Perhaps it’s the failure of the Orioles, maybe it’s the excitement surrounding the Ravens selection of Lamar Jackson, or it could be all of the above and more. But there’s no denying there’s a buzz in the air about the hometown football team. When Ozzie Newsome traded back into the first round to turn in the card for Jackson, it sent a signal that no longer will Steve Bisciotti’s franchise be your mother’s Baltimore Ravens.
Doing things the same, tired old way and expecting better results is no longer acceptable.
Time will tell if the move works out. I still have my doubts about Jackson’s abilities at quarterback in the NFL. History tells us that availability isn’t a consistent thing for QBs like the 2016 Heisman Trophy winner.
Source: the Ravens converted $5M of S Tony Jefferson’s $6M base salary into a signing bonus, creating $3.33M in cap space for 2018. Post-draft cap maneuvering.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) May 9, 2018
Might the additional cap space afforded by Tony Jefferson’s restructure, enable the Ravens to make another splash move? Or could the newly found cap money be an insurance policy for roster additions in-season when things go awry due to injury?
A couple of things to keep in mind. Unrestricted free agents who are signed as of now no longer count towards the compensatory pick equation. Plus, the Ravens are looking to add a punt returner, running back and possibly another linebacker. The added cap space will help Ozzie Newsome to continually augment the roster right up until September 9 when the Ravens host the Buffalo Bills.
THE JENSEN FACTOR
The Ravens made Ryan Jensen the 203rd overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft. Jensen was a sideline observer for most of his first two seasons and eventually, after being cut, re-signed, relegated to the practice squad and some playing time at guard, 2017 happened and Jensen parlayed the opportunity into a big pay day that now has him among the highest paid centers in the league.
For their troubles, it looks as if the Ravens will get a fourth-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.
— Tony Lombardi (@RSRLombardi) May 8, 2018
NEWS & NOTES
One of the Ravens defensive flaws in 2017 was their inability to cover tight ends. Both C.J. Mosley and Patrick Onwuasor struggled in coverage. Perhaps new defensive coordinator Wink Martindale will be a bit more creative than his predecessor Dean Pees (not a tall task) and employ one of his in-the-box safeties to shadow skillful tight ends. It’s interesting that Anthony Levine, who has experience as a corner and safety, is listed on the roster as DB/LB. Levine is an interesting and underutilized player…Word is that the Ravens brass is very impressed by the hands of newly acquired receiver Willie Snead. Snead is an articulate, intelligent player who was well-liked by the New Orleans media. Don’t let the off-the-field noise about his DUI paint an inaccurate picture of the man. He will be a pleasant surprise.
Some have made a big deal about Joe Flacco not reaching out to Lamar Jackson. Who cares? That’s just silly. Saying nothing is better than Joe sticking his foot in his mouth like his AFC counterpart Ben Roethlisberger who has publicly whined about the Steelers selection of Oklahoma State’s Mason Rudolph (a better pick than Jackson in my estimation but time will tell). I expect Flacco to have a big season and then the Ravens can leverage his value in the open market – assuming of course they believe that Jackson is ready to go. Andy Reid’s fleecing of the Redskins for Alex Smith comes to mind.
THINGS JUSTIN TUCKER DOES TO STAY BUSY
This is from 70 yards out…
Haven’t posted in a while.. so here’s one from 70 ✌🏻 pic.twitter.com/zPxaAFzyMS
— Justin Tucker (@jtuck9) May 9, 2018