Ravens Lining Up Receiver Options

Bennett, Hackett Are Two Of Four Wide-outs To Try Out

July 21, 2009|By Jamison Hensley | Jamison Hensley,jamison.hensley@baltsun.com

The Ravens made their first move since Derrick Mason's retirement announcement, inviting four mid-level wide receivers for a tryout Friday.

Drew Bennett and D.J. Hackett are two of the four, according to league sources. While the other two names could not be confirmed yesterday, Bennett and Hackett are expected to be the most recognizable receivers at the workout, the sources said.

Bennett, 30, was cut by the St. Louis Rams after making one catch last season because of a foot injury. The 6-foot-5, 196-pound receiver has worked out for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Atlanta Falcons, Cleveland Browns and Tennessee Titans this offseason.

Hackett, 28, was released by the Carolina Panthers after catching 13 passes for 181 yards and no touchdowns last season. The 6-foot-2, 208-pound receiver turned down a tryout with the Ravens earlier this offseason because he was dealing with his wife's pregnancy.

"D.J. just wants to play football," said Kevin Robinson, Hackett's agent. "He is certainly intrigued by the opportunity."

The Ravens would not confirm to The Baltimore Sun any names or whether a workout had been scheduled. However, a story on the team's Web site named Hackett as one the four receivers coming in Friday.

The agents for receivers Amani Toomer and Justin McCareins said their clients wouldn't be at the workout. Other free-agent receivers available are: Darrell Jackson, Robert Ferguson, Koren Robinson and Ike Hilliard.

There has been speculation that Marvin Harrison, considered the top free-agent receiver left, might wait until the middle of training camp before making a decision.

The Ravens are looking to add depth at receiver in the wake of Mason's unexpected retirement announcement. Mason, the Ravens' top receiver the past four seasons, is expected to meet this week with coach John Harbaugh.

Based on the fact that the Ravens aren't going after a big-name receiver, it appears that the team sees some hope of changing Mason's mind. Mason, who was limited this entire offseason while recovering from shoulder surgery, might have been sidelined for the first couple of weeks of training camp anyway.

So, the Ravens might be content to wait through mid-August on Mason's decision.

With Mason's status uncertain, the Ravens need to add a wide receiver with NFL experience.

An eight-year veteran, Bennett had his best season in 2004, when he caught 80 passes for 1,247 yards and 11 touchdowns for the Titans. His catches have decreased each season since. He was released by the Rams two years into a six-year, $30 million deal.

Hackett averaged 35 receptions and caught a total of nine touchdowns in his first three NFL seasons (all with the Seattle Seahawks). He signed a two-year, $3.5 million contract with the Panthers in 2008 but was cut after recording career lows in receptions, yards and touchdowns.

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