OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Sometimes loyalty trumps finances.
Wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster turned down a $9.5 million deal with another $3.5 million in incentives from the Ravens to stay in Pittsburgh for $8 million, according to NFL Insider Jason La Canfora.
Baltimore has a familiarity with Smith-Schuster who had 308 career receptions with 3,726 yards with 26 touchdowns over four seasons with the Steelers.
The Kansas City Chiefs also reportedly offered Smith-Schuster a deal worth $8 million with $3 million in incentives, but he opted to stay with the franchise that drafted him, according to the NFL Network.
However, it appears the Ravens are becoming increasingly aggressive to sign one of the top receivers left in the free-agent market.
With Smith-Schuster no longer an option, the Ravens might turn their attention to former Lions wideout Kenny Golladay, who is an even more dynamic playmaker and much more expensive.
Baltimore is looking to boost a passing attack that ranked 32nd in the NFL last season.
Golladay averaged 45.8 receptions and 5.3 touchdowns over four years with the Lions. He battled injuries last season, but he's been mostly durable throughout his career.
Golladay would be an expensive investment. He has a market value of $85 million over five years, or $17 million annually, according to Spotrac.
The Ravens also are optimistic about the young group of wide receivers on the current roster. However, they need to be more explosive throwing the ball downfield and have more balance with the league-leading rushing attack.
"We’ve spent the last two and a half years or so building, probably, one of the most creative run games in the history of the National Football League, to be honest with you," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "I don’t want to overdramatize it, but it’d be pretty hard to argue against that. And probably the most successful. So, we’re certainly very happy about that, and now we want to bring that pass game along as well. It’s hard to do everything at once."