In this week’s Runoff, we look at former Ravens in the news (some good, some bad), a few noteworthy draft rumors circulating, and Apparel Watch 2018 kicking off with some lid and uniform news.
10. Harbs/Ravens kickoff the LIFT Conference for female high school athletes.
We’ll start the rundown with an encouraging note, as the Ravens’ head coach stepped to the podium earlier this week to speak to female high school student athletes about their power. Per Ravens PR guru, Patrick Gleason (via the Twitters), the LIFT event “Empowers female High School student athletes to harness & develop their leadership skills both on and off the field.”
Just a quick side note: I get bent out of shape when people look at professional athletes (as a whole) as self-centered jerks who don’t care about everyone else in the local community (there was a TON of this chatter early last season for numerous reasons). Events like LIFT are far from uncommon for the Ravens, who literally donate their time and money more than we care to believe. Kudos to the Ravens, John Harbaugh, and even Lisa Salters of ESPN for this event!
9. Ray… (face palm x1000)
Look, I appreciate what Ray Lewis meant to the city of Baltimore and this Ravens franchise. And I absolutely loathe every single person who takes a misguided attempt at being a shitty comedian and makes ‘white suit’ jokes about Ray, accusing him of being something they damn well know he isn’t.
But… I also know Joe Flacco‘s ‘don’t know what he’s saying half the time’ assessment is also very much spot on.
The latest development comes from a Fox Sports conversation between Skip SayLess and Ray, in regards to the Odell Beckham Jr circus. I think the short version is that Ray tried to go all pastor on OBJ, and it was working… and then it wasn’t… and Ray thinks he shouldn’t have Hollywood friends because they don’t play football? Or something like that, it was hard to figure out, exactly. Then Jason Whitlock defended him by bashing Mike Florio and I honestly just quit…
I love what 52 does in his efforts to help young athletes who need guidance (something he did during his time in the league as well), but sometimes, Ray? Less is more. Like if you say less, we’ll love you more.
8. Camp to the Titans
Sticking with former Ravens news, on Wednesday it was revealed that former fan favorite, and Ravens trainers table paper weight, Michael Campanaro, has signed a 1-year deal with the Tennessee Titans. Between Camp & Pees, Tennessee is basically taking all of the trash that Baltimore no longer wants around, thus becoming my second favorite AFC team right now.
Think we can convince them to trade for Breshad Perriman too?
7. Still no Tight End chatter?
This is less about ‘something in the news’ and more about ‘something not in the news’ as we see the free agency market begin to slow down…
Last we heard, Ozzie Newsome suggested the Ravens were in conversations with a few guys, but that was before Eric Ebron signed with the Colts, and Levine Toilolo signed with the Lions. The remainder of the market includes Julius Thomas, Marcedes Lewis, and I guess if Gary Barnidge is bored maybe?
Perhaps the Ravens are waiting for the price to come down further, but this non-professional analyst thinks you nab Julius Thomas for pennies on the dollar NOW, then add in the draft. After all, the Ravens are a team that likes to fill their roster before the draft, in order to operate under BPA, right?
Time’s a ticking…
6. Stick to Football #MockMonday goes Lamar Jackson at 16.
You guys. IT’S HAPPENING.
After last week’s word that the Ravens used a top-30 visit with Lamar Jackson, we’re seeing his name pop up more and more, tied to Baltimore. The most recent onset of Cardinal Fever (LJ played at Louisville, keep up) came on Monday, when Connor Rogers of the Stick to Football podcast mocked Lamar Jackson to Baltimore.
And now Bucky Brooks is on board too!
Look… I’m not saying I was THE first guy to want Lamar as our future QB – and admittedly I’ve been eyeing Baker Mayfield since he was considered a 3rd round QB at best back in 2016 (told ya so) – but I think it’s a realistic option, and could be the catalyst to signal a new reign in Baltimore.
A RAVENS REIGN (sorry, not sorry).
5. Josh Allen to the Browns at 1?
While nothing can be fully confirmed until the card is turned in on April 26th, the word on the street from multiple sources is that the Browns plan to use the #1 overall pick on Wyoming QB Josh Allen. As such, paper bag sales in Cleveland have skyrocketed this week… no, not for wearing! For fecal-filling and fires at the doorsteps of the Factory of Sadness, of course.
*flaming bags of dog crap was the implication*
This would be idiotic of the Browns. Not because Allen is a bust- I think he’ll be serviceable – but because the Browns are willing to pass on a generational talent in Saquon Barkley to take a QB that isn’t a sure-fire guy, among a group of QB’s that are all in the same ballpark of skill. Take Barkley at one, Giants will take Darnold at 2, Jets take Rosen at 3, and Browns STILL get Allen at 4.
Then again? This is the Browns we’re talking about, so they’ll probably go QB at 1 AND 4.
And still whiff twice.
4. New Draft Caps
Earlier this week, New Era released the 2018 NFL Draft caps, which were met with lots of angry Twitter fingers.
Personally? I don’t hate it. At least not Baltimore’s hat, which flaunts the “Ravens Flock” catchphrase, along with the inside marking of “Play Like A Raven” because we’re cool enough to have multiple catch phrases (yes, I realize most have the same thing). Some of the hats are downright silly though. “Rise Up Red Sea” for Arizona? “BILLieve for Buffalo?”
Back to the drawing board kids…
Of course, I won’t buy it. Why? Simply because my awkward head can’t find a perfect size fitted hat without shoving my ears down or giving me a migraine. Plus snap backs are far superior…
3. NO MORE COLOR RUSH?
WHAT THE HELL NFL????
Apparently, the Thursday Night Football requirement to wear Color Rush uniforms has been nixed, and Color Rush is no longer a thing, which is just stupid. Why get rid of it? Because a few teams had ugly ass uniforms? So what! They shouldn’t have picked that color scheme from the get go (here’s looking at you, Cleveland!)!
I did see a solid suggestion though, and I think the NFL should truly consider…
What about Throwback Thursdays? Have the NFL teams on TNF wear their throwback uniforms…. the Packers go with the navy & gold, while the Bucs wear the old school pirate logo, and the Pats can wear go-pro cams as a throwback to Spygate.
Of course, technically the Ravens couldn’t wear the throwback logo, due to copyright BS. But I’m sure Nike & the Ravens could find a way to get creative, and acknowledge the OS style without that logo being a factor, right?
I still want new unis…
2. Jarvis Landry paid entirely too much…
Yesterday the Browns decided to pony up and pay newish WR Jarvis Landry $75.5M over 5 years, with $47M guaranteed.
WOW, and also, yeaaaaa he’s not worth that. At all. The Browns are clearly overpaying, and have made Landry the highest paid wideout in the AFC North, when he’s barely the 5th best pass catcher in the division (Antonio Brown, A.J. Green, Josh Gordon, LeVeon Bell then Landry).
But that’s cool, once they draft Josh Allen 1st overall, Landry will be destined to remain a sub-1K yard receiver for the next 5 years, while spending his golden years in the Factory of Sadness.
Keep that in mind… now think about the fact that he’s making not much more than he would’ve had he stayed in Miami where tax would’ve been a non-factor. Landry chose to leave Miami (yes, chose, as he could’ve taken the Fins offer) for a franchise with a revolving door at QB, whose last win came at the hands of Johnny Manziel…
1. Cowboys WR Dez Bryant to be released
Yea, no. I’m gonna stop you right there. We can’t afford him, and the Ravens don’t need to make any cuts to find space for the headcase that is Dez Bryant. Even IF the Ravens found a way to squeeze him in, may I remind you we still need offensive line depth? A tight end or two? Inside linebacker help? You willing to sacrifice all of that for a guy like Dez?
But hey- I’m pretty sure he’ll end up on the Rams anyway, along with every other big name NFL free agent…