Ravens pursuing declining veteran WR instead of Odell Beckham Jr. is not an upgrade

Baltimore would be making a questionable move with this signing

Los Angeles Rams v Baltimore Ravens
Los Angeles Rams v Baltimore Ravens / Michael Owens/GettyImages

The Baltimore Ravens still have no idea what they're going to do with veteran wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. While they could look for a younger replacement in the 2024 NFL Draft, the idea of bringing him back and maintaining the terrific offense they had last year seems to be a real possibility.

Despite all of the kind words said about him this offseason, ESPN's Jeremy Fowler (subscription required) said that Baltimore "likely won't re-sign" the former Pro Bowl sensation. This leaves it up to Eric DeCosta to find a competent veteran who can come right in and make an immediate impact.

While there are some big names out on the free agent market, like Mike Evans and Calvin Ridley, Fowler also reported that several scouts have linked another aging, often injured greybeard trying to recapture his former glory to a Ravens team that is trying to win a Super Bowl next year.

Those scouts believe that New Orleans Saints wideout Michael Thomas, who turns 31 today, could be a fit with the Ravens. Getting Thomas at his peak would be a tremendous victory, but the player we've seen in the last few seasons wouldn't move the needle much in Baltimore.

Baltimore Ravens linked to Michael Thomas amid Odell Beckham Jr. rumors

Thomas' first four years with New Orleans (read: When Drew Brees was the quarterback) could not have gone better. He led the league in catched twice, including a masterful 2019 season when he set a new reord for catches in a season with 149 and topped the NFL with 1,725 yards.

Since then, Thomas has played just 20 games in the last four years, recording just four touchdowns and barely over 1,000 yards in that span. Even if the Ravens manage to get solid production out of him, his health makes him a complete wild card who could miss games at any time.

The only way Thomas could make sense is as a No. 4 target, as a trio of Zay Flowers, Rashod Bateman, and a pick in the 2024 NFL Draft would be a much more prudent base offense to run out there. Would Thomas sign on for that, or is he in search of a team that will give him more opportunities?

The Ravens have a golden opportunity to add a receiver who can make a difference this season. Like Beckham, the idea of what Thomas was and could be is more attractive than what he is right now.