Ravens sign Willie Snead, so Dez Bryant won't be headed to Baltimore

Shutdown Corner

Multiple reports on Monday morning say that the New Orleans Saints have informed restricted free agent receiver Willie Snead that they won’t be matching the contract offer he signed with the Baltimore Ravens last week, meaning Snead is very likely headed for Baltimore.

The two-year deal is for $7 million, including a $2 million signing bonus and an additional $3.4 million in incentives, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Adding Snead means no Dez

With the Ravens adding Snead, Schefter tweeted that the team is no longer interested in signing Dez Bryant. Baltimore had shown some “initial interest” in the 29-year-old, who was released by the Cowboys 10 days ago.

Bryant hasn’t generated much interest since being released, despite being in the Pro Bowl little more than a year ago. The veteran had 69 catches for 838 yards and six touchdowns last year.

Baltimore bound: receiver Willie Snead will join the Ravens after the Saints declined to match the contract tender Baltimore signed him to last week. (AP)
Baltimore bound: receiver Willie Snead will join the Ravens after the Saints declined to match the contract tender Baltimore signed him to last week. (AP)

Why the Saints let Snead go

Baltimore didn’t make an offer to Snead until the final day teams could make offers to restricted free agents, last Friday, but New Orleans didn’t take long to decide not to match the deal. Snead was stellar in 2015 and 2016, with the undrafted rookie totaling 141 catches for 1,879 yards and seven touchdowns in those two seasons.

But Snead was suspended three games for violating the NFL personal conduct policy last year, then struggled with hamstring injuries. It all meant a sharp decline in his production – Snead had just eight receptions.

Plus, New Orleans signed former Bears receiver Cam Meredith to a two-year restricted free agent deal, making it easier to part with Snead.

How Snead helps the Ravens

Though it could still draft some receivers this week, Baltimore has addressed its deficit at the position through free agency, signing Michael Crabtree and John Brown, and now with Snead; general manager Ozzie Newsome had pledged to change the team’s receiving corps, and he clearly has taken steps in that direction.

The 5-foot-11, 195 pound Snead is a proven slot receiver, something Baltimore lacked last year.

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