It took Devin Duvernay a while, but after a month and a half of play, he finally delivered for the Ravens in a reasonably good way last Sunday when he returned a punt for 70 yards, the longest of his career.
Duvernay's return, while not ending in a score, was enough to put Peter King of NBC Sports on notice with the scribe naming Duvs the "Special Teams Player of the Week" in his weekly column.
"The NFL’s first-team all-pro punt-returner in 2021 broke the longest one of his career—a 70-yard weaving, sprinting gem of a return, from his 13-yard line to the Titans’ 17-yard line—to set up a Justin Tucker field goal when the Ravens were having trouble finishing drives in the first half. When you play the Titans, you figure it’s going to be a ground conflict, and the special-teams yardage becomes vital. In the Ravens’ uneven 24-16 win in London, Duvernay had 132 return yards, crucial to the Baltimore cause."- Peter King, NBC Sports
As King noted, Duvernay is far from an afterthought as he already has first-team All-Pro under his belt thanks to his exploits back in 2021. Sadly, that's already two years ago and the Ravens are only using Duvernay as an ancillary option on offense and a weekly punt returner.
There is nothing wrong with that other than the fact that Baltimore is paying this man north of $4M in salary to field a couple of flying balls every week and for the most time, do nothing more than advance the rock a few yards.
Now that he's coming off his best game (or, ahem, best play) of the season, it might be time for the Ravens to move on from their WR5/WR6 at best, and just bring whoever is around to field the opposing punts and do pretty much what Duvernay is doing... but only for a tiny fraction of the price.
Duvernay is a great returner, mind you, but for his role and his production, he's simply overpaid. There might be a team out there in need of depth at wide receiver or actually interested in paying a returner more than the position/role calls for.
That franchise, however, shouldn't be the Ravens. There are many better positions to allocate money in other than punt returner, and if an opportunity emerges then Baltimore should capitalize and send Duvs away and packing in a hurry.