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With OTAs just starting up for many NFL teams, including the Ravens, players from all over the league are starting to feel the pressure of competition set in on them. Most NFL teams have a roster size of around 75 heading into the offseason, but when the season starts, that number is dropped to no more than 53. No player is safe from being removed from the roster, and each player must prove his worth all over again. For players coming off of an off year, the stakes are high. There are a few Ravens on the roster, who are especially in danger of being shown the door this offseason, here are the four Ravens who have the most on the line this offseason. 

Benjamin Watson

This one should be somewhat obvious to Ravens fans. Ben Watson was added to the roster to be the top tight end for the offense. However, he tore his Achilles during a preseason game against the Lions last year. This injury kept him off of the football field for the entire season. Watson was only supposed to be with the Ravens for a season or two, as his football career is nearing its end at age 37. Normally, a player like Watson would be retained for the next season regardless, however, the Ravens have plenty of tight ends who can replace him. Dennis Pitta had made his regular season return for the first time since 2014 and helped lead the Ravens passing attack. The Ravens also have Crockett Gillmore, who played well in 2015 in Pitta’s absence. However, he sustained an injury to his back in 2016 which kept him out for most of the season. The Ravens also have tight ends Darren Waller, Maxx Williams, and Nick Boyle on the roster who could play instead of Watson. Watson must do two important things to be retained by the Ravens this offseason. First, he must prove to them his durability. The Ravens cannot afford to pay him to be on the injury reserve for another year. Second, he must prove to the Ravens he can play better than all of the other tight ends on the roster. If he falls behind anyone, he is at risk of being cut. Watson will need to step it up this offseason in order to stay in Baltimore. 

Keenan Reynolds

Keenan Reynolds is a player that I desperately want to succeed, I won’t hide that. The former quarterback out of the Naval Academy in Annapolis was drafted as a wide receiver in 2016. The Ravens placed him on the practice squad for most of the season in 2016, in order to learn and develop at his new position. Keenan Reynold’s best hope for making the roster this year is through the returning game, as a return specialist. However, Reynolds will have to compete with other Ravens receivers such as Michael Campanero for this position. Reynolds was unable to prove to the Ravens his value last season but was able to show them enough for the front office to keep him for the 2017 offseason. Reynolds has no choice this offseason, he must prove himself to the coaches and executives. To prove himself, he has two main obligations to fulfill. He has to catch the ball with ease and be able to run routes as a normal receiver. If Reynolds does indeed end up on the 53 man roster at the end of the offseason, he has the opportunity to become a big part of the Ravens passing attack. He would likely fit as a slot receiver if he does make the cut. However, it is a long, uphill battle for Reynolds to make the roster, and he is going to have to prove himself this offseason, or else he will be cut. 

Javorius Allen

Javorius “Buck” Allen is a running back from USC, drafted in 2015. Allen was a depth running back for the most part during the 2015 campaign, however, a string of injuries led to him being granted the starting spot in the second half of the 2015 season. During that time period, he excelled at rushing for the Ravens and was especially effective as a receiver. However, in 2016 he fell behind Justin Forsett, Terrance West, and Kenneth Dixon on the depth chart, and saw very little playing time throughout the year. For Allen, the writing is on the wall. He needs to be outstanding this offseason to be kept on the roster. He is currently behind three running backs on the depth chart, Terrance West, Kenneth Dixon, and Danny Woodhead. Allen is in very grave danger of being cut by the Ravens. With so much potential early on during his stay in Baltimore, it would really be a shame if he became nothing more than a one season wonder. 

Maxx Williams

Maxx Williams was supposed to be the answer to the tight end problem the Ravens had a few years back. He was drafted out of Minnesota in 2015, in the second round. Despite the high hopes, Williams has had a rocky career so far, to say the least. During his rookie season in 2015, he totaled mere 268 yards over 32 receptions. Williams was set to prove himself in his second season in the NFL in 2016. However, this dream was quickly derailed, as he sustained multiple injuries, giving him no meaningful time on the football field. Maxx Williams, in short, is a draft bust for the Ravens so far. He has amounted to virtually nothing for the Baltimore-based team and the coaches and executives may look to him to clear up some roster space. Williams, like Watson, must stay healthy this offseason. He cannot afford another string of injuries, as the Ravens cannot afford to keep him on the injured reserve for a full season. If he gets any sort of major injury, he will likely be cut from the roster. Williams must also show potential to be a top tight end for the Ravens. He must be effective in both the receiving and blocking ends of his position. If he is any way inefficient in either of these fields, he will likely be cut. Time is running out for Williams, and he must act now to avoid being shown the door by the Ravens this offseason.

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