Lamar Jackson Jersey

Lamar Jackson could make the Baltimore Ravens the most exciting team in the NFL. This is a fairly bold statement for a team that heads into the NFL Draft with Willie Snead and Chris Moore as the best receivers on the roster. The fact of the matter is that Jackson is the most dynamic athlete on the field in a league where you almost have to be a Greek god like athlete to be employed.

Jackson constantly gets compared to Michael Vick. In 2001 Vick was a rookie quarterback who played in eight games and his athleticism was eye-popping. In eight games, Vick went 50-113 passing for 785 yards, two touchdowns and three picks while running for 289 yards. Jackson has played in seven regular season games and his statistics are as follows: 99-170 for 1,201 yards with six touchdowns and three picks. Jackson also rushed for 695 yards.

In the early 2000’s Vick was the flashiest player on the field and his highlight reel led SportsCenter telecasts on a fairly regular basis. Jackson is working at a rate that is more advanced than Vick. The Ravens have gotten a lot more attention since Jackson took Joe Flacco’s job. It’s because Jackson makes plays that are conversation starters. He is easily the flashiest player the Ravens have ever had.

While Jackson is still an unfinished product, he is more advanced than many analysts seem to think. He may be so good at running with the ball in his hands that his passing skills get over looked.

Rookie quarterbacks didn’t look great in 2018 if you take Baker Mayfield out of the equation. Jackson may have been running a make shift offense that wasn’t sustainable but he made some big time throws and some of his rushing attempts were unbelievable.

The NFL has had dual threat quarterbacks before. There has never been any one with this much potential. By the end of his career Jackson may not even be mentioned in the same breath as Vick. Jackson could become a far superior player.

Hayden Hurst Jersey

In his final draft as the Baltimore Ravens’ general manager, Ozzie Newsome went out with a bang, finishing his storied career with one of his finest drafts. Through six trades and 12 picks, Newsome built an impressive class that made contributions immediately. Though it’s far too early to definitively comment on the group, it appears to be one of the finest draft classes in franchise history.

Newsome’s fantastic maneuvering on draft night netted the Ravens a top player at a position of need — tight end Hayden Hurst at pick No. 25 — and a franchise quarterback several picks later — Lamar Jackson at No. 32. ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. considered Baltimore one of the biggest winners in the first round of the 2018 NFL draft.
Almost a year later, those high marks still hold up.

In his re-evaluation of each team’s 2018 draft class, Kiper upgraded the Ravens’ haul to an A-minus grade. Only the Cleveland Browns and Indianapolis Colts received higher grades for their classes.

“Because of how good the rookie classes looked in Indianapolis, Cleveland and Denver, this Ravens draft — GM Ozzie Newsome’s last — went a little under the radar,” Kiper wrote. “There are some really good pieces here, though.”

The gem of the class is, of course, Jackson. The legacy of this class is ultimately predicated on Jackson’s success, and should he become the franchise quarterback he was drafted to be, this class would be nestled with the vaunted 1996 class as one of the Ravens’ best ever. So far, Kiper seems to think that the Jackson pick is panning out.

“[Jackson is] an elite athlete and runner, and there were times when he befuddled defensive coordinators,” wrote Kiper. “He hit some big throws as John Harbaugh & Co. changed their offense to play to the rookie’s strengths.”

While Jackson gets most of the attention, lost in the fold are the other quality offensive players Baltimore picked up in the draft. Of the Ravens’ first four selections — Hurst, Jackson, offensive tackle Orlando Brown Jr. and tight end Mark Andrews — all appear to be starting material. Also worth mentioning is running back Gus Edwards, an undrafted rookie free agent who ascended from the practice squad to become Baltimore’s leading rusher last season.

While this draft class shows great promise already, there is still plenty of untapped potential. Because of injuries and more experienced depth above them, four of the 12 rookies — wide receivers Jordan Lasley and Jaleel Scott, safety DeShon Elliott and offensive tackle Greg Senat — didn’t play a single snap in 2018. In addition, cornerback Anthony Averett and linebacker Kenny Young could both see more playing time after showing flashes of talent last season.

Justin Tucker Jersey

PHOENIX — Bears coach Matt Nagy wants everyone to know that they’re pronouncing the last name of Bears kicker Chris Blewitt incorrectly.

“It’s French,” Nagy said Tuesday during the coaches breakfast at the NFL annual meeting at the Arizona Biltmore. “It’s Blue-Ay.”

Fair enough. But the Bears still are looking for a kicker who doesn’t blow his chances when he gets them. At this point, the Bears’ competition only features Blewitt and Redford Jones.

Neither has kicked in a regular-season game in the NFL, but both players emerged during separate open tryouts at Halas Hall, which did include veterans with NFL experience.

“The key word is ‘competition’ at that spot,” general manager Ryan Pace said. “And doing creative things to make them feel that pressure and that competition.”
For now, the Bears’ preference is for that competition to feature young kickers, especially with portions of Cody Parkey’s contract still on their books for the next two seasons.

That could change in time. But the Bears are operating with the approach that kicker tend to emerge from anywhere and at any time. It’s what happened with the Ravens’ Justin Tucker, Saints’ Will Lutz and Chiefs’ Harrison Butker.

“Everybody else says, ‘Oh, no one knows who these guys are,’ and they never kicked in a game,” Nagy said. “But hell, I never coached in a game until last year. Last year was my first time ever being a head coach. Somebody needs an opportunity.”

For Blewitt, who played for Pittsburgh in college, it came about after Bears special-teams coordinator Chris Tabor heard how well he was performing “in these kicking circuits and kicking schools,” Pace said.

“He was kind of their top guy,” Pace said. “So we brought him in along with five or six other guys and right away he just clearly separated himself. Just the power and the pop in his leg is what jumped out in the workout.”

Nagy indicated that it’s a competition that could continue throughout the entire preseason, though the Bears will be mindful of how many kickers they have on their 90-man roster at any given time.

“Without having 70,000 screaming fans at Soldier Field and kicking it in Soldier Field, we’re going to put pressure on them, and we’re going to make it so they kind of tighten up a little bit, as much as you can,” Nagy said. “You sit here and you watch these kickers at the combine. You can hear a pin drop, and they’re out there kicking with no pads on, no nothing. I want the real thing. How can you make that happen? You got to kind of draw it up. When you have 90 players out there with an incentive of you got to do this or they got to do that if you make it or miss it, there’s a little bit of a challenge.”

Terrell Suggs Jersey

Terrell Suggs has been a significant part of the foundation of the Baltimore Ravens’ defense for a long time.

Yet the linebacker won’t be with the Ravens when they take the field this fall, as he signed a one-year, $7 million deal with the Arizona Cardinals earlier this month — ending his 16-year tenure in Baltimore.

That move, head coach John Harbaugh said, left him stunned.

“I was really surprised by [Suggs],” Harbaugh told the NFL Network. “That was one I was shocked by. I expected him to be there, but when I heard his reasoning and what I thought he was thinking, then I said OK.”

Suggs has been with the Ravens since he was selected by the team with the No. 10 overall pick in the 2003 NFL draft. The seven-time Pro Bowler and 2011 Defensive Player of the Year has recorded 854 tackles and seven interceptions in his 16 seasons with the team, and, other than a few injury stints, has been a mainstay in their defense.

Even though he’s left the franchise, Suggs said it was no easy decision for him to make.

“It was very difficult. It was probably, hands down, the most difficult decision I ever had to make in my life,” Suggs said on Fox’s “Undisputed” last week. “At the end of the day, I just felt it was time to leave.”

One of the biggest reasons for Suggs’ departure, however, was because general manager Ozzie Newsome stepped down this offseason. Newsome, who will be replaced by Eric DeCosta, had been in that role with the team since 2002, and was the first African-American general manager in the NFL when he was appointed.

While there were other factors — including the departures of fellow veterans Michael Crabtree, safety Eric Weddle and quarterback Joe Flacco, among others — the biggest reason came down to Newsome.

Had the general manager stayed in his role for another season, Suggs said there “was a good chance” that he would have finished out his career in Baltimore.

“Through and through, I’m an Ozzie Newsome guy,” Suggs said. “Once I knew Ozzie was going to step down as GM, you know, I kind of had to question my future in a Ravens uniform.”

It will be unusual for Harbaugh without Suggs leading his defense this fall, but he said he understands the decision. The team is clearly moving in a new direction as a whole, and, at the end of the day, the NFL is a business.

“You get to the point now where people just do what they have to do,” Harbaugh told the NFL Network. “Everybody’s coming from a different situation and the one constant is that there are no constants.

“Things are going to change. Every year’s going to be a new year. It’s funny, we tell our team at the beginning of the year. You know it’ll never be the same. It’ll be different week to week. It’ll be completely different year to year. And then it turns out to be absolutely true. So that’s just the way the NFL is.”

Marshal Yanda Jersey

I’m an advocate of sorts for offensive linemen. I believe that the best teams are built up front. Well, Baltimore could get a veteran offensive guard in recently released guard T.J. Lang.

You read the headline. You’ve read my other articles discussing the Ravens taking offensive lineman Cody Ford in the first round. We’ve even seen that my colleague Dustin Cox and I wrote about what would’ve been if Mike McGlinchey fell to Baltimore in the first round in last year’s NFL Draft. In this case, Lang could be the player that allows a smooth transition towards the Ravens’ future along the offensive line.

Lang, 31, was released by the Detroit Lions on Friday — creating $9 million in cap space. He expressed that he’d like to stay with the Lions at a reduced rate next season. However, a deal couldn’t be made.

“We would like to personally thank T.J. Lang for his two seasons with the Lions,” general manager Bob Quinn and coach Matt Patricia said in a joint statement released by the team. “He represented everything you could want from a football player and team captain. We wish T.J. and his family all the best in the future.”

He had one of his best seasons in 2017, starting 13 games, being penalized seven times and giving up just one sack. The then 30-year old missed three games due to concussion, ankle and back injuries. Unfortunately for Lang, he had his sixth documented concussion in 2018 and missed the remainder of the season after only participating in six games.

Though Lang may contemplate retirement, per Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press — his ability is a shot in the arm at guard. The positive situation at hand for the Ravens is that Marshal Yanda could also play left guard — Lang is usually a right guard. Two decorated veterans on the interior of the offensive line could surely assist a young quarterback in Lamar Jackson.

“I would be open to playing next year,” Lang said, via Birkett. “I don’t care what anything else looks like, if I get another chance to be on this team, then that would be a great opportunity for myself.”
Lang graded out at 72.0 by Pro Football Focus in 2018, which is an above average grade. Though the grade is favorable towards the guard — many of his grades from the site have been that way — he still isn’t a big fan of PFF. His grade would be an improvement over the likes of James Hurst (56.5 grade, average) and Alex Lewis (49.3, below average). Lang also scored higher than center Matt Skura, who graded out at 58.6 (average).

The other boost that this would give is to Baltimore’s young offensive lineman. Though Yanda is also in the waning years of his career, the two could give players like Orlando Brown Jr., Bradley Bozeman, Greg Senat and potential draftees tips of the trade.

If Baltimore decided to stick him at left guard, he’d immediately be option number one if they were to bring him in today. Lang’s signing could also provide depth if he were to get beaten out in camp and it won’t cost the team much, considering that he was willing to take a pay cut for the Lions.

For all camps involved, this move would make a lot of sense. Ravens head coach John Harbaugh places an immense amount of trust in his veteran players. With Baltimore set to possibly loose C.J. Mosley and Terrell Suggs in free agency and having already released veterans Michael Crabtree and Eric Weddle, the team could use an influx of new veteran leadership.

Ultimately, this move doesn’t mean that they still won’t draft an offensive lineman earlier on in the draft. There are a few offensive linemen other than just Ford that are attractive in the fiirst round — Alabama’s Jonah Williams, Florida’s Jawaan Taylor, Washington State’s Andre Dillard, Kansas State’s Dalton Risner, NC State’s Garrett Bradbury — each player could be supplemented by the signing of Lang.

If Baltimore wants to go in a direction of adding powerful, physical offensive linemen to their roster and still continue to groom young talent for a power running scheme, Lang is their guy.

C.J. Mosley Jersey

In a span of several hours overnight, the Jets reshaped their linebacker corps for new defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, adding Mosley and Anthony Barr, who have eight Pro Bowl appearances between them. The total cost will be approximately $32 million per year.

The Jets envision Mosley, 26, as an inside linebacker in their 3-4 scheme and the leader of the front seven. They now have five starting-caliber linebackers, with Mosley, Avery Williamson and Darron Lee inside and Barr and Jordan Jenkins outside. Williamson’s $6 million salary is fully guaranteed, so he likely will remain as Mosley’s inside partner.
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Mosley was the leading tackler for the NFL’s top-ranked defense and was the Baltimore Ravens’ most high-profile free agent this offseason. He is one of two players, along with Carolina’s Luke Kuechly, to record at least 500 tackles, eight sacks and eight interceptions since 2014.

A first-round pick (17th overall) in 2014, Mosley has gone to the Pro Bowl in four of his five NFL seasons, which puts him in select company. Seven of the 11 linebackers who were named to Pro Bowls at least four times in five seasons are in the Hall of Fame. Last year, Hall of Famer Ray Lewis called Mosley the best middle linebacker in the game.

This marks the first time in the Ravens’ 23-year history that they have failed to keep a multiple Pro Bowl first-round pick past his rookie deal. Offensive tackle Jonathan Ogden, Lewis, outside linebacker Peter Boulware, cornerback Chris McAlister, tight end Todd Heap, safety Ed Reed, outside linebacker Terrell Suggs and defensive tackle Haloti Ngata all signed second contracts with Baltimore.

In a span of a week, the NFL’s top-ranked defense has now lost its two signal-callers, Mosley and safety Eric Weddle; its most tenured player, Suggs; and linebacker Za’Darius Smith. Mosley, Weddle and Suggs have combined for 460 NFL starts and 17 Pro Bowls.
2019 NFL Free Agency

The biggest knock on Mosley has been his pass coverage, but his interception of Baker Mayfield in the final regular-season game clinched Baltimore’s first playoff berth in four years. Mosley also posted career lows in passing yards allowed (408), yards per reception (9.3) and yards after the catch (190), according to Pro Football Focus.

The Ravens and Mosley both expressed optimism he would remain with the team. Baltimore, however, chose not to use a $15 million franchise tag, allowing Mosley to become a free agent.

With Mosley gone, the Ravens could replace him with Kenny Young, a fourth-round pick from a year ago, or a veteran free agent.

Mosley’s 574 career tackles rank fifth in Ravens history.

Lee, a former first-round pick, faces an uncertain future. He hasn’t met expectations over three years and finished last season with a four-game, substance abuse suspension. He counts only $3.3 million on the cap in the final year of his rookie contract, so he could be traded or released. His $1.8 million salary no longer is guaranteed because the guarantee was voided by the suspension.

One source cautioned that Lee could remain on the Jets roster in a backup role, with Williams finding creative ways to use him.

ESPN’s Jamison Hensley and Rich Cimini contributed to this report.

Joe Flacco Jersey

Though he was one of the first to learn of the Denver Broncos’ impending trade for quarterback Joe Flacco, Case Keenum had the same reaction as many others.

The Broncos’ incumbent starter said in a podcast posted Thursday that last week’s move, of which general manager John Elway gave him advance notice, “definitely shocked” him.

“Elway called me that morning and we had a great conversation, which he didn’t have to do. I appreciated that,” Keenum said on The Sports Spectrum with his wife, Kimberly. “I was definitely shocked. It was a surprise for us. … But for us, we’re definitely disappointed. It’s not something we wanted to happen. I know everybody is doing their job, and John feels like it was a chance to help the Broncos out.”

Keenum, 31, signed a two-year contract with the Broncos last spring and threw for 3,890 yards, 18 touchdowns and 15 interceptions as Denver mounted just a 6-10 record in 2018. But last Wednesday, the Broncos agreed to acquire the veteran Flacco from the Baltimore Ravens in a move that cannot become official until the start of the new league year on March 13.

With Flacco poised to take over as starter, Keenum’s standing for next season is uncertain. An NFL Network report said Denver plans to shop him in a possible trade. But Keenum is set to count $21 million against the Broncos’ cap next season, and he could be a candidate to be released.

“You know, really, it’s really open-ended right now,” Keenum said of his future. “We don’t know what’s going to happen, there’s still a lot up in the air. This is really fresh. So a lot of these emotions that we’re talking about are still kind of going on, still happening. So who knows what’s going to be in store? I don’t for sure, God does. But we’ll be ready for whatever God has in store for us next.”