RAVENS NOTEBOOK: Retirement not in near future for Mason

Street Talk RAVENS NOTEBOOK: Retirement not in near future for Mason

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OWINGS MILLS — Baltimore Ravens outside linebacker Sergio Kindle won’t be appearing in court today in Howard County for a pending driving while intoxicated case due to his original court date being continued, according to Maryland court records.

The case has been postponed due to Kindle’s lawyer, Warren Alperstein, having a scheduling conflict.

Kindle was arrested on Dec. 26 after being pulled over in Savage, Md.

According to police, an officer detected an odor of alcohol and reported that Kindle had bloodshot, glassy eyes.

Kindle acknowledged having a few drinks and said he was coming from a Washington nightclub and was driving a friend to the airport.

"It wasn’t much, but I guess it was enough," Kindle said at the time. "I guess it was enough for me to fail a Breathalyzer."

Kindle is looking forward to putting the case behind him.

"The main thing is I want to get it over with and figure out what they’re going to do," Kindle said during a recent telephone interview. "I don’t know how the Maryland law works, but I want to get it behind me and not have to worry about it anymore."

Kindle recently visited neurological specialists in Boston and Michigan, and said that the medical exams went well. Nothing definitive was learned about his status, though.

He missed his entire rookie season with a fractured skull suffered when he fell down two flights of stairs last July.

"Sergio, from what I understand, is working really hard down there in Texas," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said at the NFL scouting combine. "He worked hard during the season. I’m an optimistic guy. I’ve got my fingers crossed. I’m very, very hopeful. But there’s no way to know.

"It has to do with the brain and how it heals and all that kind of stuff. He’ll be in the doctors’ hands. I’m for Sergio’s long term health, that comes first. If that gets resolved then I’m for Sergio rushing the passer and playing for the Ravens, but the long-term health thing is the most important."

ZIBBY CHALLENGES OCHOCINCO: Ravens safety Tom Zbikowski has a message for flamboyant Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chad Ochocinco: Knuckle up.

An accomplished amateur boxer who won his first professional fight by technical knockout five years ago, Zbikowski is preparing to fight March 12 in Las Vegas at MGM Grand on a Top Rank card promoted by Bob Arum.

“Ochocinco talks like he can box,” Zbikowski said during the Dan Patrick Show. “I’d let it go for about 45 seconds. I’d let him know what a real jab feels like.”

It wasn’t long before Ochocinco responded via his favorite form of social media: his Twitter account.

"you wana go nite nite," Ochocinco wrote. "you want to box me, for 1 your feet are to slow and you’ve no hand speed to even be competitive."

Zbikowski later reacted in kind via his Twitter account and Facebook page:

"Dear Ocho Cinco (I won’t call you Johnson cause you only get one name change in my book), thanks for following my career," Zbikowski wrote. "You and me at M&T Bank Stadium, charity four-round boxing match. You wear

Orange and Black and I will wear Purple and black. If we do it in May, that should give you enough time to get ready. You game?"

Zbikowski later reissued the challenge to Ochocinco: "In all seriousness, Top Rank and I would like to extend an invitation to Chad Ocho Cinco and his agent to make this fight happen."

AGENT DOESN’T EXPECT MCGAHEE TO RETURN:  Due to his high salary, the Ravens are still expected to eventually part ways with running back Willis McGahee via release or trade.

A pay cut is unlikely to be accepted, and McGahee is due $6 million next season. Plus, the Ravens have former Pro Bowl running back Ray Rice as their featured back.

"We don’t expect to be back unless they’ll pay him his contract," agent Drew Rosenhaus said during a television appearance in South Florida.

Harbaugh recently said the team won’t make a final resolution on cutting or keeping the former Pro Bowl running back until the collective bargaining agreement and salary cap situation are resolved.

However, he was noncommittal on whether the team will retain him.

"I don’t think we know anything along those lines because we don’t have to yet," Harbaugh said. "The way it’s all set up there’s no reason to make any decision before you have to. What the salary cap is going to be, how those numbers factor in, are important."

McGahee rushed for a career-low 380 yards and five touchdowns on 100 carries last season. He averaged only 3.8 yards per carry.

"Willis McGahee can play," Harbaugh said. "He’s a good person, a hard worker, a leader on our team. I’m a big fan of Willis McGahee."

MASON NOT RETIRING: Veteran wide receiver Derrick Mason intends to play another season and isn’t contemplating retirement at this time.

"I haven’t really given that much thought," Mason told WBAL radio. "Business as usual."

And Mason remains upbeat about the possibility for a new collective bargaining agreement since a seven-day extension to talks was agreed to last Friday.

"I think the longer it goes on the better," Mason said. "Hopefully, this next few days gives the owners the opportunity to really look at what’s important and hopefully, we can get a deal worked out."

Mason is recovering from two offseason surgeries, having his finger and a sports hernia repaired.

Mason already had surgery on his finger during the regular season, having a screw inserted.

One day after the Ravens’ AFC divisional playoff loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, Mason said he would need to undergo some procedures.

"I’ve got to get my finger fixed,” Mason said. “I’ve got some other things, minor things that need to get done. Once the procedures are done, I’ll be fine and allow myself to rehab.”

Mason, 37, caught 61 passes for 802 yards and seven touchdowns last season.

Mason is due a $4.5 million base salary in the final year of a two-year, $8 million contract.

"My one and only goal is to go to a Super Bowl and leave with a Super Bowl,” Mason said. “It has eluded me for the last 14 years. Do I come back another year and try it again? I’m not coming back for anything else if that’s the case.”

QUICK HIT: The Steelers hired former NFL safety Carnell Lake as their new secondary coach.

Lake played for the Steelers, Ravens and the Jacksonville Jaguars before retiring.


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Aaron Wilson

About Aaron Wilson

Aaron Wilson covers the NFL for National Football Post as well as the Baltimore Ravens for The Carroll County Times and Ravens24x7.com. He has previously covered the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tennessee Titans and has covered the NFL since 1997.  He has won several regional writing awards, including, most recently, Best Sports News Story for the state of Maryland in voting conducted by the Associated Press managing editors. 

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