The 2017 offseason has not been kind to the Baltimore Ravens' tight end depth chart.
Presumed starter Dennis Pitta during mini-camp, and the Ravens with his career in jeopardy. One of the team's backups, Darren Waller, was suspended for a year. Ben Watson is coming off a ruptured Achilles. Maxx Williams had surgery this offseason. Things are not looking up.
But Gary Barnidge is ready to play if the Ravens give him a call. The former Browns tight end is a free agent, but says he's yet to hear from Baltimore despite his 134 catches for 1,655 yards and 11 touchdowns over the last two seasons.
"They have to call my agent. They know who to call and who to contact and all of that stuff," Barnidge said during a Thursday radio appearance. "I just know we haven't heard anything yet, which is fine. I am in no hurry. I'm staying in shape. I'm ready, I'll be ready when that call comes. I'm in no rush right now."
Barnidge, 31, had little track record to speak of before a breakout season in 2015. He had 79 catches for 1,043 yards and nine touchdowns as Cleveland's de facto No. 1 target that year. Joe Flacco used Pitta as his primary pass-catcher last year, and though that's a role Barnidge could potentially fill, he says he's willing to just do whatever a team wants him to do.
"I have no problem being a No. 2 or whatever to help guys, but I also still think I have the ability to be a No. 1," Barnidge said. "A lot of people don't understand is that, my first seven years of my career, I don't get to play a lot. I was always the second or third tight end, just playing special teams. So I don't have the wear and tear on my body or my legs. I'm still fresh and good to go, and that's what a lot of people don't take into account."
Baltimore has plenty of cap space available if they want to give him a look. Considering the state of the depth chart if players don't recover from injury as expected, it seems like it would probably be worth a shot.