EARTH CITY, Mo. -- The St. Louis Rams traded wide receiver Chris Givens to the Baltimore Ravens for a conditional seventh-round draft pick in 2018, ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter reported Saturday morning.
It was far from an earth-shattering move considering Givens was the Rams' fourth receiver and had only played 42 snaps in the first three weeks. The Rams have an open roster spot that will likely be filled Monday when running back Trey Watts is eligible to return from a four-game suspension. It's expected that he will land back on the 53-man roster at that time.
But it was a logical move for the Rams, Givens and the Ravens. Here's why:
Why it makes sense for the Rams: Coach Jeff Fisher made it clear Friday that receiver Brian Quick would be active Sunday in Arizona for the first time this season. With Quick up, it was unlikely the Rams would keep six wideouts on the game-day roster. And the assumption is that Quick's role will only increase moving forward. Since Stedman Bailey and Bradley Marquez are core special teams players, that made Givens the odd man out. The Rams simply don't use a lot of three-plus receiver sets and Givens was viewed as more of a deep threat and occasional gadget player. Since Givens is in his contract year, it made sense now to get something for him while they still could.
Why it makes sense for Givens: Put simply, this is an important year for Givens, who is still seeking the consistency to prove he's worthy of his next contract. It's also been a difficult year for him as he has grieved the loss of a close friend and again found himself mostly out of the week-to-week game plan save for the occasional touch here and there. In the Rams' offense, Givens was mostly lost in the shuffle despite flashing big-play ability. But now he gets a fresh start in a place that could utilize his greatest skill: deep speed. With Joe Flacco at quarterback for the Ravens, Givens should get his share of deep shots and get plenty of playing time to prove he belongs.
Why it makes sense for the Ravens: Baltimore is banged up at wide receiver with rookie Breshad Perriman (knee), Steve Smith (back) and Michael Campanaro (back) all dealing with varying degrees of injury. Campanaro has already landed on injured reserve and Perriman and Smith are essentially week-to-week propositions. Givens offers an immediate influx of speed and fits in well with Flacco's ability to throw it deep. The Ravens let Torrey Smith go in free agency, and though Givens is by no means at Torrey Smith's level in terms of production, he offers a similar skill set when it comes to going deep. With 12 games to go in the season, Givens should get plenty of chances to show the Ravens what he can do.