Charges Against Deonte Thompson Dropped
Two months ago, wide receiver Deonte Thompson was arrested on suspicion of possession of drug paraphernalia and marijuana in Gainesville, Florida. Over the weekend, it was announced by Alchua County Court that the charges were dropped due to insufficient evidence.
Thompson was not the driver of the car pulled over during the arrest, but claimed that a duffle bag containing 29 grams of marijuana was his, but that the marijuana was not. Thompson’s lawyer talked to The Baltimore Sun on the phone and was excited the charges were dropped, saying that the charges being dropped helps his future, and that Thompson is a “damn good young man.”
Thompson joined the Ravens as an undrafted free agent prior to the 2012 season, but has struggled over the past two seasons to make an impact. He has had issues with injuries, and has caught only 10 passes.
Thompson’s news is relieving to the Ravens, who have had a rough offseason with running back Ray Rice and Jah Reid also getting into trouble. However, just because there will be no charges, does not mean Thompson will not face a suspension from the league, so the situation is still worth monitoring.
STEVE SMITH AND LARDARIUS WEBB TALK TRASH
Two of the Ravens’ locker room leaders butted heads recently, in preparation for cornerback Lardarius Webb’s charity softball game that will be played at M&T Bank Stadium on June 1st. Recently-signed wide receiver Steve Smith is known for his competitive nature, and let it be known on Twitter.
“I knw @LWebb21 going to learn how to take this L June 1 softball Game O vs D.” Smith tweeted at Baltimore Sun insider Aaron Wilson and Webb. Webb later tweeted back, “Nt this year #ringer.”
Of course, the trash talk is merely a joke. Webb and Smith have a mutual respect and are already friends off the field. “He’s a big time player. I told Harbs, he plays like a Raven.” Webb said of Smith. The friendly competition is expected to raise the level of excitement among the players and fans alike.
Both players are going to be expected to lead the Ravens in 2014, and it is nice to see their competitive spirits coming out in the offseason. For a team that was chastised in 2013 for not having strong leadership following the losses of Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, and Anquan Boldin, Webb and Smith will be counted on heavily. Here’s to hoping the game comes down to a pitch from Webb to Smith.
ED DICKSON A PANTHER
After the Ravens signed tight end Dennis Pitta to a long-term contract and then signed former Houston Texans tight end Owen Daniels earlier this month, it became all but a certainty that tight end Ed Dickson would be leaving Baltimore. It would have made no sense for the Ravens to keep him around, as he would rarely see the field behind Pitta and Daniels.
That happened late last week, when the Carolina Panthers announced they had added the former third round pick to play as the No. 2 tight end behind Greg Olsen. Dickson signed a one-year deal, and will make 730,000, (the veteran minimum) in 2014 with Carolina.
Dickson’s best year of his career came in 2011 when he set career-highs in both receptions and yards, bringing in 54 catches for 528 yards, and adding five touchdowns. At that time, he was the team’s top tight end on the depth chart, but had since lost that role, and caught only 25 passes last year, despite starting tight end Pitta missing the first half of the season.
Panthers head coach Ron Rivera praised Dickson when asked about the signing, saying, “Ed is a young player who has shown he is a capable blocker as well as receiver in the league. He provides experienced depth at the tight end position and we look forward to having him in the mix.”
TORREY SMITH CONTRACT POSSIBILITIES
The Ravens have expressed so far this offseason that one goal they have is to extend wide receiver Torrey Smith, who served as the team’s No. 1 receiver in 2013. Smith set career-highs in both receptions and yards, catching 65 passes for 1128 yards, and four touchdowns last season.
While the numbers at the end of the season are relatively consistent, Smith has been a boom-or-bust player in the majority of his career. This makes it hard to estimate what exactly he will be worth, but it does help to consider other comparable players and the contracts they have received.
New Washington Redskins wide receiver DeSean Jackson had a huge year in 2013, and is currently making $8 million a year, while new Detroit Lion Golden Tate is set to make $6.2 million next season.
Neither player is a perfect comparison to Smith, but it would seem likely that any extension signed will be valued around the amount of money those two players received. It is worth mentioning however that Smith’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, has been willing to sign extensions in training camp in the past, which is what Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown did a couple of years ago.