RAVENS TO BRING IN 30 ROOKIES…MAYBE

Lombardi's Way RAVENS TO BRING IN 30 ROOKIES…MAYBE

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Dawan Landry received well deserved accolades from fans, teammates, coaches and front office personnel for his play on the field in 2006. And that is why he stayed on the field and that in turn is why he was the biggest beneficiary of the league’s Performance Based Pay program.
 
The PBP was first implemented in 2002 as part of that year’s extension to the Collective Bargaining Agreement. A pool of funds is created through contributions by all NFL clubs. The pool rewards every player who plays as little as one snap and is allocated by a formula measuring the amount of playing time during a given season against the player’s base salary. The formula rewards those who see the field more frequently than their base salary might suggest and often young players like Landry taken in the lower rounds will have the biggest digits in their PBP check. The payment does not affect the salary cap charge for that player. Landry‘s bonus was $366,017.
 
The Ravens are beginning to bring in draft eligible players to Owings Mills to allow the coaches to kick the proverbial tires a bit before the 2007 NFL Draft scheduled for April 28-29. Each team is allowed to invite up to thirty players. One team official suggested recently that the Ravens may not get to that number.
 
The primary purpose of the visits at least for the Ravens is medically related. The visit suggests the team has an interest in the player but there are lingering medical questions that Ravens’ officials want their staff of doctors to address. Just because the Ravens invited Houston QB Kevin Kolb in for a visit is not an indication that they are more interested in him than Stanford’s Trent Edwards for example. It might only suggest that they are more comfortable with their medical diagnosis of Edwards.
 
As certain players rise on draft boards, others will fall without a down of football being played. Player pro days, individual workouts or lack thereof will influence the pre-draft boards. Ohio State’s Ted Ginn hasn’t been timed and if he doesn’t run, suspicions will run high and his status will drop. That being said, it’s a safe bet that if Ginn falls to No. 29 he’ll be wearing purple during the 2007 season.
 
The Redskins have the framework of an agreement with Bears’ LB Lance Briggs and his agent Drew Rosenhaus ($20 million guaranteed) if they can pull of a trade with Chicago. The Redskins have offered their first round pick (No. 6 overall) to the Bears in exchange for the Bears’ first round pick (No. 31 overall) and of course Briggs. The Bears are telling the Redskins that they’ll have to dig a little deeper and serve up more than No. 6 before they can back up the Briggs truck. The bet here is that the world’s richest fantasy football GM (aka Dan Snyder) will do exactly that.
 
Combining players with a pick to move up or down in the draft could be a developing trend that we might see more of before the Raiders are on the clock at noon on April 28. Besides the contemplated trade between the Bears and the Redskins, another similar trade is rumored to be on the table between the Cardinals and the Steelers. Word is that current Cardinals’ and former Steelers’ coaches Ken Whisenhunt and Russ Grimm would like to bring Max Starks west. To make that happen, the Cardinals and Steelers would allegedly swap first round picks. Arizona has the No. 5 overall pick and the Steelers hold the fifteenth overall selection.
 
Pre-owned vehicle David Carr spent Tuesday with the Panthers and will spend the day Thursday in Seattle. Expect the Dolphins to go Carr shopping as well. "I think David is going to look for a starting job," Dolphins GM Randy Mueller told WQAM-AM radio. "I’m not sure if he’s going to get that in Carolina, but that’s his primary concern.
 
"If that doesn’t happen, then I think he’ll consider some places as a backup. We’re kind of investigating it."
 
We’ve all lost an outstanding coach, a great teacher and a wonderful man in Grambling State Coach Eddie Robinson. Robinson was a champion of athletes and a role model for thousands as he successfully took on the challenges of a racially segregated south, particularly early in his storied career. Eddie Robinson, much like his namesake Jackie, broke barriers for black athletes sending over 200 players into the NFL. Eddie died yesterday at the age of 88 after a lengthy bout with Alzheimer’s.
 
Hold on to your seat…the Ravens released rookie offensive tackle Dan Oliphant on Wednesday.
 
This from “a guy” who writes for Press Box: “A guy described the 1958 championship game between the old Colts and New York Giants as ‘an unseasonably warm day in December.’ Tell you one thing, the guy’s either an Eskimo or he wasn’t there. It was cold during the first half, then went to near intolerable in the second half with the wind.”
 
“A guy” describing the weather during the Greatest Game Ever Played was me. The Press Box “guy” is someone also known as “The TV Repairman.”
 
First, it’s nice to be noticed. Secondly the description of the weather was really borrowed from a NFL Films description of the pre-game conditions. I took that as gospel. After reading Press Box about the other guy who braved the elements that took place before my time, I decided to look up the official weather conditions on December 28, 1958 in New York.
 
The high that day was 50 degrees. A normal high is 40 degrees on that date.
 
Maybe I should have described the day as warmer than usual prior to the game.
 
That said, it would be nice to see the crusty repairman support a civic effort to restore Baltimore’s football heritage instead of raining on it with sarcasm.
 
Or was it sleeting Phil?

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Tony Lombardi

About Tony Lombardi

Tony is 24x7 Networks, LLC's founder (the parent of EutawStreetReport.com and RussellStreetReport.com) His work has been featured on various sports websites and he is a regular guest on 105.7 The Fan and CBS Sports 1300. Among his favorite things in life are his wife, kids, family, friends, The Beatles, Breaking Bad, Gladiator, Guinness, Orange Crushes and Key West, not necessarily in that order. Follow Tony on Twitter @RSRLombardi. More from Tony Lombardi

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