RAY RICE DETAINED IN ATLANTIC CITY
Over the weekend running back Ray Rice was arrested after an altercation with his fiancée, Janay Palmer at Revel casino in Atlantic City, and both were detained by the police. Rice and Palmer both were charged with domestic violence-simple assault but both were released with summons.
The police statement indicated that neither party reported any injuries, and that both Rice and Palmer turned down medical attention. The statement read, “After reviewing surveillance footage it appeared both parties were involved in a physical altercation.” The complaint summons indicates that both (Rice) and Palmer struck each other with their hands.”
Rice’s attorney, Andrew Alpherstein explained the situation as “a very minor physical altercation.” The incident reportedly took place Friday night, with police being called at 2:51 a.m. with the couple among a group of approximately eight people. Whether Rice or Palmer will press charges is unknown at this point.
The Ravens released a statement Sunday saying, “We are aware of the Friday night situation with Ray Rice and his fiancée. We have spoken to Ray, and know that they returned home together after being detained.” Casinos normally have cameras everywhere, so it is likely only a matter of time before more details surface.
SUGGS SIGNS EXTENSION
Linebacker Terrell Suggs has spent his entire career in Baltimore, and led the team with 10 sacks in 2013. He also is the franchise’s leader all-time in sacks with 94.5, and has 29 career forced fumbles, seven interceptions, and over 600 career tackles. In 2011 he was the AP Defensive Player of the Year, and despite a down second half of 2013, Suggs made it known he wanted to be a Raven for life.
However, after general manager Ozzie Newsome reiterated earlier this offseason that he was not afraid to let good players walk away, Suggs became a candidate to be cut due to his $12.4 million cap hit in 2014. The two sides began working on an extension to provide the team with some cap relief as well as giving Suggs more security in what would have been a contract year,
According to Jason La Canfora, the four-year extension was agreed to on Sunday night and was announced Monday at a noon press conference with Newsome. Suggs will receive $21 million over the first three years of the contract with $16 million guaranteed. The Ravens salary cap situation improves as well, as the deal frees up over $4 million in 2014. The deal is unquestionably a win-win.
Suggs expressed happiness to be able to stay in Baltimore, and seemed truly humbled to be able to call himself a likely Raven for life. “That’s the plan, unless Ozzie has a trick up his sleeve,” Suggs said during the press conference Monday with Newsome. “Sizzle will be a Raven for life.”
FRANCHISE TAG WINDOW BEGINS MONDAY
The first day teams are able to use their franchise tags is Monday, with speculation around the team mounting that if used, the tag will be placed on tight end Dennis Pitta. Pitta dislocated his hip last July, and did not play for much of the 2013 season, but when he did he showed that his strong rapport with quarterback Joe Flacco as the team’s security blanket was unchanged.
In 2012 Pitta had 61 receptions for 669 receiving yards, and added seven touchdowns. He was instrumental to the team’s Super Bowl run that postseason as he scored in three of the four playoff games. Tight end is one of the thinnest positions on the team with backup tight ends Dallas Clark and Ed Dickson both now free agents as well.
The concern with using the tag on Pitta is whether he will receive the $6.7 million tag for tight ends, or if he will be designated as a wide receiver because he lined up primarily in the slot in 2013. If he is designated as a receiver the tag would cost an additional $4.8 million. The deadline to use the tag is March 3rd, and the team will likely work to sign Pitta to a long term deal before that date.
If Pitta is franchised the team would then have additional time up until July 15th to work out an extension, and in the past the Ravens have tagged players in order to later agree to deals with the additional time. Recent examples of this include Haloti Ngata in 2011, and Ray Rice in 2012.
BOLDIN IN TALKS WITH 49ERS
Despite the Ravens trading away Anquan Boldin last offseason in what was regarded basically as a salary dump move, some fans have speculated that with the wide receiver slated to become a free agent soon could return to Baltimore. Boldin proved to be a steal for the 49ers, who traded only a 6th round selection.
That now appears almost completely impossible, as Boldin is reportedly nearing a multi-year extension with the 49ers. Boldin had an impressive 2013 stat line catching 85 balls for 1,179 yards and seven touchdowns, better numbers than he produced in any of his three years in Baltimore.
Boldin will be 34 in October of next season, but has been productive and with his physicality and veteran leadership was well worth the $6 million the 49ers paid him last season. After Michael Crabtree went down before the season, Boldin was the team’s de facto number one receiver. Boldin’s game has never really relied on speed, but rather on his ability to make tough catches.
Both sides want Boldin back in SF in 2014, so unless talk sour during the process, Ravens fans who held out hope for a return from Boldin will have to move on. More likely possible receiver additions this offseason will be available in the draft this spring or in potential free agents Julian Edelman and Eric Decker.