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The Ravens missed out on the Ted Ginn Jr. sweepstakes, but they’re still in the hunt for a returner.
“We definitely think we could add a returner,” Head Coach John Harbaugh said Tuesday morning at the owners meetings.
“That’s not to say that we don’t have guys in-house that could do it, because we do. But we want to put some competition in there. We tried to do it in the offseason and it hasn’t worked out so far. We’ll keep trying and the draft is certainly a big part of that.”
Harbaugh confirmed that Ginn visited the Ravens, and said the meeting went well. But it’s not as much about a good get-together as it is about the economics, Harbaugh said.
Ginn also reportedly visited the Detroit Lions and Minnesota Vikings, but ended up re-signing with the San Francisco 49ers for a one-year deal. The terms are unknown.
Ginn was coming off knee surgery, so a one-year deal was appealing to him and the 49ers because they both knew he could continue recovering with medical staff.
“He made a decision,” Harbaugh said of Ginn. “We liked him a lot. We would have loved to have had him.”
Baltimore’s primary kick returner, David Reed, is coming back froma torn anterior cruciate ligament suffered in Week 16. He has spent his offseason rehabbing with Ravens trainers, and said more than a month ago that he expected to start running again soon, but an exact timetable is unknown.
The Ravens could also use Lardarius Webb, but he’s also their top cornerback. There’s Torrey Smith, but he’s a starting wide receiver. Wide receivers LaQuan Williams and Philip Livas, who was signed to the practice squad on Jan. 3, are also in-house options.
Harbaugh said there aren’t a lot of players with kick-return ability remaining on the free-agent market right now.
“That’s not to say that someone couldn’t pop up that we might evaluate further, and sign a kid,” he said.
The Ravens ranked ninth in the NFL last year in average yards per kickoff return (24.9). They were 13th in returns over 20 yards and didn’t have a touchdown. Baltimore was 19th in punt return average (9.6).
Baltimore upgraded on special teams in other areas besides returner, adding cornerback Corey Graham and safety Sean Considine, and re-signing linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo.