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For Ravens, Jarvis Landry deal could equal last five WR signings combined

How much would it take for the Baltimore Ravens to sign Jarvis Landry?

No one really knows what the exact contract numbers will look like for the three-time Pro Bowl wide receiver. The only certainty is it would far exceed anything the Ravens have paid a wide receiver in the past.

ESPN's Dan Graziano projected Landry will receive a four-year, $44 million deal. That's a hefty sum for the Ravens, whose last five free-agent wide receiver signings agreed to deals with a combined maximum value of $46 million.

A trade moved one step closer to becoming a reality Thursday, when Landry signed his franchise-tag tender. That means Landry is officially under contract and is eligible to get dealt. The Ravens are among the teams reportedly interested in him, along with the Chicago Bears and Cleveland Browns.

Baltimore has traditionally gone for aging wide receivers to fill the pass-catching void at a bargain rate. Since winning the Super Bowl after the 2012 season, the Ravens have signed these free-agent wide receivers: Jacoby Jones (four years, $12 million), Brandon Stokley (one year, $940,000), Steve Smith Sr. (three years, $10.5 million), Mike Wallace (two years, $11.5 million) and Jeremy Maclin (two years, $11 million).

Landry represents a different classification because he's in his prime at 25 and he has caught more passes in his first four seasons (400) than anyone else in NFL history over that time frame. It is believed Landry wants a contract that averages $14.5 million per season, according to the Miami Herald. That would give him the sixth-highest contract in the NFL, just behind the likes of Antonio Brown, DeAndre Hopkins and A.J. Green, but ahead of Julio Jones, Dez Bryant and Demaryius Thomas.

An argument can be made that Landry isn't the same type of offensive playmaker as Brown, Hopkins, Green or Jones, which should cause his price to get lowered by a few notches. Graziano's estimate of $11 million per season would tie him for No. 15 among the highest-paid receivers. The previous biggest contract the Ravens have ever given out to a wide receiver is Anquan Boldin's 2010 agreement, which averaged $8.3 million per season.

This doesn't include the compensation Baltimore would have to give Miami in order to acquire last season's NFL receptions leader. It could require sending a third-round pick to Miami in order to pry away Landry from the Dolphins.

If the Ravens don't land Landry, they could pursue Jacksonville's Allen Robinson or the Los Angeles Rams' Sammy Watkins. There is a chance that both re-sign with their teams and neither reaches the start of free agency on March 14.

A popular option for the Ravens is to sign players who get cut. That list could include Green Bay's Jordy Nelson, the New York Giants' Brandon Marshall, Jacksonville's Allen Hurns, Philadelphia's Torrey Smith and the Los Angeles Rams' Tavon Austin.

Signing players who have been released is the least expensive route to add wide receivers in free agency. Pursuing a trade with Landry is probably the most expensive way.