The week we’ve all been waiting for has finally arrived Ravens flock, and I for one am as excited as a Bengals fan posing with a conference championship trophy (maybe one day they’ll get the real thing…haha). With veterans reporting to training camp this week, today we’re going to preview one of the most notable position battles to keep an eye on under the sweltering summer sun in Owings Mills. First though, a few brief pieces of news.
Ravens opened up $7.17M in new salary cap space, per @FieldYates.
They did it by converting $8.97M of Marlon Humphrey’s $10M base salary into a signing bonus.
— Sarah Ellison (@sgellison) July 25, 2022
The Ravens and Marlon Humphrey have officially agreed on a contract restructure, one that will give the team an extra $7+ million to spend this year. This was a move we expected to see earlier in the off-season when most of the free agents were still available, but nonetheless it’s still good to have a little more financial breathing room as we head into the season. Injuries happen, trade opportunities arise, you can never predict what’s going to come across your path throughout the course of an NFL season. Or hey, maybe this is a precursor to the Ravens bringing in that veteran wide receiver that fans have been clamoring for, be it an Odell Beckham Jr or possibly Julio Jones.
We have waived CB Iman Marshall. https://t.co/sTAqdQ6uEo
— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) July 23, 2022
Goodnight, sweet prince, we hardly knew ye. Iman Marshall’s time as a Raven has unfortunately come to an end. While some of us liked to joke on Twitter about whether or not he even actually existed, the truth is it’s actually a heartbreaking situation for the young man.
After being drafted out of USC in 2019, Iman was immediately placed on the IR. Over the next two seasons, despite his best efforts to return and make an impact, he would tear his ACL twice and never see any substantial playing time as a result. While we hoped this might finally be the year he was able to put it together, the truth is the Ravens’ corner depth likely made him one of the first names on the chopping block. Regardless, we wish nothing but the absolute best for Iman Marshall, whether it’s on the football field or making a difference off of it.
— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) July 21, 2022
In other news, congratulations go out to the Clevelands, who tied the knot at the end of last week! They say behind every successful man is a strong woman, only in this case we should probably put Kaitlyn in front so we can actually see her. KIDDING!
In reality, their story is one we all strive for. Ben noted on Twitter (in replying to a pathetic troll) that he and his now wife have been together since high school. While some of us used our teens and early 20s to make every relationship mistake in the book, they both found their person early on and knew it. Best wishes for a lifetime of love and happiness for Ben and Kaitlyn Cleveland!
The #Ravens placed LT Ronnie Stanley, RBs JK Dobbins and Gus Edwards, CB Marcus Peters, OLB Tyus Bowser, and S Ar'Darius Washington on PUP list to begin training camp.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) July 22, 2022
Now that we got that out of the way, let’s talk shop. For starters, this is something we probably all expected to happen and shouldn’t freak out about. With the severity of the injuries most of these players faced, there was no reality where they were going to be unleashed right from day one. The Ravens are notoriously conservative when it comes to player injuries, and in the case of these stars, we’d much rather have them in January than in September.
Something we should keep an eye on however, is the middle linebacker group. Sure, we know Patrick Queen is essentially the locked and loaded #1 at the top of the depth chart, but after that things get quite interesting.
We have the returning vet in Josh Bynes, who was solidly serviceable last year in his return to Baltimore after one season with the Bengals. We have Kristian Welch, who’s been more of a special teams contributor but is looking to take that next step forward. And then, we have the undrafted rooks.
Zakoby McClain out of Auburn, Diego Fagot out of Navy, and Josh Ross out of Michigan. All three sat through the draft without hearing their names called, and now come in with massive chips on their shoulders. Smart money would expect that Ross has the leg up, given that he played under new defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald and knows the backbone of his system well. McClain was a guy who turned some heads in OTAs though, and Fagot is far from a slouch in his own right. It’s rare to see three undrafted players battling it out for legitimate playing time (that doesn’t just involve being on the kickoff team), but that’s the interesting situation the Ravens find themselves in. Will one of these men prove to be a diamond in the rough? Stay tuned.
I didn’t want to steal all the fun away from my fellow writers here at Russell Street Report, so be on the lookout all this week for the rest of the hotly contested training camp battles that we’ll be watching!
It doesn’t get any better than this burp cloth for my son Krish. One of my best friends sent this as a gift. Instilling the right values before the season starts. #Ravens #RavensFlock pic.twitter.com/FmlCHCgylJ
— Dev Panchwagh (@devpanchwagh) July 23, 2022
To wrap up, this edition of the Ravens photo of the week comes from one of our own, Dev Panchwagh! If I’m being honest, I think I may have to pick one of these up for myself. Just last week I saw someone wearing a Franco Harris throwback jersey in my local supermarket and began to dry heave. Ok…maybe not, but for the sake of the story let me pretend that I did.
Anyway, have a great week Ravens flock, football season is HERE.