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One need that the Ravens have (and there is no getting around it), is a punter. Last week the Ravens took a look at Eagles’ punter Dirk Johnson who is a restricted free agent. Restricted free agents typically require draft pick compensation predicated upon the incumbent clubs tender offer. Since the Eagles have extended only the low tender and Johnson was an undrafted free agent out of Northern Colorado, the Ravens would not have to offer compensation to the Eagles.
During his three year career, Johnson has a net average of 38.0 yards with 29.8% of his punts inside the 20. Sixteen of his punts were touchbacks, none in an injury shortened 2005 when he punted 39 times.
Comparatively speaking, Dave Zastudil over his four year career has an average net of 37.1 yards with 27.2% of his punts inside the 20. Thirty two of Zastudil’s punts sailed into the end zone.
The Ravens could also look to the draft as an economical way of hiring a punter. One player the Ravens could consider is Ryan Plackemeier out of Wake Forest. Plackemeier won Ray Guy Award as the nation’s best collegiate punter in 2005 and he was a consensus first team All-American, leading the nation in yards per punt (47.2) and net punting (41.4). Plackemeier can also handle kickoff duties.
There is a new quarterback heading to town just in time for the NFL Draft. Her name is Anita Marks. Marks played quarterback for the Miami Fury for four years and then the Florida Stingrays for one year. Blessed with incredible arm strength and pin point accuracy, Marks is said to be one of the best QB’s to ever play women’s pro football.
So is she coming here to play for the Baltimore Burn or coach up Kyle Boller? No. Marks currently hosts an afternoon sports talk show in South Florida on 1400 ESPN Radio. She will now make her way to ESPN 1300 here in Baltimore and bump off the Sports Idiots.
Marks’ bio tells us that she grew up in South Dade where playing football in the streets became a way of life. "It was a lot easier to play football with the boys in the neighborhood, than making the boys play dolls with me. I had to play well or else they would rough me up. It sounds bad, but it made me a better football player." A true native, Anita was raised in Miami and graduated from Miami Sunset Senior High School in 1988. She then headed to Tampa to attend the University of South Florida. USF is where she was able to fine tune her football skills and dominate the Collegiate Flag Football circuit for 4 years. "Playing flag football in college really created a lot of popularity. I could remember walking around campus and men asking if I would mother their children. They were sure the off spring would be a Super Bowl MVP".
Anita enjoys basketball, golf, and weight training, travel, jazz, and fine wines. Her favorite TV series is "Sex In the City", food is sushi, quarterbacks are Johnny Unitas (that’ll score some points) and Terry Bradshaw, and her favorite musical artist is Billie Holiday. She also has a Playboy spread to her credit.
Let the Google searches begin!
Returning home is Peerless – as in Price. The former Buffalo Bills WR is now a current Buffalo Bills WR as Peerless Price has agreed to return to the place where he began his NFL career. Price’s new contract is a four year deal worth more than $10 million and includes incentives should he earn the role of No. 1 WR in Buffalo.
Speaking of Buffalo, the Bills owner Ralph Wilson has been making a ton of noise over his disdain for the extended collective bargaining agreement – one that he says could chase the Bills from Northwest New York: "I have always said, always, that I would never move the team from Buffalo. Now, with this new collective bargaining agreement, I’m hopeful I can steadfastly adhere to what I’ve said. But I am making no promises.”
Mike Holmgren admits to aspiring to be a NFL GM one day. He once held that distinction along with the title of head coach and that factored into his compensation. Holmgren is no longer the Seahawks GM and his contract is nearing its end so the Hawks are talking extension. But here’s the rub – without GM responsibilities, should Holmgren’s per annum rate be cut? How do you lower the pay of a head coach who led his team to its first ever Super Bowl?
According to ESPN The Mag, Trevor Pryce never visited the Ravens’ complex in Owings Mills before exclaiming “Get me there!” Pryce only saw pictures of the Ravens cutting edge HQ locale before deciding Baltimore was the place he outta be. The $25 million certainly didn’t hurt either now did it?
Did you know that the Browns so far this off season have shelled out more greenbacks than even the Washington Redskins? It’s true! The Browns have ponied up $100 million in new contracts compared to the $95 million from Danny Boy.