We’re a fan site, which means nothing more than we want to talk about what YOU want to talk about. We’ll present you Ravens news from our view, but ultimately, all that matters is our readers.
In this new weekly segment, I’ll solicit questions from our Facebook page and give you some answers from an insider’s perspective… of course while wearing my fan hat proudly! Let’s get to it!
Cody O’Brien: Do you think the Ravens will bring back Bryant McKinnie?
While I don’t think Bryant McKinnie is the Ravens’ first choice at left tackle, at this point, he may be the best/most affordable choice to protect the $120 million man Joe Flacco. The primary reason the Ravens haven’t acted sooner is because they can drive down McKinnie’s asking price the longer he sits out and unclaimed by a team. Big Mac has drawn interest from teams like the Chicago Bears for instance, but he has been unable to secure a contract offer, thus eliminating some of his options for leverage against the Ravens.
McKinnie tweeted on Wednesday afternoon that his agent has had communicated with general manager Ozzie Newsome and there is still a chance a contract could be agreed upon. Given the clearing of egos inside the locker room this offseason, John Harbaugh would probably like to go another direction, but McKinnie did prove himself when called upon during the Ravens’ Super Bowl run.
Nutzo Blackmon: Do you see the Ravens going after ILB Karlos Dansby?
The signing of Ravens free agent LB Dannell Ellerbe in Miami opened the door for the Dolphins to part ways with Karlos Dansby. With inside linebackers being one of the Ravens’ greatest areas of need, Dansby is someone I’m certain has been discussed inside the confines of the Castle, but after the signings of Elvis Dumervil and Michael Huff, the money may not be there.
As a 10-year veteran, Dansby still has some football left in him. If I had to guess, Dansby’s asking price is the only thing keeping him off an NFL roster at this point, especially given that he was due to earn $15.1 million over the remaining two years of his contract with the Dolphins. Dansby will likely get a maximum of a two-year deal on the open market and unless he drops his asking price in exchange for a good chance to win a championship, he’ll probably play elsewhere.
He signed as a free agent with the Dolphins in 2010, so clearly winning wasn’t important to him.
Kathi Borowski: When will we find out about Dennis Pitta?
Once tight end Dennis Pitta signs his restricted free-agent tender, he’ll make a fully guaranteed $2.023 million for the 2013 season. The good news for Pitta is that he doesn’t have to sign his tender until April 19th, giving other teams another two weeks to attempt to lure him away from the Ravens with a front-loaded contract that not only would be crippling for the Ravens to match, but tempting enough to make Pitta want to sign it.
On the open market, Pitta is a valuable commodity but in the Ravens offense, he becomes an absolute necessity. The main struggle the Ravens are dealing with is being able to manipulate future funds in order to offer Pitta a contract extension before he hits the open market as an unrestricted free agent at the conclusion of the 2013 season.
Personally, I felt that Pitta was the engine that kept the Ravens offense going, especially during the playoffs. I feel that retaining Pitta is twice as important as trying to keep Anquan Boldin in Baltimore. Following Boldin’s trade to the 49ers and no clear option at the third WR, Pitta may be asked to play more of a role like Aaron Hernandez does in New England. The great thing for Pitta is that he’s also going to target a contract near the one that Hernandez signed prior to the start of this past season.
Hernandez received a five-year extension worth a maximum value of $40 million ($16 million guaranteed). Considering his role will likely mirror Hernandez’s, Pitta may demand a similar figure. The Ravens cannot offer that at the moment.
Jeremy Wilcox: What are the chances of the Ravens getting the Honey Badger (Tyran Matthieu) in the draft?
Slim and none. Tyran Matthieu had enough issues in college that there is practically no chance that the Ravens will want to see what happens when they give him hundreds of thousands of dollars to play football. In previous years, the Ravens could take on someone (Jimmy Smith is a great example) who had issues in college because they could rely on their locker room leadership to mold that player into a professional, both on and off the field.
With Ray Lewis, Ed Reed and others now gone, it’s absolutely not happening.
Bobby Knouse: How is wide receiver Tommy Streeter progressing?
Tommy Streeter is nothing more than a project at this point and that’s all the the fan base should expect from him. If it weren’t for the fact that Streeter is 6’5″ and ran a 4.4 40-yard dash, he wouldn’t even be sniffing an NFL roster. For as much as people get excited when they see his frame, they also apparently overlook his hands.
For a wide receiver, being able to catch the ball is priority #1 and that’s something Streeter hasn’t shown to this point. In my opinion, he was only placed on IR so the Ravens can retain his rights, Ozzie Newsome could keep his pride about not having to cut a draft pick and they could give him another year to attempt to develop.
If Streeter isn’t hitting the JUGS machine everyday and practicing fundamental football exercises during the offseason, he won’t make it out of training camp. Judging by what I saw last season in training camp, I doubt he’ll be on the Ravens 53-man roster this season unless there are some major improvements in his game.
Matt Lurey: How do Adrian Hamilton and Michael McAdoo fit in the future plans? Both seem to have huge potential and size.
Adrian Hamilton fits more into the Ravens future plans than Michal McAdoo does. The team likes Hamilton because he can have a similar story that Cary Williams once had with the franchise.
Williams was on the Tennessee Titans practice squad before being signed by the Ravens. He was groomed from playing special teams and eventually worked his way to being a starter. With Hamilton, he came over from the Cowboys practice squad and will be asked to make special teams contributions. Given the lack of depth at linebacker, Hamilton has far more potential to make the team than McAdoo.
McAdoo is injury prone, and that’s putting it nicely. Yes, he is massive and intimidating to look at, but he’s coming off of a torn Achilles and it’s unfair to think that everyone can recover like Terrell Suggs did last season. The Ravens do like McAdoo though, and if he’s healthy, they’ll give him another shot.
Scott Zacharko: Where is Cam Cameron, and does he still now that I still hate him?
Cam Cameron is now the offensive coordinator at LSU and I’m sure the sentiments you echo are still felt by many around the fan base. Everyone saw the potential of the offense under Jim Caldwell’s leadership and I personally can’t wait to see what is in store this upcoming season.
Cameron was often accused of not taking the training wheels off of Joe Flacco but I can assure you that isn’t the case with Caldwell. A unique opportunity presented itself where media members were given the chance to talk to Jim Caldwell for an extended period of time about the offense. I can’t divulge what was reviewed in the meeting but I can assure you that this offense will continue to look the same as it did during the Super Bowl run and I’m sure many in the building are far happier with Caldwell than they were with Cameron.
Thanks for submitting questions for me to answer. I can’t get to every question, but if you’d like to submit one, we’ll have another opportunity through our Facebook page next week.