AW: No, I don’t think they will allow the Kyle Boller debacle to influence how they approach this decision. It’s a different situation really, one where Joe Flacco is more prepared to start as a rookie. That said, they’re not going to rush him. The truth is they’ll play him if they think he’s ready, and the offensive line is ready to protect him. I don’t think they’ll hold him back if he’s clearly ready.
AW: Ogden has privately told friends that he plans to retire. When he announces his retirement, barring some last-minute change of heart, it shapes up as an anticlimactic announcement.
3. With the influx of young talent, some higher paid veterans could be at risk. Which vets might be in danger of losing a roster spot?
AW: Because of the logjam at linebacker and the special-teams ability of newcomer Brendon Ayanbadejo, it could be a tight squeeze for Gary Stills and Dan Cody. Neither is exactly highly paid, but they are familiar veterans who could find themselves on the bubble.
4. The Ravens’ personnel braintrust will defend the ’06 second round selection of Chris Chester and point to his upside and athleticism. What are you hearing from the Ravens’ inner circle about Chester? If he doesn’t start in ’08 is it safe to label him a bust?
AW: I think the only prospective deal that they’ve done a ton of work on is Terrell Suggs. Everything else has been fairly preliminary, and the Ray Lewis contract isn’t close at all. No deal appears to imminent with any of the linebackers. I could see Suggs potentially getting done at some point prior to him becoming a free agent. I think the other two could wait until after the season as Baltimore could weigh its options and see how each player performs this season. Obviously, each negotiation is a fluid situation. I know that all three players prefer to be back with the Ravens, but the money has to be right. The only one of the three that’s ever given the Ravens a discount is Scott.
Aaron Wilson covers the Baltimore Ravens for the Carroll County Times and the Annapolis Capital.