Ever since they began play in the 1996 season, the Baltimore Ravens have been a very competitive NFL franchise.
They’ve won multiple AFC North division titles, as well as two Super Bowl championships, yet there’s something fundamental they’ve never been able to accomplish: send a full-time wide receiver to the Pro Bowl.
On Monday, they signed Odell Beckham Jr., a three-time Pro Bowler, to a one-year, $15 million contract to jump-start their weak passing game.
If Beckham is healthy and agile, he could have a shot at becoming the first Ravens wideout to be named to the Pro Bowl.
Will OBJ Be The First WR From The Ravens To The Pro Bowl? pic.twitter.com/wy4Wgs8BdV
— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNFL) April 10, 2023
Although the Ravens have one of the sport’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 500 yards in 2022.
No one should expect Beckham to become the player he became early in his career when he passed for at least 1,300 yards in each of his first three seasons, but if he builds on his world-class If he can maintain his speed and agility, he could be on course for a good bounce-back season.
He suffered two ACL injuries in quick succession: one during the 2020 season and another less than 18 months later during Super Bowl LVI, so it’s natural to doubt he can be productive going forward.
But the expectation is that the Ravens’ rock-solid rushing game will open up the downfield for Beckham in 2023.
NFL analyst sees the Ravens taking a top crown on offense