Saturday, March 20, 2010

Will Mark Clayton be a Raven in 2010?

Baltimore Ravens News & Blogs by Tony Lombardi of

Most observers would concur with the notion that the Ravens receiving corps has markedly improved this offseason through the acquisitions of Anquan Boldin and Donte Stallworth matched up with the re-signing of Derrick Mason. Suddenly the matchups improve as Mason will see less bracketing and face off with less accomplished defensive backs.

Many also believe that Mark Clayton will enjoy that same benefit and will now become an effective slot receiver, something that many would argue should have been his calling for quite some time.

Clayton should be more productive in such a role…

If he makes the team!

Now granted the Ravens part with No. 1 picks about as readily as Sheila Dixon parts with gift cards but keep in mind there’s the possibility that Clayton could be the No. 4 receiver in the rotation and teams aren’t generally excited about paying such a player $2.3 million per year to catch 30 balls, particularly one who adds next to nothing to special teams.

Something has to give.

There’s a reason the Ravens didn’t ante up the extra $222K and extend Clayton a first round tender offer. They knew no one in their right minds would sacrifice a No. 1 for the former Sooner and secondly, they would probably do back flips down I-795 if someone even offered a second round pick.

Kelley Washington might take that $2.3 million number over 2 seasons and give you special teams play. Oh and by the way, last time I checked both had 34 catches in ’09 and 2 TD’s. Clayton averaged a bit more per catch (14.1 v. 12.7 yards) but Washington converted more first downs (27 v. 24).

The Ravens lose nothing by bringing Clayton to camp because not a cent of the restricted free agent tender is guaranteed.

But don’t be surprised if Mark Clayton is no longer in purple come September.

And that’s bad news for a good guy…

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Baltimore Ravens #1 Fan said...

I think Mark is back as the #3 reciever. I think people are expecting to much from Stallworth. I see him as a situational type of player, nothing more, until proven otherwise.

Kelley Washington has made it clear that he wants an increased role. He's not going to get that here. I dont see him back as the number 3 reciever.

I personally wouldnt be surprised to see Mark Clayton sign a modest contract extention. Just to keep from turning the reciever core over 2 years in a row. Mason might not be back after this season. Stallworth is an unknown. Marcus Smith is an unknown. Dwill is probably gone, which leaves Boldin as the only known hold over in our reciever core next year.

Jerry B said...

He may be a good guy, but a receiver who struggles to get separation and make "clutch" catches doesn't garner much value in the NFL. That being said, with better surrounding talent, he could regain some of the form that made him a #1. Now, that would be a pleasant surprise.....

Anonymous said...

Tony alludes to something that is absolutely correct. The Ravens expect backups to perform on special teams. Mason, Boldin, Stallworth, and Clayton are no longer special teams players, unless they put Clayton back there returning punts or kickoffs (an interesting thought, actually). There's no way the Ravens will retain four WRs who do not contribute to special teams. Something/someone will have to give.

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