Ravens hosting perfect Devin Duvernay replacement with FA visit

The Ravens are eyeing a speedy returner
Miami Dolphins v Baltimore Ravens
Miami Dolphins v Baltimore Ravens / Todd Olszewski/GettyImages

Lost in the miasma of Baltimore Ravens departures this offseason was the fact that wide receiver and ace return man Devin Duvernay is no longer on the squad, inking a two-year deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Ravens lost a speedy backup that needs replacing before the season.

While the Ravens will likely try to add a standout receiver in the 2024 NFL Draft, the idea of Eric DeCosta using some of his limited cap space on a player who can run kicks back and stretch the field makes sense. With the NFL's new kickoff rules, returners will be more valuable than they were in the last few years.

One of those players who could come right in and make an impact is Deonte Harty (nee Harris), who spent the last few seasons bouncing between the New Orleans Saints and Buffalo Bills. Hardy, who was born and raised in Baltimore, might be eyeing a return to his hometown.

The Ravens are currently hosting Harty for a free agent visit, which could end up being a predecessor to a signing if all goes well. Harty is quite small at 5-6 and 180 pounds, but his speed makes him a viable weapon in the NFL. The Ravens could get some use out of him.

Ravens meeting with speedy WR and returner Deonte Harty

Harty has just 79 catches for 943 yards and five touchdowns in his career. While he's not exceptional in this area, his time with New Orleans showed that he can be a more than adequate burner for a vertical passing game when needed for a brief stretch.

The value in Harty lies in his returning skills. During his rookie season with the Saints, Harty led the league in punt return yards. Last year, he pulled off a game-breaking 95-yard runback during Buffalo's push for another division crown. Hardy should be able to instantly assume ownership of the punt return role, as he has over 1,900 kick return yards in his pro career.

Adding Harty would give the Ravens both a returner who can lock down two roster roles while also serving as an experienced WR4 that won't prevent Baltimore from using premium draft capital on a wide receiver. Given his age and skillset, he isn't going to cost an arm and a leg.

Harty doesn't make up for all the players that Baltimore lost, but he could be an upgrade over Duvernay as he fills a very specific role.