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The Ravens have traded a 2012 draft pick for wide receiver Lee Evans, the team confirms.
Evans is regarded as a major vertical veteran presence who will immediately boost the Ravens’ young wide receiver corps.
The Ravens were leaning on rookies Torrey Smith and Tandon Doss to step into the No. 2 roll. Now Evans helps Baltimore open up the passing game, adds more speed to the unit and can help bring along the rookies.
“He’s a quality veteran receiver who stretches the field and gives us a significant downfield presence,” Ravens General Manager Ozzie Newsome said. “He’s the type of person you want on your team. He brings leadership and maturity to the locker room.”
While the former 2004 first-round pick recorded a career-low 37 receptions and 578 yards last season, he still averaged 15.6 yards per catch.
As Newsome recalled, his best game last season came at M&T Bank Stadium, when he caught six passes for 105 yards and three touchdowns.
Evans has surpassed 1,000 yards receiving twice in his career, with his best season coming in 2006 when he logged 82 receptions for 1,292 yards and eight touchdowns.
He put up big-time numbers despite not having a consistent quarterback in Buffalo in seven seasons.
“This is a very exciting time for me and my family and I’m really looking forward to the opportunity to play for the Baltimore Ravens,” Evans wrote on his website, LeeEvans83.com. “I’m excited about the Ravens organization, players, and coaching staff and can’t wait to get started.”
The 5-foot-10 target has 43 career touchdowns, tied with fellow Ravens receiver Anquan Boldin for the eighth-most amongst wide receivers since 2004.
His 15.7 career yards per catch average is tops among all NFL active receivers with at least 350 catches.
“We’re excited about getting Lee Evans,” Head Coach John Harbaugh said. “He’s a proven player in this league and a quality person who will fit in well on our team. We’re all looking forward to going to work with him.”
Buffalo parted with Evans for perhaps two reasons.
According to Schefter, Evans was scheduled to make over $3 million this year. The Bills also had young wide receivers Steve Johnson and Roscoe Parrish already on board.
The Ravens will likely get extra compensatory draft picks next year, due to the free agent losses from the team. Thus, a fourth-round pick could be returned.