Saints restricted free agent wide receiver Willie Snead is signing an offer sheet with the Ravens, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. It’s a two-year, $7MM offer sheet with another $3.4MM in incentives. The deal also includes a $2MM signing bonus. Per league rules, the Saints have five days to match.
This week, Snead reported to the Saints even though he did not have a deal in place with the team. Some took this as a sign that his market in restricted free agency hadn’t drawn much in the way of interest but, apparently, he did draw a sizable offer sheet from at least one team. Friday marks the deadline for RFAs to sign offer sheets and the Ravens have put the squeeze on the Saints at the buzzer.
Snead was tendered at the lowest level this offseason, giving the Saints the right to match any offer sheet. However, they will not receive any draft compensation in that event. Snead now stands to earn a significant bump over his one-year, $1.907MM placeholder, regardless of what the Saints do over the next five days.
The Saints will probably take their time in making a call on Snead, but it would be a surprise to see them match. After inking another RFA in former Bear Cameron Meredith, New Orleans will probably allow Snead to walk.
Meanwhile, for the Ravens, the move is an indication that they will not be signing Dez Bryant. The Ravens were among the clubs with interest, but they may have sensed that Bryant is on the verge of signing elsewhere.
Snead, 26 in October, was not a major contributor in the Saints offense last year. However, he averaged 70 catches for 940 yards and four touchdowns over the previous two seasons. Last year, as an exclusive rights free agent, he pushed for a better deal and didn’t get it. Now, based off of past performance and potential, he’ll be moving up a level.
The Ravens have upgraded their wide receiver stable by adding Michael Crabtree and John Brown in March. Neither Chris Moore nor Breshad Perriman did a whole lot last season, so the Ravens are looking to provide Joe Flacco with another weapon. The addition of Snead would give the Ravens a formidable trio at receiver and allow them to focus on other areas in the draft.
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