Yesterday at around 6PM I started receiving text messages from a few Ravens sources about another Ravens player (not Jimmy Smith) who may be suspended for using banned substances. It seems to be a common occurrence these days around the NFL.
I will get to my findings momentarily but I first wanted to share a request made in our Facebook Group, Ravens247.
“Hey Tony Lombardi what the hell is going on with all these PED suspensions?
Any insight or inside knowledge? It just seems like there have been almost 10 guys the past week. Was a new supplement banned this year or something?”
A good question, right?
So, I asked around and here’s what a Ravens spokesperson shared:
“There aren’t significant changes. What we preach to our players is that you should show our trainers and doctors everything you want to try just to be sure…don’t assume that something you can buy in GNC is NFL approved; don’t assume that your offseason trainer has researched thoroughly what they are suggesting.”
Jimmy Smith obviously didn’t take the proper precautions or perhaps he didn’t properly file for substances allowed by the league if permission is granted, given circumstances that are worthy of such exceptions. I’m not saying that is what went down with Smith, but it is something we’ve seen before with the Ravens.
I have heard from various sources that Smith and the Ravens may have appealed the suspension if he was healthy. The appeal could have pushed a final decision on the suspension into the 2018 season. Smith’s Achilles injury muted any potential appeal.
Now to those rumors about other suspensions along with a couple rumors from an alleged inside source who posts from time to time on the RSR Message Board.
I did some digging into the suspension rumor and a few Ravens sources claim no knowledge of such a suspension. If the player was a good player, crucial to their postseason run, the Ravens would likely appeal it and push the suspension into next season.
The firing of New York Giants GM Floyd Reese has triggered talk of Ravens Assistant GM Eric DeCosta leaving for The Big Apple.
I don’t think Eric DeCosta is going anywhere. The move would make sense under usual circumstances. I know that DeCosta has great respect for the Mara Family. That said, DeCosta is unusually loyal – to Steve Bisciotti, the organization and his family that has deep ties in the Maryland area. He’s also very patient as it relates to his career – patience that he’s admired in Ozzie Newsome, patience that in part might be influenced by friends who have had their careers somewhat derailed in the NFL when they left Baltimore for GM jobs in Cleveland. Namely Phil Savage and George Kokinis.
Cleaning house, @giants. Now try to steal Eric DeCosta from Baltimore.
— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) December 4, 2017
DeCosta’s time will eventually come in Baltimore and I think you will see a more progressive front office when he takes over. He could be the NFL’s answer to Chicago Cubs’ GM Theo Epstein.
Now, some conjecture about the future of John Harbaugh…
Hiring Gruden would be so unlike Steve Bisciotti. The only way I could see that happening is if it were part of a strategy to draw attention to the team, with the hopes of attracting new fans outside of the immediate area through more media attention. It’s also a possible desperate attempt to boost sagging ticket sales. But again, that’s just not how Bisciotti operates. I’d be mildly shocked with a Gruden hire.
Unless the Ravens lose out, Harbaugh isn’t going anywhere.
The organization genuinely believes that they’ve done very well considering all of the injuries.