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How Big Of A Hole Is Zachary Orr Leaving Behind?

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Zachary Orr’s retirement brings more than a few questions to the table for the Baltimore Ravens this upcoming offseason.

Who will start next to C.J. Mosley?  Does the Front Office trust that Kamalei Correa can step into the starting role?  Where does this put inside linebacker as a draft board priority?  Will Baltimore look for a veteran to thrust into the role?

Orr’s departure leaves behind a big impact, there is no doubting that.  Baltimore shouldn’t simply be looking for someone who can replace Orr, but someone who can complement Mosley’s strengths as an inside linebacker.

Who will start next to Mosley?  That answer is nowhere in sight, yet.  It could very well be Correa, a rookie, or a veteran free-agent.  The answer will be much more clear as free agency and the draft come and go.

Does the Front Office trust that Correa can step into the starting role?  That answer isn’t known, at least publicly, just yet.  Many critics are already comparing Correa to recent second-round draft pick Arthur Brown.  Brown was viewed as a future building block when he was drafted.  He lasted only three years in Baltimore before being cut.  Brown rarely saw the field, even on special teams.  That’s where Correa has a slight edge over Brown at this point in his career.

Correa’s season was riddled with injuries, but unlike Brown, he did make a presence on the special team’s units flagging down kick returns.  Starting on special teams goes a long way to seeing the field on a Baltimore defense.  *Hint, hint* Zachary Orr.

Just because he was on the field for special teams in no way means Correa is ready to see the field, but it is far too early to give up on this second-rounder.

How far up did Orr’s retirement shove inside linebacker on Baltimore’s draft priority list?  It pushed it into early consideration, for sure, but there are still pressing needs all along this team.  A pass rusher, a complement to Jimmy Smith, and offensive line help should still hold more weight in the draft, unless a star ILB is there for the taking.

Rueben Foster from Alabama is a common consensus for the top inside linebacker in this draft.  It is well known how much Ozzie Newsome loves his Alabama boys.  Although, not many draft analysts have Foster dropping past the top-10 at this point.

Lastly, are there any veterans in free agency that will step in and complement Mosley right away?  The short answer is yes.  But, will Baltimore be able to retain any of their top options?  The Front Office will certainly want to take a swing on resigning both Brandon Williams and Ricky Wagner, who will both command hefty contracts.  How much would they be willing to spend on a veteran inside linebacker?

The top options on free agency, in my opinion, so far (there are always unexpected cap casualties), are Lawrence Timmons, Malcolm Smith, and Manti Te’o.  Timmons should be high on Pittsburgh’s priority list, having been a mainstay in the middle of Mike Tomlin’s defense for years now.  He will also command the biggest contract of any free-agent inside linebacker in this year’s crop.

Smith, a former Super Bowl MVP, had a productive year in Oakland, putting up somewhat similar-yet-lesser stats to Orr.  The question with him is whether Baltimore would settle for him or go with someone with more potential.

Te’o is an interesting prospect, and has yet to show his full potential.  He was a first-round talent coming out of Notre Dame just four years ago, but fell due to a pre-draft catfish scandal.  He’s coming off an injury in a contract year, so who knows what next season will bring for him.

There are many different routes that Baltimore can go in finding their next starting linebacker.  Luckily for the team, they have plenty of time to figure out an answer.

22-year-old Writer out of Baltimore, Maryland. Towson University Alum- Class of 2016. I've been a Ravens fan for as long as I can remember and will defend them for life. I love Football in general, and I am getting more and more into Basketball and Baseball everyday. I aim to inspire the most out of people through my writing. Dream Big.

Baltimore Ravens

Ravens’ Alex Collins Arrested

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Baltimore Ravens running back Alex Collins was arrested early on Friday morning following a car crash about a mile from the Ravens’ team facility, according to a report from the Baltimore Sun.

Per the report: Officers responded to a report of a car that had crashed into a tree on the 10000 block of Dolfield Road at about 6:48 a.m. Friday morning, Baltimore County police spokeswoman Officer Jennifer Peach said.

Collins, 24, was arrested, however charges were not made public at the time of this writing.

Ravens vice president of public relations Chad Steele told The Baltimore Sun that the team has spoken with law enforcement and is aware of the situation involving Collins.

Collins is coming off a down year with Baltimore after a breakout campaign in 2017. Collins managed only 411 yards rushing in 2018 and was placed on injured reserve back in December, ending his season early.

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Ray Rice Says He Is Done With Football

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Former NFL running back Ray Rice, who had been working to try and get a second chance in the NFL over the past couple of years, is no longer pursuing a comeback.

“I’ll be the first one to say it; I don’t have to retire to tell you I’m done with football” Rice said, during an interview on CBS This Morning.

“The pressure I was under of being a star, that was the person I hated the most.”

Rice was suspended indefinitely back in 2014 when a video surfaces showing Rice punching his then-fiancee, now wife, Janay Rice while the two were alone in an elevator.

Rice was never picked up by another team following the conclusion of his suspension, and his release from the Baltimore Ravens.

Rice said that he sees “similarities” between his situation and the one of former Kansas City Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt, who was recently cut loose by the team when a video surfaced showing him pushing and kicking a woman in a hallway.

“Somewhere down the line everybody who’s sayin’, ‘Does he deserve a second chance for football?’ And this that and the other— I actually got my second chance” Rice said of Hunt, who cleared waivers and is now a free agent.

“During my darkest moments, and I used to ask myself, ‘How could she even be—want to support me?’ … That’s understandable. But I think what’s misunderstood about us is that the friends we were before the incident. That’s why, like I said, when I look at Kareem Hunt, I wanna know what his life was like. I want to know what happened in life. I know Kareem has apologized, and has expressed remorse for survivors of domestic violence.”

 

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Ravens Trying To Entice Fans With Lower Concession Prices

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The Baltimore Ravens are attempting to win back fans and their latest plan is making a big step toward doing just that as the team announced on Tuesday that they will reduce concession prices at M&T Bank Stadium in 2018.

The Ravens have been on a mission to bring back fans who were angered by some players’ national anthem protests coupled with their 3-year playoff drought.

A series of moves have demonstrated their efforts. The team invited fans to ask questions at a media pre-draft news conference held a question-and-answer session with fans at the team facility with owner Steve Bisciotti, coach John Harbaugh and general manager Ozzie Newsome, and also have had team president Dick Cass meet and talk to fan clubs.

While the team has sold out every game during their 20-year history at M&T Bank Stadium, empty seats grew in numbers as the 2017 season wore on, and the no-shows are very obvious.

The organization is taking this initiative very seriously.

“It’s something I would really like to take a hard look at, and at least, come up with select items that we can do,” Bisciotti said back in February of this year.

“If it means us … I can’t make Aramark do that with me, but I can make them go along as long as it’s my share of the profits that I’m waiving. Yeah, I’d like to take a look at that. I think we could probably do that.”

There is an official news conference scheduled for Thursday where the Ravens will officially announce price reductions on concessions.

 

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