As the Jarvis Landry derby heats up, the Chicago Bears can expect some more teams to throw their respective hats in the ring to make a play for the talented receiver.
Indeed, we can already add the Baltimore Ravens to the mix of teams who are probably “in” on Landry. ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler tweets that the Ravens, Bears, and at least three other teams have checked in with Landry’s representation regarding a possible trade. And much like the Bears, the Ravens’ receiving corps is in great need of multiple upgrades. In fact, both Chicago and Baltimore have similar issues and shortcomings at the position.
For example, injuries and inconsistency have kept 2015 first-round pick Breshad Perriman from panning out – he’s got just 43 catches in 27 games since being drafted. Jeremy Maclin is also under contract, but is coming off a disappointing 40-catch, 440-yard, 3-touchdown season – he hasn’t been the same since 2015, when he caught 87 passes for 1,088 yards, and eight touchdowns for the Kansas City Chiefs. And finally, Mike Wallace is one year removed from a 1,000-yard campaign, but turns 32 in August, and is a free agent.
In short, the Bears and Ravens receivers are football’s version of the Spiderman pointing at Spiderman meme.
One thing that could limit Baltimore’s pursuit of Landry is their precarious salary cap situation. According to Spotrac.com, the Ravens have just $11.8 million of salary cap wiggle room. That clearly wouldn’t be enough space to take on Landry’s franchise tag number, which is estimated to be $16.2 million.
Reports surfaced on Saturday that Landry will sign the franchise tag, which will officially open up an avenue for a trade. For the Dolphins, they’ll want to do one sooner, rather than later so they can get out from their own awful cap situation. Spotrac has Miami as one of two teams currently over the cap with a $15.9 million that bests the $6.3 million number for the Philadelphia Eagles. Of course, the differences between the Dolphins (picking 11th in April’s draft) and Eagles (a month removed from winning the Super Bowl) are vast.
The Bears are in a much better cap situation with an estimated $80.3 million in cap space, though GM Ryan Pace has vowed not to be reckless one year after signing a handful of free agent duds. And while the Bears are positioning themselves to add an impact receiver, they should be in no rush to do so. Between the salary cap conundrums the Dolphins and Ravens face, Chicago should be negotiating a deal from a position of strength.