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Ravens falling behind at wide receiver

7/27/2009

Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker

With less than 24 hours before the start of training camp, the Baltimore Ravens find themselves back to square one when it comes to wide receivers. This comes after the second piece of shocking news hit the position, when veteran Drew Bennett retired just two days after signing a one-year contract.

As much as the Ravens claim publicly that they are confident in their receivers, the team doesn't appear comfortable enough to go into the regular season with Mark Clayton and perhaps Demetrius Williams as the two starters. Last week the team did two things in an attempt to bolster the position: Baltimore held a tryout with four receivers and also had a talk with Derrick Mason about his retirement.

The tryout resulted in choosing Bennett, which didn't work. The results of talking with Mason are still to be determined.

At this point, the Ravens are running out of options and running out of time.

They could either hope for the best and stick with their current group this season or delve back into the shallow pool of free agents looking for a job. That group includes receivers Matt Jones, Amani Toomer, Joe Horn and Marvin Harrison.

Horn, 37, is the only player in the group to date that Baltimore has reportedly contacted. Any trade for an impact receiver seems unlikely.

Looking back, it is still surprising that Baltimore did not take a receiver in any round of the NFL draft in April. It was the thinnest position on the team entering the offseason, and now, thanks to a few surprises, the situation has only gotten worse for the Ravens.