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Ravens' Malik Cunningham embracing switch from quarterback to receiver

With Lamar Jackson, Cunningham's teammate for a year at Louisville, blocking the path to playing time under center, the former New England Patriot said on a recent episode of "The Lounge" podcast that he's all in on developing as a wideout.

"At first, I looked at it as like, 'Dang man, I want to be a quarterback,'" Cunningham said via the team's official website. "But at the same time, you have to do what's best for the team and that's how I looked at it. I was like, 'Hey, I can make plays for the quarterbacks out there when I get the ball in space.' So I looked at it as a plus, not as a fail.

"I believe in myself and my ability. Yeah, I can play quarterback. But that's now what they need me to do right now. They need me to do something else. I'm the type of guy, whatever it takes for the team to win."

Cunningham, who has long looked up to Jackson as a mobile quarterback, said the move is a pause in his QB aspirations, not an end. He's said showing the ability to change positions at the NFL level would put him alongside a select few who've made the switch.

"Honestly, I'm gonna just keep it real. Where I grew up, like a lot of us, we're just straight ballers," Cunningham said. "When I got to middle school, I went strictly quarterback, but I've always been athletic. I really, honestly, don't think Lamar can go out there and do that, what I'm doing right now. … There ain't nothing that nobody can say to me that I can't do if I put my mind to it, honestly."

The 25-year-old's knowledge of quarterbacking helps with the position switch, from instincts to understanding the timing of routes.

Cunningham reiterated that he isn't planning to give up on quarterbacking forever, but for 2024, he's making the switch to see if he can help the Ravens receiver corps.

"It goes back to me not being stubborn," he said. "I have to do what's best for the team, be where my feet are. Maybe they see something else in me."

The Ravens sit with Zay Flowers, Rashod Bateman, Nelson Agholor, rookie Devontez Walker, Tylan Wallace and Deonte Harty atop the receiver pecking order. If Cunningham shows promise in training camp and preseason action, he could be a wild card.

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