041 yards in 2013. The Cardinals released him in 2016 after his arrest on charges of driving under the influence, and he was with the New England Patriots for the remainder of that season. Floyd played for the Minnesota Vikings in 2017, with 10 catches for 78 yards in 11 games before joining the Redskins last season.
The suddenly crowded receivers room includes rookie first-round draft pick Marquise Brown and third-round draft pick Miles Boykin, though Brown will miss OTA workouts while he recovers from a Lisfranc foot injury. He is expected to be fully recovered for training camp.
A pair of 2018 draft picks, Jaleel Scott and Jordan Lasley, will try to state their case after neither played a snap last year. Others in the crowded room include Quincy Adeboyejo, who played one game in 2017 but was sidelined all of last season by a knee injury; undrafted rookie Jaylen Smith, who was teammates at Louisville with quarterback Lamar Jackson; and undrafted rookie Joe Horn Jr., the son of the four-time Pro Bowl receiver.
The Ravens have said they are rebuilding the offense from the ground up this offseason, and while it is expected to still be centered around the running game, improvement from Jackson as a passer
will be critical to the Ravens' success
Ray, meanwhile, is a former first-round draft pick whose fifth-year option was not picked up by the Denver Broncos. Floyd, also a former first-round draft pick, is a seven-year veteran who played with the Washington Redskins last year after taking part in an offseason tryout with the Ravens.
Ray, 25, was the No. 23 overall pick in the 2015 draft out of Missouri. He has 12 sacks in his first two seasons with the Broncos, including a career-best eight in 2016, but then recorded just one sack in each of the past two seasons. He missed eight games in 2017 with a wrist injury, and he was a healthy inactive over the final three games of 2018.
"I will be a starter the next place that I go,"
Ray told the Denver Post in December
. "That's the kind of player that I am and that's the type of player that I've been. Wherever I go next, they'll want me and it will be time for me to do what I could have been doing. And I'll be healthy. That will be a difference, too."
With the Ravens, Ray (6-foot-3, 245 pounds) enters an increasingly crowded but unsettled outside linebacker group. Smith led the Ravens with 8.5 sacks last year and Suggs ranked tied for second with seven, but they both signed free-agent deals elsewhere. That leaves Matthew Judon (seven sacks last year) as the only established pass rusher.
Tyus Bowser and Tim Williams, drafted in the second and third round, respectively, in 2017, have failed to assert themselves in two years with the Ravens, and the front-office pursuit of McPhee, Ray, and Ezekiel Ansah -- who ultimately signed with the Seattle Seahawks -- suggests that the Ravens were not comfortable with them stepping in as full-time players.
At the very least, the signing of Ray and McPhee -- as well as selecting rookie edge rusher Jaylon Ferguson in the third round of the draft -- ratchets up the competition and the pressure on Bowser and Williams this summer.
The Ravens have lost five starters from a defense that ranked first in the league overall last season -- Smith, Suggs, Pro Bowl linebacker C.J. Mosley, Pro Bowl safety Eric Weddle and defensive end Brent Urban. They added All-Pro safety Earl Thomas as their biggest offseason acquisition, and the work of remaking the roster clearly remains an ongoing process.
This was updated after the Ray signing was made official.
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