Ravens place second-round tender on Aiken


(Updated: 5 p.m. Wednesday)
With the deadline to tender their restricted free agents falling on Wednesday afternoon, the Ravens officially placed a second-round tender on wide receiver Kamar Aiken.
The tender is worth $2.553 million and makes it unlikely that another team will pursue his services in what looks to be an underwhelming free-agent market of available receivers. Other teams are still allowed to sign the 26-year-old to an offer sheet, but the Ravens would have the opportunity to match the offer and would receive that team’s second-round pick if they chose to decline. Baltimore could have saved some money by offering Aiken the low tender worth $1.671 million, but teams could have signed him to an offer sheet with the Ravens only receiving a right to match and no draft compensation attached.
Aiken broke out in 2015 filling in for the injured Steve Smith, catching a career-best 75 passes for 944 yards and five touchdowns. With Smith turning 37 and coming back from a torn Achilles tendon and 2015 first-round pick Breshad Perriman missing his entire rookie season with a knee injury, Aiken is Baltimore’s surest commodity at the position for now.
Starting 14 of 16 games in 2015, the 6-foot-2 Central Florida product made 50 of his 75 receptions serving as the team’s No. 1 receiver over the final eight games.
In a surprising move, the Ravens gave tight end Chase Ford the low tender, perhaps an indication that the status of tight end Crockett Gillmore after surgery to both shoulders is more uncertain than general manager Ozzie Newsome indicated at the NFL combine last month. Ford caught a combined 34 passes for 391 yards and a touchdown in 2013 and 2014 for Minnesota, but he was only briefly on the Ravens’ 53-man roster last season before going to injured reserve.
As expected, Baltimore did not tender safety Brynden Trawick and wide receiver Marlon Brown, who were also restricted free agents. However, it remains possible that either could return on a cheaper contract than the $1.671 million low tender.
The Ravens also declined to tender a contract to defensive tackle Micajah Reynolds, an exclusive-rights free agent who spent the entire 2015 season on IR.