Before they landed Odell Beckham Jr., the Ravens took a swing at landing another Pro Bowl wide receiver and very nearly made it happen.
It sure looks like signing Odell Beckham Jr. in free agency has made it all the more likely the Ravens will retain Lamar Jackson after an extended contract dispute.
It also looks like OBJ wasn’t the first big fish at wide receiver Baltimore had on the line.
The Ravens were ready to make a deal to acquire Courtland Sutton in a trade with the Broncos, according to Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic (subscription required). However, Denver decided not to trade the one-time Pro Bowler.
Ravens interest in Courtland Sutton backs push to retain Lamar Jackson
Sutton made a quick impact in the NFL after being drafted in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft. He had 704 yards and four touchdowns as a rookie then broke out big time in 2019 with 1,112 yards and six touchdowns. He earned his first Pro Bowl nod and looked more than capable of adding more to his résumé.
Unfortunately, he didn’t get the chance to really build on that second season. He tore his ACL in his first appearance of the 2020 season.
Even though the Broncos gave him a four-year, $60-million contract extension after the 2021 season, he hasn’t quite gotten back to his former heights. He had 776 yards and two touchdowns in 2021 followed by 829 yards and two touchdowns in 2022.
Starring down a significant cap hit, the Broncos reportedly shopped Sutton earlier this year. And maybe he’d have been a Raven if Sean Payton and company had gone forward with the trade.
Instead, it’s Beckham who will headline the Ravens receiving corps in 2023. We can only guess what Jackson’s reaction to adding Sutton might have been. We do know that he was actively recruiting OBJ to Baltimore, so it would seem things worked out for the Ravens in the end.