The Baltimore Ravens were busy during the first wave of free agency for the second year in a row. Just like last year, they brought in an impact starting safety in Tony Jefferson. Jefferson’s skillset pairs perfectly with team leader Eric Weddle, as he is great in run defense and can hold his own in coverage as well. Baltimore now boasts one of the top-three safety tandems in the league.
Baltimore also signed veteran running back Danny Woodhead, which could fly under the radar now, but has the potential to be the best offseason signing by the end of this upcoming season.
Of course, with the high-profile signings, came the high-profile departures. Along with Williams becoming the highest paid player at his position, so did Baltimore’s other two top free agents, just for different teams. Ricky Wagner set the new market for right tackles in Detroit, while Kyle Juszczyk bolted to San Francisco for unheard of money for a full back.
So, Baltimore upgraded its secondary, defensive line, and running backs through the first wave of free agency. What’s the next move?
There are still multiple holes in the roster that need to be filled.
As well as losing their starting right tackle, the offensive line is now in need of two starters following the recent trade of Jeremy Zuttah.
Once the Front Office figures out how it will protect Franchise QB Joe Flacco, they must find him another wide receiver. Breshad Perriman and Mike Wallace both have starting potential, but a complement to their similar skill sets needs to be found.
On the defensive side of the ball, holes remain at the no. 2 corner position, starting inside linebacker, and finding multiple pass rushers may be the team’s biggest need.
Some needs will be best to fill through the draft. This draft is supposedly loaded with cornerback and pass rush talent, so Baltimore may wait until then to address those needs. Although, the team has been linked to cornerback Morris Claiborne, which I personally believe would be a great addition to this secondary.
As for wide receivers and offensive line, this draft lacks the depth of talent that the corners and pass rush provide. Baltimore made no moves in the wide receiver market while each top name receiver agreed to deals with other teams. As for the draft, Corey Davis would be very hard to pass up at 16, considering he fits what the offense needs, but behind him is questionable.
Baltimore has gotten quality play from later round offensive linemen in the past. But to count on finding two starters in a draft that lacks talent would be a large risk.
The Front Office should make a move on at least one lineman before the draft. Right tackle King Dunlap and center Nick Mangold are both on the market after being released by their respective teams. Both fit Baltimore’s needs and neither would count against the compensatory pick formula.
As of now, Baltimore is not in the running for Mangold, but Dunlap could fill in nicely at right tackle for the departed Wagner.
Ravens’ Alex Collins Arrested
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.
Ray Rice Says He Is Done With Football
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.”
Ravens Trying To Entice Fans With Lower Concession Prices
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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