I’ll be answering Tweets from Ravens followers who have offseason questions. Today’s question is from @salinnikov:
Q: Will Ravens keep Kamar Aiken? Looks like his price will be high enough.
A: Yes, I definitely think Aiken will be with the Ravens next season. He’s a restricted free agent, but the Ravens want to keep Aiken and he wants to stay. Coming off a career-best season (75 catches, 944 yards season, five touchdowns), Aiken is just 26 years old, and the Ravens need weapons at wide receiver for quarterback Joe Flacco. Aiken took the hard road to get this far, as a Bills undrafted free agent in 2011. He doesn’t figure to rest on his laurels, and the Ravens are in no position to let a solid player with character like Aiken walk away.
The Ravens have several contract options with Aiken as a restricted free agent. They can work out a long-term deal with him before free agency. Or they can extend him a first-round, second-round, or low-round tender. Once Aiken is tendered, another team can still sign Aiken to an offer sheet, but the Ravens would have the right to match that offer. If the Ravens don’t match, the team making the offer would give the Ravens the draft pick equal to the tender offer.
A first-round tender will carry an estimated $3.58 million contract number for 2016, depending upon the 2016 salary cap. A second-round tender will cost around $2.52 million, and a low tender will cost around $1.65 million.
If the Ravens don’t reach a long-term contract agreement with Aiken, expect them to offer him a second-round tender. That should be enough to keep other teams from snatching Aiken, at a contract for next season the Ravens can live with.
The Ravens didn’t have many bright spots in 2015, but Aiken was one of them. He’s very much in their plans for 2016.
Thanks for the question @salinnikov. If you have an offseason Ravens question you’d like me to answer, hit me on Twitter @CliftonBrownCSN.