Could The Ravens Trade This Promising Young Playmaker?

Isaiah Likely, Baltimore Ravens
Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

The Baltimore Ravens look to be one of the true contenders in the NFL. They will be looking to avenge their loss in the AFC Championship Game last season to the eventual champion Kansas City Chiefs.

Given their status, the Baltimore Ravens look like a team that would be buyers ahead of the 2024 NFL Trade Deadline. If they want to be very aggressive, making one of their intriguing young playmakers available in trade could net them a solid return.

One of those promising playmakers is tight end Isaiah Likley. Anthony DiBona of Pro Football Network pitched Likely as a potential trade candidate during the 2024 season.

“Mark Andrews is regarded as one of the best tight ends in the NFL, but the Baltimore Ravens have a hidden gem sitting behind him in Isaiah Likely. When Andrews has missed time due to injury, Likely has stepped up and showcased his potential.

Likely is heading into the third season of his four-year rookie contract with the Ravens. Given the flashes that he has shown, it’s fair to wonder if another team would be interested in trading for Likely and signing him to a massive extension in 2025,” DiBona wrote.

Likely was a fourth-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft out of Coastal Carolina. His role with the team and how involved in the game plan is predicated solely on Andrews’ availability.

Even with Andrews missing so much time in 2023, Likely actually saw 20 fewer targets than he did in his rookie season. He made the most of them, catching 30 passes for 411 yards and five touchdowns; the receptions and touchdowns were both career highs.

The Coastal Carolina product could be more involved in 2024 as the Baltimore Ravens moved on from Odell Beckham Jr. this offseason. But, as long as Andrews is on the roster, he will be blocked from blossoming into an every-down player.

As a result, it does make some sense that DiBona listed Likely as a potential trade candidate. He has shown flashes of being capable of holding down a No. 1 role but won’t get that chance in Baltimore unless they move on from Andrews.

Even with some injury concerns last season, it is hard to imagine the Baltimore Ravens moving on from Lamar Jackson’s favorite target any time soon. Turning only 29 in September, he has plenty more good football left in the tank to play.

Likely presents the Baltimore Ravens with a high-end backup behind Andrews should something occur. But, if they are presented with a strong trade offer, or can use Likely to address a need on the roster, they will think long and hard about it.

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