After the initial reports suggested Julian Edelman was likely going to be the next free agent signing by the Baltimore Ravens, new rumors make it seem like the team is leaning toward signing Hakeem Nicks. The former is coming off the best season of his career and fits what the Ravens need perfectly while the latter hasn’t been healthy or effective since 2011 and wouldn’t fill a void for Baltimore, but would just be nice to have if he returns to form. That’s a big “if”.
Nicks has been banged up over the last two seasons and overshadowed by Victor Cruz while playing with the New York Giants. During this time, Nicks has been matched up against opposing No. 2 cornerbacks, which means he should have been more effective instead of less, although his production was been inconsistent and disappointing in 2012 and ’13.
On the flip side, Edelman stepped up big time for the New England Patriots last year, catching 105 passes from Tom Brady, the fourth-most in the league. He proved to that Wes Welker-like, underneath target who could run after the catch and make clutch receptions in traffic. There’s no other way to say it: That’s exactly what the Ravens need.
During their Super Bowl run, the Ravens saw Anquan Boldin rise to the occasion and make big plays in the red zone. Edelman isn’t a big target to whom Joe Flacco can just throw up the ball, but he would make Torrey Smith the dangerous deep threat he’s capable of being while opening up the Ravens’ offense with a ton of catches over the middle and on comeback routes on the outside.
The Ravens would be foolish to switch their attention from Edelman to Nicks unless the former’s asking price is simply too high. If we’re just comparing talent and fit here, Edelman is the easy choice — it’s a no-brainer.
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