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Ravens Report for Voluntary Workouts

Patrick Queen Out to Lunch
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There’s no place like home.

We may still be a long way off from getting back to football, but it did my heart good to see some familiar faces at The Castle. Yesterday marked the beginning of voluntary workouts for the Ravens, and a few notable names were back in the building. Marlon Humphrey brought the energy early.

Tyus Bowser seemed to be in good spirits, and was moving around pretty well following surgery to fix a torn Achilles.

Rashod Bateman also arrived bright and early to make the most of his offseason.

These players share a common thread in that they each face high expectations for performance this coming year, but they also share another unfortunate trait: injuries. All three of these guys either missed time due to injury last year, or are currently continuing to rehab from injury. They’re not alone, either; Daelin Hayes, Ben Cleveland, and Justin Madubuike, all of whom took advantage of the optional workouts yesterday, also had promising seasons shortened by injury.

The hope, of course, is that the extra workouts will help them recover from any lingering issues and make up for lost time. Regardless of where they are in the recovery process, their presence in the building means that the medical staff now has the opportunity to evaluate them prior to the Draft and report back to the front office. The latter group that I mentioned above all fit into position groups that are widely regarded as potential positions of need (EDGE, Guard, DT), and their individual readiness could play a huge part in determining which is the squeaky wheel that gets the oil.

Meanwhile, as more and more players return, a familiar face will be absent moving forward.

I can’t say I’m shocked to see the team releasing Miles Boykin, as this move had been rumored for a while, but I do still feel sad that he could never quite find his footing here. Like so many others, I was wowed by that first open practice at M&T when he put on a show, but there always seemed to be some hurdle keeping him from finding that next gear in the regular season. Here’s hoping he’ll land somewhere that can give him that opportunity.

Boykin isn’t the only departure that we found out about yesterday, either. As The Castle becomes busier over the coming weeks, they’ll bid farewell to a member of the Flock who was a major reason the Ravens get to enjoy such a spectacular facility.

Senior Vice President Bob Eller announced that he’ll be retiring on June 1st, closing the book on a career in football that spanned nearly 40 years. Team President Sashi Brown expressed gratitude to Eller as an “original Raven” and acknowledged his hard work with the team. One of Eller’s crowning achievements was overseeing the renovations to the Under Armour Performance Center in 2018, and he’s managed the unenviable task of overseeing the logistics of team travel and catering for years.

Enjoy your retirement, Bob. I can’t imagine what it’s like trying to get that many people from place to place and fed on time, but I can say in confidence that you’ve earned some R&R.

Speaking of unenviable tasks, there are several GMs around the league grappling with the volatile wide receiver market, and it means some big names are absent from their offseason workouts.

As early as we are in the offseason, there’s still plenty of time for teams to negotiate contract extensions, so this could end up being much ado about nothing. Still, having star players at odds with the front office is never a good thing.

I referenced it in a previous piece, but Christian Kirk’s contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars seems to have created an imbalance in the entire wide receiver ecosystem, and while it would never be said publicly, Jaguars GM Trent Baalke might find himself off of a few Christmas card lists. Luckily, there hasn’t been any indication that Hollywood Brown plans to follow suit with his fellow receivers from the 2019 class, but fingers crossed that EDC doesn’t end up with one more headache from this fallout.

Let’s not end this on a down note, though; let’s get you fired up for the Revenge Tour.

I’M READY!! FIND ME SOMETHING HEAVY TO LIFT!!!

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