The Baltimore Ravens know they will be without their no. 1 offensive weapon and first-string tight end until the postseason (assuming Mark Andrews returns before next season) so they have decided to put a patch to that problem by signing a free agent tight end to their practiced squad.
Aaron Wilson of KPRC Houston first reported the news about the Ravens signing TE Scotty Washington, who went undrafted in 2020 and then spent time with multiple franchises including making his NFL debut with the Patriots last season, on Monday afternoon to their practice squad ahead of Week 12.
Washington went undrafted out of Wake Forest back in 2020, later signing with fellow AFC North franchise the Cincinnati Bengals. The New England Patriots snatched him off Cincy in 2022, signing the tight end to their practice squad and later helping him debut in last year's Christmas Eve against his former team.
Although Washington signed a deal with the Pats earlier this calendar year, he was released on the roster-cut date in late August, thus hitting free agency once more. The Pittsburgh Steelers signed him to their practice squad earlier this season, but he never appeared in a game for them.
More interesting is the fact that Baltimore decided to add Washington instead of the other three tight ends they hosted for a workout on Monday, including veteran and once-high-school-wunderkind O.J. Howard.
Howard is only 28 years old, just two years older than Washington, and he was a first-round pick back in 2017. He lastly played with the Houston Texans last year appearing in 13 games and hauling in 10 receptions (23 targets) for 145 yards and two touchdowns.
The former first-round draftee was also a Super Bowl champion with the Bucs when they defeated the Kansas City Chiefs back in 2021. He couldn't feature in that game because an injury suffered in Oct. 2020 sidelined him.
The only reason for Baltimore to pass on adding a talent such as Howard and instead ink Washington to a deal must come down to both salary demands and role expectations. While Howard has more experience, acumen, and is plainly a better player, the wage he might have demanded could have not fit the Ravens' cap room.
On top of everything, Washington will be happy earning whatever the franchise wants to pay him as he will see the deal as a new opportunity to crack the NFL while Howard might have joined the team under the demand of getting an instant first-string TE or at least second-string TE role, which the Ravens probably didn't want him at.
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