Rumors that Wade could be on the move emerged earlier in the day when Zrebiec reported that the Ravens were “engaged in traded talks” involving Wade. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport was the first to report that a deal was close.
A fifth-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, Wade was expected to compete for playing time in a crowded Baltimore secondary. But the depth of the unit may ultimately be what pushed him out.
Despite a mostly strong summer, there apparently wasn’t room on the roster for Wade who found himself buried on the depth chart.
Now he’ll get the opportunity to begin his NFL career in New England, likely a destination where he’ll be able to find more consistent playing time.
The Ravens couldn’t find room on their roster for Shaun Wade
A standout at Ohio State, Wade was once seen as a potential first-round pick before a disastrous 2020 season tanked his draft stock. The Buckeyes switched him from the slot to the boundary as a junior and the role clearly didn’t suit him.
Despite earning All-American honors, Wade was the only FBS player to allow 30 or more completions, 500 or more receiving yards, and six or more touchdown catches in 2020.
The Ravens drafted Wade with the plan to move him back to his natural slot role, and he put together a mostly good training camp.
Unfortunately, Wade found himself the victim of a logjam at the position.
Marlon Humphrey, Marcus Peters, Tavon Young, Jimmy Smith, Anthony Averett, DeShon Elliott, Chuck Clark, and Brandon Stephens were all roster locks in the secondary.
Anthony Levine is more than likely going to make the cut too. Throw in young players like Chris Westry, Ar’Darius Washington, and Geno Stone who have all impressed (and outplayed Wade) this summer, and the secondary was as crowded as any position group on the team.
It’s rare to see a draft pick traded before he ever gets the opportunity to play with the team that drafted him. But the Ravens didn’t see a place for Wade on the roster and, rather than release him, they found a trade partner.
*UPDATE: Zrebiec is reporting that the compensation is a 2022 seventh-round pick and a 2023 fifth-round pick*