Will Ravens' Decision to Keep Just Four Receivers Leave Offense Short-Handed?

Jarrett CarterAnalyst ISeptember 7, 2009

PITTSBURGH - JANUARY 18:  Joe Flacco #5 of the Baltimore Ravens talks on the field with Derrick Mason #85 and Mark Clayton #89 against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the AFC Championship game on January 18, 2009 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

The Ravens cut the majority of the wide receivers they brought in through draft and free agency, and from all appearances they seem comfortable with the core of Derrick Mason, Demetrius Williams, Mark Clayton, and Kelley Washington.

I trust Ozzie Newsome, but unless the Ravens plan on doing more two-receiver sets than we think they are capable of, this doesn’t seem like the smartest move.

Three of the receivers they’ve retained, Clayton, Williams, and Mason, have current or recent bouts with injury. Washington is a Bengals castoff. It doesn’t really seem like a top-flight crew, particularly for a team that all opponents know will run the ball into the dirt 70 percent of the time.

Granted, the receivers they brought in didn’t have the greatest preseasons, but there’s something that has to give with the M.A.S.H. unit that will be lining up at split end this year.

I can see cutting Justin Harper because you can find better hands at Baltimore Blast games than he showed through four games. But it is wise to keep his size and speed on the practice squad, just in case he does turn the corner on being able to catch the ball.

Still, four receivers that haven’t been the most durable part of the emerging Ravens offense seems a little risky for a Ravens team with Super Bowl aspirations.