Reality: Three Ravens were arrested within 22 days over the last month.
Perception: For a team that has been known as trash talkers or loud mouths, this is not the image Ozzie Newsome and John Harbaugh want to portray. Jah Reid was arrested on two misdemeanor battery charges and Deonte Thompson was charged with suspicion of possessing marijuana and drug paraphernalia. Being arrested is never “minor” but since those players are not big stars, they probably will be swept under the rug and not much will be made of it. Both players could lose their current jobs if the organization wants to send a message to the rest of the team.
Ray Rice was arrested February 15 for simple assault on his fiancee. They apparently are trying to work through it as they will be heading to a Marriage Seminar. That could be a step in the right direction, as working through their issue could show the public that it was all a misunderstanding.
Most fans won’t remember who was arrested for what, except for Rice, but they will just know that three Ravens players were arrested in less than a month. I’ve already heard one national sports talk host mentioning that the Ravens have taken over the reigns from the Bengals for being that team.
It doesn’t matter that this is the first time any of these players have had a run-in with the law. What matters is that not only are the Ravens having to rebuild their offense and defense, but now they are also having to rebuild their image.
Reality: According to The Baltimore Sun’s Aaron Wilson, the Ravens hope to hold onto Daryl Smith, and have also made an offer to Jacoby Jones, but no deals are imminent with either.
Perception: The Ravens have said they have numerous offers out to players, so now we need to just wait and see where the chips may fall. 4pm this afternoon is when teams can officially announce agreements with players from other teams. We can be pretty sure that James Ihedigbo, Arthur Jones, Ed Dickson, Michael Oher and Dallas Clark will not be back with the Ravens. Corey Graham may get much more money from another team, but the Ravens should do whatever they can to keep him. Daryl Smith and Jacoby Jones would be very important to keep with another huge year of player turnover. The next couple of weeks should be very interesting.
Reality: Steve Davis from 105.7 The Fan (@SteveDavisBmore) tweeted:
Perception: I get that there are a bunch of really good looking wide receivers in this year’s draft and the Ravens need help at that position. But history has proven the Ravens are terrible at drafting wide receivers. As Steve Davis said, only 3 of 20 wide receiver draft picks have been really good… and you could also say that Jermaine Lewis was not a “really good” wide receiver. He was really good as a returner, but didn’t do much as a receiver.
Brandon Stokley is one of my all-time favorite Ravens players, but you could even say that he wasn’t “really good”. He was good and productive, but he was never a #1 receiver. So out of 20 drafted receivers, the Ravens have had just one develop into a legitimate threat.
To me that suggests that the Ravens should stick with the free agent market when it comes to wide receivers, and draft other positions of need. There are a number of really good wide receivers available, including Emmanuel Sanders, Eric Decker, Hakeem Nicks, Dexter McCluster, Lance Moore, Darren Sproles (a pass-catching running back), Steve Smith (who could be cut), Andre Roberts, Jerome Simpson, Julian Edelman, Sidney Rice, and James Jones.
Those are some players who would each make a really great addition to the Ravens receiving corp.
The Ravens have a lot of needs to fill, but I hope they chose to fill their receiver need via free agency, and not the draft.