Tag Archive | "buccaneers"

The Peter Principles (Ch. 3): How close did Angelos come to owning Baltimore’s NFL team?

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The Peter Principles (Ch. 3): How close did Angelos come to owning Baltimore’s NFL team?

Posted on 14 July 2014 by Nestor Aparicio

3. Giving Peter The Ball & Scabs

“I think they are concerned about litigation, but they feel as we do, that no one wants to litigate but one has to sometimes and the chances for success are excellent. I’m confident that Baltimore is the best applicant for an NFL franchise both from a financial and a fan standpoint.”

– Peter Angelos, May 18, 1994 to The Sun regarding Washington Redskins owner Jack Kent Cooke blocking his rights to buying an NFL franchise

 

TO UNDERSTAND BALTIMORE’S INNATE YEARNING for a National Football League team is to understand what the Baltimore Ravens have meant to the town, its sports psyche and the league since returning in 1996. After winning Super Bowls in 2001 and 2013, it’s very hard to fathom that time and space between March 28, 1984 and Nov. 6, 1995 ­– when the town that participated in what became known as The Greatest Game Ever Played in 1958, the place that the Colts of Johnny Unitas, Lenny Moore, Art Donovan, Raymond Berry and Jim Parker roamed on 33rd Street in what was affectionately known as the World’s Largest Outdoor Insane Asylum – was without the NFL.

The Orioles were the toast of Baltimore for sure in the early 1990s but there was always something missing in the Charm City when there weren’t NFL games on those 12 seasons of Sundays in the fall. After a decade of high-speed pursuits by the state of Maryland, Mayor of Baltimore and then Governor William Donald Schaefer, the Maryland Stadium Authority and several bidders in 1993, the city was repeatedly turned down in the expansion process. By the time Angelos had purchased the Orioles, the NFL had found itself in a precarious situation with Baltimore sitting empty and several suitors working every angle possible to steal an existing team and essentially steal another city’s team the way the Colts were stolen off in the middle of the night in 1984 by owner Robert Irsay. And Washington Redskins owner Jack Kent Cooke had tried every possible way to keep Baltimore from ever having a team again and once attempted to get a stadium built in Laurel to ensure it. Schaefer blocked Cooke and then rallied support for civic monies to be held to fund a Baltimore football stadium at Camden Yards if the NFL granted the city a franchise.

Despite all of the efforts of Schaefer and his steward Herb Belgrad, it didn’t work. In early 1995, the city of Baltimore was considered to be further away than ever in a search for a return to the NFL now that a pair of expansion teams had gone to Jacksonville and Charlotte and it was clear St. Louis was in the final stages of swiping the Rams from Los Angeles.

It was a dirty business, this franchise ownership, league gamesmanship, civic hostage taking of teams and the politics of modern sports. But Baltimore and Maryland were a unique player in the revolving door of NFL cities vying for the theft of teams from other markets where old stadia were failing to lure more revenue or ownerships were dissatisfied and looking for a bigger, better deal – led of course by Irsay’s decision to leave the land of pleasant living a decade earlier and the machinations of Al Davis in California with the Raiders.

Because of what the Orioles meant to the area and the success of the downtown revitalization spurred by the facility, Baltimore, Maryland had real money in the state coffers to fund a new stadium in the parking lot adjacent to the baseball stadium at Camden Yards. The area had always been earmarked as the site of a potential NFL team but the only problem was finding one of the existing 30 teams to find the deal too $weet to pass up. There was a lot of money to be made on an NFL franchise in Baltimore and the thought was that with many municipalities hard-lining NFL owners on the stadium issue on behalf of local taxpayers, it was only a matter of time before someone moved a team to the former home of the Colts. The insiders knew just how much money and how rich the Baltimore deal was for an owner who wanted to flee but the media and local fans were very skeptical after a decade of operating in the fog of having lost the Colts.

Once again, Angelos went into his office in Baltimore and tried to don the cape as a civic hero, flying in to save the day and bring the NFL back to his hometown.

But there were several other suitors pushing to be the winner in this grab for a football team in 1994.

Leonard “Boogie” Weinglass left Angelos’ partnership before it ever really began in September 1993 – he never invested in the team after being the original local person who was interested in the club when Eli Jacobs put it up for sale. At the time he said it was in an effort to pursue an NFL team that he hoped to call the Bombers, paying homage to the World War II planes that were built in Eastern Baltimore County at Martin Marietta.

Malcolm Glazer and his sons Bryan and Joel had been one of the three failed efforts by Baltimore to win the 1993 NFL expansion process. Now, they had set their sights on buying the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in their home state of Florida, where they lived in Palm Beach.

Baltimore beer distributors Bob Footlick and Bob Pinkner had also partnered with Robert Schulman in an effort to pursue an NFL team.

And, of course, with his August 1993 victory in the New York auction house and his leading man status as the owner of the Orioles, Angelos was funded and motivated to join Miami’s Wayne Huizenga as the second man to own an NFL and MLB franchise simultaneously. There had previously been language to disallow such a local

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Ravens acquire Tampa Bay center Zuttah for 2015 draft pick

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Ravens acquire Tampa Bay center Zuttah for 2015 draft pick

Posted on 23 March 2014 by Luke Jones

The Ravens have addressed another need by upgrading the center position through a trade for Tampa Bay Buccaneers center Jeremy Zuttah.

The deal was announced Sunday as Baltimore will send their 2015 fifth-round draft pick to complete the deal, pending a physical.

“We said at the beginning of the offseason that we would be adding quality players to our line and Jeremy fits that description,” Newsome said in a team statement. “We are getting a player who has started at both center and guard, and played well at each position. We’re excited to have him as a Raven and believe he can play a significant role for us.”

Zuttah has played both center and guard in his six-year career but is expected to become the Ravens’ new starting center after 2012 fourth-round pick Gino Gradkowski struggled in his first year as the replacement to the retired Matt Birk. The Buccaneers had been rumored to be shopping Zuttah as they rework their offensive line under new head coach Lovie Smith and signed free-agent center Evan Dietrich-Smith earlier this month.

He has started 30 games at center, 41 at left guard, and five at right guard but made 15 of his 16 starts at center last season. According to Pro Football Focus, Zuttah was the league’s 22nd-ranked center while Gradkowski was rated 35th in 2013. The Ravens are expected to award the 6-foot-4, 308-pound Zuttah with a long-term deal after he was originally signed through the 2015 season in Tampa Bay and was set to carry a $4.5 million cap number — all in base salary — in 2014.

The 27-year-old was a third-round selection out of Rutgers in the 2008 draft and has started 76 of 90 games in his NFL career. He was a college teammate of Ravens running back Ray Rice.

With the acquisition of Zuttah, the Ravens now have four of their five projected offensive line spots set for 2014 with only left guard or right tackle remaining as a question mark. Third-year lineman Kelechi Osemele is expected to man one of those spots as he returns from season-ending back surgery.

The Ravens have now used three draft picks in trying to find the heir apparent to Birk as they also dealt a seventh-round pick to Indianapolis for A.Q. Shipley in addition to spending a 2012 selection on Gradkowski and trading a 2015 pick for Zuttah. Baltimore also used a 2013 sixth-round pick on Colorado State-Pueblo product Ryan Jensen, who is regarded as an intriguing interior-line project to monitor in the preseason after he was injured for a large portion of his rookie year.

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Ravens-Buccaneers inactives

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Ravens-Buccaneers inactives

Posted on 08 August 2013 by Luke Jones

(This blog brought to you by Atlantic Remodeling. Visit www.atlanticremodeling.com to learn about their Red Cent Guarantee!)

Set to take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in their 2013 preseason opener, the Ravens announced prior to Thursday’s game that they’ll be without a number of players as expected.

Though not required to release an inactives list in the preseason, the Ravens listed the following players as unavailable for Thursday night:

TE Ed Dickson
CB Lardarius Webb
WR David Reed
S Omar Brown
CB Chris Johnson
G Marshal Yanda
LB Jameel McClain

Though the Ravens did not officially list the following players as inactive, defensive end Kapron Lewis-Moore (knee), tight end Dennis Pitta (hip), and rookie offensive lineman Ryan Jensen (foot) obviously won’t play as they recover from long-term injuries. Lewis-Moore remains on the non-football injury list, but Pitta and Jensen remain on the 90-man preseason roster for now.

Among the players who are sidelined for the first preseason game, none came as any surprise as cornerback Lardarius Webb was the only one to take part in all practices this week as he continues to work his way back to full speed following last season’s ACL injury. Though coach John Harbaugh has said there’s a good chance that Webb will be able to play in some in the preseason, he was fully expected to be held out of Thursday’s game since he has yet to take part in 11-on-11 contact drills during training camp practices.

The Ravens will wear their purple jerseys and white pants for Thursday’s game

Tampa Bay listed the following players as inactive: CB Darrelle Revis, G Davin Joseph, G Carl Nicks, DE Adrian Clayborn, and K Lawrence Tynes. Revis is being handled in a similar fashion to Webb as the Buccaneers are working him back slowly from an ACL injury.

Follow WNST on Twitter throughout the evening as the WNST.net crew will provide live thoughts and analysis on the happenings from Raymond James Stadium.

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 06 August 2013 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: MLS-DC United @ Philadelphia Union (Saturday 8pm from Chester, PA live on NBC Sports Network); MLL: Charlotte Hounds @ Chesapeake Bayhawks (Saturday 7pm from Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium live on ESPN3.com); WNBA: Connecticut Sun @ Washington Mystics (Sunday 4pm from Verizon Center live on NBA TV/Monumental Network)

10. Justin Timberlake/Jay-Z (Thursday 7pm M&T Bank Stadium); Peter Frampton/B.B. King/Sonny Landreth (Thursday 7pm Pier Six Pavilion), Dark Star Orchestra/The Bridge (Saturday 6pm Pier Six Pavilion), Slightly Stoopid/Atmosphere (Sunday 6:30pm Pier Six Pavilion); Keith Urban (Thursday 5:30pm Merriweather Post Pavilion), The Killers (Saturday 6:30pm Merriweather Post Pavilion); American Idol Live (Friday 7:30pm Patriot Center); Matchbox Twenty/Goo Goo Dolls (Saturday 7pm Jiffy Lube Live); Under The Sun feat. Gin Blossoms/Sugar Ray/Smash Mouth/Vertical Horizon/Fastball (Tuesday 7pm Wolf Trap), Don McLean (Friday 8pm Wolf Trap); Matt and Kim (Friday 8pm Power Plant Live); Jason Isbell (Sunday 8pm Baltimore Soundstage); Todd Rundgren (Monday 8pm Rams Head on Stage); Angie Stone (Friday 8pm & 10:30pm Howard Theatre); Jimmy Eat World (Sunday 7pm 9:30 Club); Star & Micey (Saturday 9:30pm Hill Country Barbecue); The Civil Wars “The Civil Wars” available in stores/on iTunes (Tuesday)

I just found out I’m free Thursday night. So you know, if you have an extra ticket.

I should be ashamed of how much I enjoy Keith Urban. But since we already established I’m free Thursday night, I will also accept tickets to this.

I saw The Killers at Merriweather after Hot Fuss came out. They had three songs that had been on the radio at that point. The place was a mob scene and was whipped into a frenzy when they proclaimed they had soul.

There’s a new Civil Wars record out today. Act accordingly.

9. Havre de Grace Seafood Festival (Friday-Sunday Downtown Havre de Grace); Howard County Fair (Tuesday-Saturday Howard County Fairgrounds); The Gathering: Food Truck Rally (Friday 5pm Baltimore Museum of Industry); We’re The Millers (Wednesday) and “Elysium (Friday) out in theaters; Oblivion“, “Mud” and “Community Season 4” available on Blu-Ray/DVD (Tuesday)

I’m sure their seafood festival is nice and all, but it’s not as good as The Clark Family’s annual seafood festival. No chance.

And reminder…the movie where Jennifer Anniston looks like this comes out this week.

(Continued on Page 2…)

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The 15-7-0 is made up of 60% water, 40% leftover turkey and cranberry relish

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The 15-7-0 is made up of 60% water, 40% leftover turkey and cranberry relish

Posted on 26 November 2012 by Glenn Clark

As always, this week’s 15-7-0 is brought to you by Roofing By Elite. Visit them at roofingbyelite.com. We make 15 observations about football that are ELITE, 7 that are “not so ELITE” and one “zero” who deserves to sleep on the roof from outside of football.

(As a reminder, we don’t do Baltimore Ravens game analysis here. We do PLENTY of that elsewhere. This is about the rest of the world of football.)

Here we go.

“The Elite 15″…

1. I have to assume that at this point they don’t need to keep trying to wake up the echoes in South Bend.

Remember when the Trojans were down two scores late and went for it on 4th down anyway? I bet that worked out well…

I can’t tell if Fighting Irish LB (and likely Heisman Trophy finalist) Manti Te’o was excited about the win, though…

Also, what do you think Lane Kiffin was thinking here…

Of course, the Trojans are NEVER losers…

2. Now that Jay Cutler has returned to save the Chicago Bears’ season, we can all get back to talking about how much Jay Cutler sucks.

He’s unlikeable, but he’s a hell of a QB…

Back to that “unlikeable” thing. Ask AJ Jefferson…

J’Marcus Webb might disagree though…

3. Jesus. Weren’t the Bengals just completely dead a couple weeks ago?

Mohamed Sanu had a busy day (on my fantasy football bench)…

Credit to NFL Red Zone’s Scott Hanson-who saw Raiders DL Tommy Kelly in a fight and IMMEDIATELY noticed he was a doppelganger for Suge Knight…

4. There might be a LITTLE bit of drama headed to New York this year, but I’m pretty confident Johnny Manziel has locked up the Heisman Trophy.

His big game Saturday against Missouri happened AFTER Johnny Football overcame this troublesome looking injury…

Manziel will finally speak to the media for the first time Monday. He’ll have to play catch up to the all out blitz the Irish have gone through with Te’o…

5. Now Alabama plays Georgia next week for the right to be favored to win the BCS Championship Game.

Georgia’s Alec Ogletree prepared for the SEC Championship showdown by going all Kurt Angle on Georgia Tech…

Elsewhere in the SEC, I give you Jarvis Landry!

(Continued on Page 2…)

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Former Ravens exec Bailey joins new USFL

Posted on 16 May 2012 by WNST Staff

San Diego, Calif. (May 16, 2012) — The United States Football League (USFL) announced today that Jeff Garcia, a four-time Pro Bowl quarterback during his 12-year NFL career, has been named to the USFL’s board of advisors.

Garcia will serve on the player development branch of the USFL’s advisory board. The Rancho Santa Fe, Calif. resident joins Pro Football Hall of Famer Fred Biletnikoff and former NFL and San Diego Chargers executive Jim Steeg – Chairman of the USFL board of advisors – along with former Cleveland Browns/Baltimore Ravens executive vice president James Bailey and sports consultant/coach Terrell Jones on the board.

“We are thrilled to have Jeff involved and to be able to tap into his knowledge and experience in the professional football world as we look forward to re-launching the USFL in 2013,” USFL President and Chief Executive Officer Jaime Cuadra said. “Jeff’s extensive background and networks with professional football players will undoubtedly help carry out the USFL’s mission of helping our players live successfully and responsibly as positive citizens on and off the field.”

The USFL is planning to field eight teams for its inaugural 14-game season in 2013, kicking off in March and concluding with a championship game in June. The league has targeted a number of U.S. cities for franchises.

The USFL’s board of advisors will be responsible for guiding and advising USFL management on various areas of operations and, eventually, focus on identifying candidates and selecting the league’s commissioner.

Garcia began his NFL stint with the San Francisco 49ers in 1999 and went on to play with the Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions, Philadelphia Eagles, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Oakland Raiders and Houston Texans. He led the Canadian Football League’s Calgary Stampeders to the 1998 Grey Cup championship and was named the game’s Most Valuable Player, providing his springboard to the NFL.

Garcia, retired from football, is the owner of Beyond Wealth Sports, a company representing professional athletes on and off the field. It is focused on mentoring athletes and helping them prepare for the transition from sports to secondary careers. Garcia’s business practice is directly in line with the USFL’s long-term goals for its players.

The USFL is designed to allow players not drafted by the NFL, or those that have been released by NFL teams, an opportunity to play professional football under the same rules as the NFL. In order to maintain financial responsibility and sustainability, the USFL will structure itself under a single-entity business model. All player and coach contracts will be owned by the USFL, and each team owner will be a member operator of the league.  

The USFL intends to create a working relationship with the NFL by allowing access to its players and personnel. This relationship will be one of respect and collaboration, but the USFL will operate independently with a focus on developing its players and creating the best fan experience possible.

The USFL will also endeavor to prepare players for life after playing football by providing mentorship and counsel to expand the athletes’ awareness of opportunities inside and, especially, outside of football.  Additionally, the USFL wishes to enhance the fan experience by providing greater access to its players and employing technology to enhance the viewing experience for its fans.

Biletnikoff was a six-time All-Pro wide receiver who totaled 589 receptions for 8,974 yards and 76 touchdowns during his 14-year NFL career with the Raiders. He began his professional coaching career in the original USFL, coaching with the Oakland Invaders and the Arizona Wranglers.

Steeg is a 35-year veteran as an NFL executive and the former COO of the San Diego Chargers. Prior to joining the Chargers, Steeg was instrumental in the growth of the NFL’s Super Bowl, having worked for the NFL for 26 years, where he was Senior Vice President of Special Events.

Bailey was responsible for the management of all business, financial and legal operations in his 21-year tenure with the Cleveland Browns/Baltimore Ravens franchise. He facilitated and oversaw the relocation of the franchise to Baltimore.

Jones, CEO and founder of TJones Group, LLC, has been involved in professional sports as a coach and consultant for more than 16 years. He has worked with the NFL, Major League Baseball and the National Hockey League. Jones has successfully negotiated endorsement deals for his clients as well as sponsorship deals with major corporations, and will consult with the USFL on its business operations.

About The United States Football League

The United States Football League, LLC, a Delaware LLC, is a professional spring outdoor football league owned by EndZone Sports Management and is headquartered in San Diego, Calif. Jaime Cuadra is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the USFL. The USFL’s vision is provide a high-level competitive environment to help develop players for the National Football League, while preparing its players for succeeding as professionals and in life on and off of the field during and after their football careers. While the USFL initially operated from 1983-87, the new USFL plans to debut in the spring of 2013 by fielding eight teams nationwide to play a 14-game season, including a four-team playoff tournament, and providing fans with an exciting and innovative brand of football. The USFL plans to adopt all playing rules of the National Football League. For more information on the USFL’s 2013 launch, please visit the USFL online at www.theusfl.net and via social media on Facebook (www.facebook.com/TheUSFL) and on Twitter (@TheUSFL).

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Bucs signee LeGrand offers inspiration for all of football

Posted on 10 May 2012 by WNST Audio

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Broncos SB Odds Improve, Ravens Drop After Start of Free Agency

Posted on 19 March 2012 by WNST Staff

Peyton Manning Odds

Peyton Manning – Total Passing Yards in the 2012 Regular Season? 

Over/Under                    4000    

Peyton Manning – Total TD Passes in the 2012 Regular Season?       

Over/Under                    28½

Peyton Manning – Completion % in the 2012 Regular Season?          

Over/Under                    65%

Peyton Manning – Total Interceptions in the 2012 Regular Season?   

Over/Under                    16½

Peyton Manning – Will his first pass of the season be complete, incomplete, or an Interception?

Complete                      -180     (5/9)

Incomplete                    +150     (3/2)

Interception                   +1000   (10/1)

Peyton Manning – Will he win 2012 NFL MVP?           

Yes                              7/1       

Peyton Manning – Will he win 2012 Comeback Player of the Year?   

Yes                              1/1       

Tim Tebow Odds

Tim Tebow – Which team will he be on for Week 1 of the Regular Season?     

Jacksonville Jaguars                  3/2

Denver Broncos                         7/4

Miami Dolphins                          7/4

New England Patriots                 7/1

Cleveland Browns                       12/1

Tim Tebow – Will he start as a QB in the NFL Week 1 of the Regular Season?          

Yes                  EVEN  

No                    -140     

Broncos Odds

Denver Broncos – Regular Season Wins         

Over                              10        

Will the Denver Broncos play against The New York Giants in the 2013 Super Bowl?           

Yes                              50/1     

Will the Denver Broncos win the AFC?

Yes                              6/1

Will the Denver Broncos win the AFC West?

Yes                              2/3

2013 SUPER BOWL XLVII ODDS  (odds current, 3/19/2012)                  (odds on 2/6/2012)

Green Bay Packers                                13/2                                          6/1

New England Patriots                             15/2                                          7/1

New Orleans Saints                               10/1                                          8/1

Denver Broncos                                     12/1                                          50/1

Houston Texans                                     12/1                                          12/1

San Francisco 49ers                              14/1                                          18/1

Baltimore Ravens                                   15/1                                          14/1

Philadelphia Eagles                                15/1                                          12/1

New York Giants                                    16/1                                          15/1

Pittsburgh Steelers                                18/1                                          12/1

Dallas Cowboys                                     20/1                                          18/1

San Diego Chargers                               22/1                                          16/1

Chicago Bears                                       25/1                                          30/1

Detroit Lions                                          25/1                                          18/1

Atlanta Falcons                                     28/1                                          22/1

New York Jets                                       30/1                                          16/1

Carolina Panthers                                  40/1                                          50/1

Cincinnati Bengals                                 40/1                                          40/1

Miami Dolphins                                      40/1                                          35/1

Seattle Seahawks                                  40/1                                          60/1

Arizona Cardinals                                   50/1                                          30/1

Kansas City Chiefs                                50/1                                          50/1

Oakland Raiders                                    50/1                                          50/1

Tennessee Titans                                   50/1                                          40/1

Washington Redskins                            50/1                                          60/1

Buffalo Bills                                           75/1                                          60/1

St. Louis Rams                                      75/1                                          75/1

Tampa Bay Buccaneers                         75/1                                          75/1

Indianapolis Colts                                   100/1                                        50/1

Jacksonville Jaguars                               100/1                                        100/1

Minnesota Vikings                                 100/1                                        75/1

Cleveland Browns                                   150/1                                        100/1

Courtesy of Bovada, (www.Bovada.lv,  Twitter: @BovadaLV).

“Our Super Bowl odds have been down for a couple weeks until we knew where Peyton would go since this signing would have such a huge impact on every team’s odds.  Denver who we had at 50-1 before we closed the odds have dropped to 12-1 and as I expected the public is taking them regardless as soon as we opened this morning.  We were a bit lucky that Denver came out of nowhere in the Manning Sweepstakes so not too many people bet them at 50-1.”

-Kevin Bradley, Bovada.lv Sportsbook Manager

 

 

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With Grubbs likely to depart, Ravens showing interest in other offensive linemen

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With Grubbs likely to depart, Ravens showing interest in other offensive linemen

Posted on 14 March 2012 by Luke Jones

With Cory Redding and Jarret Johnson signing contracts elsewhere on Wednesday, the next potential departure from the Ravens could be even more painful in left guard Ben Grubbs.

The Pro Bowl lineman visited with New Orleans and took a physical on the second day of free agency. With former Saints left guard Carl Nicks signing a reported five-year, $47.5 million deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers that includes $31 million guaranteed, it could signal the end of the Ravens’ chances of retaining Grubbs.

Nicks’ departure from the Saints opens up a void on the New Orleans offensive line and also shifts Grubbs to the top of the list of available interior linemen. It was already expected that Grubbs would have to take less money in order to remain in Baltimore, but the benchmark set by Nicks’ contract dwarfs any potential offer made by the Ravens.

A number of teams are reportedly in the market for a guard including Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, and Cleveland, so there is likely a suitor to meet agent Pat Dye’s demands for his client.

Not waiting idly for Grubbs to make a decision, general manager Ozzie Newsome and the Ravens will welcome free-agent guard Evan Mathis to town for a visit. The 30-year-old spent the 2011 season with the Philadelphia Eagles after three seasons with Cincinnati, making him quite familiar with the AFC North.

“I got to see it for myself for a couple years,” Mathis said on AM 1570 WNST on Wednesday. “It was always a challenge playing teams like the Ravens and the Steelers with those really stout [defenses]. It’d be cool to be a part of again. I want to be on a good team and I want to have a chance to compete. I’m a competitor. I want to win a Super Bowl, and I want to play for an organization that has that chance.”

Mathis became a full-time starter for the first time last season after spending his first six seasons primarily as a backup, but he graded out favorably with the Eagles, rating as the best left guard in the NFL in ProFootballFocus.com’s grading system. The 6-foot-5, 302-pound lineman is considered by most as one of the better guards on the open market.

Though older and with less upside than Grubbs, Mathis would represent a solid replacement at a more reasonable cost. A product of the University of Alabama, Mathis was a teammate to Johnson, who signed a four-year contract with the San Diego Chargers on Wednesday.

That means Newsome — also an Alabama alum — is very familiar with the veteran guard.

“I would love to play for a guy like Ozzie,” said Mathis, who revealed Newsome is a family friend. “If I didn’t want to play for him, I wouldn’t be taking the visit. I like what the Ravens do and I like what Ozzie has always done, so I’m taking this visit and seeing how things play out.”

Multiple reports say the Ravens also have interest in former Texans right tackle Eric Winston and will welcome him to Owings Mills for a visit. The 28-year-old Winston was surprisingly cut earlier this week after six seasons in Houston.

Putting aside the price tag that the talented Winston would demand, his potential addition is an interesting notion considering current right tackle Michael Oher has two years remaining on the original five-year deal he signed as a rookie.

The Ravens seemingly signaled they didn’t think Oher was cut out for the left tackle position by signing veteran Bryant McKinnie last August, so it’s difficult envisioning Oher moving back to the left side. For what it’s worth, Oher played guard in his first season at Ole Miss, but it’s unclear whether the Ravens would consider moving the 2009 first-round pick to the interior line.

McKinnie has one year remaining on his current contract.

To hear Mathis’ full interview with WNST.net’s Glenn Clark on Wednesday afternoon, click HERE.

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Rice, Suggs In Running For Madden 13 Cover

Posted on 08 March 2012 by WNST Staff

EA SPORTS AND ESPN’S SPORTSNATION KICK OFF MADDEN NFL 13 COVER ATHLETE FAN VOTE

This Year’s Campaign Expands to 64 Players – With Play-In Round Featuring Two Athletes

From Each NFL Team Represented in Head-to-Head Matchups

March 7, 2012 – EA SPORTS™ and ESPN announced today the return of the award-winning Madden NFL Cover Vote campaign, where fans can cast their vote for the next athlete to grace the cover of one of the highest-selling videogame franchises in North America. Last year, nearly 13 million votes were cast through ESPNSportsNation.com and ESPN mobile in both companies’ most successful cross-platform activation. Tenth-seeded Cleveland Browns running back, Peyton Hillis, trucked through the six week competition all the way to the ultimate end zone – the Madden NFL 12 cover.

This year’s competition will incorporate more athletes and more chances to vote as the field has been expanded to 64 NFL players, putting even more control in the hands of the fans. Beginning today through March 21, fans can visit the SportsNation Facebook page to choose among the 64 candidates in a play-in round (each matchup features two players from the same NFL team) to advance to the official 32-player, seeded tournament.  The winners of the play-in round will be unveiled with the official seeded, 32-player bracket on March 21 on ESPN’s “Madden Cover Vote Special” from 5-6p.m. EST.  To ensure their favorite player advances to the next round, fans are encouraged to vote daily and tweet their picks using #MyMaddenCoverVote on Twitter.  Every Wednesday between March 21 and April 25, fans can tune into SportsNation on ESPN2at 5p.m. EST to check out the latest Madden NFL 13 Cover Vote standings.

In addition to the SportsNation Facebook page, fans will be able to vote in the play-in round via the open Web through widgets embedded on blogs, websites and more.  Each widget features an individual match-up for each of the 32 total teams in the league.  For the cover vote from March 21-April 25, all voting must be cast at ESPN.com/MaddenVote.

The star-studded list of candidates participating in the play-in round features past Super Bowl winners, perennial Pro Bowlers and some of the most popular players in the NFL including Drew Brees, Arian Foster and Rob Gronkowski. The full list of matchups featured in the play-in round are:

AFC

Ravens Terrell Suggs vs. Ray Rice Jets Mark Sanchez vs. Darrelle Revis
Steelers Troy Polamalu vs. Ben Roethlisberger Bills Stevie Johnson vs. Ryan Fitzpatrick
Browns Joe Thomas vs. Joe Haden Dolphins Reggie Bush vs. Brandon Marshall
Bengals Andy Dalton vs. AJ Green Patriots Wes Welker vs. Rob Gronkowski
Texans Arian Foster vs. Andre Johnson Chargers Phillip Rivers vs. Antonio Gates
Colts Dwight Freeney vs. Robert Mathis Broncos Tim Tebow vs. Von Miller
Jaguars Maurice Jones-Drew vs. Blaine Gabbert Chiefs Dwayne Bowe vs. Derrick Johnson
Titans Jake Locker vs. Chris Johnson Raiders Sebastian Janikowski vs. Shane Lechler

NFC

Bears Jay Cutler vs. Matt Forte Rams Chris Long vs. Brandon Lloyd
Lions Calvin Johnson vs. Matt Stafford 49ers Vernon Davis vs. Patrick Willis
Vikings Percy Harvin vs. Jared Allen Seahawks Marshawn Lynch vs. Earl Thomas
Packers Aaron Rodgers vs. Clay Matthews Cardinals Larry Fitzgerald vs. Patrick Peterson
Falcons Matt Ryan vs. Julio Jones Eagles Michael Vick vs. LeSean McCoy
Saints Drew Brees vs. Jimmy Graham Giants Victor Cruz vs. Jason Pierre-Paul
Panthers Cam Newton vs. Steve Smith Cowboys Jason Witten vs. DeMarcus Ware
Buccaneers Josh Freeman vs. LeGarrette Blount Redskins Brian Orakpo vs. Ryan Kerrigan

The Madden NFL 13 cover vote marks the third-consecutive year that EA SPORTS has asked fans to help shape the face of the Madden NFL franchise through a cover athlete voting campaign.  It also marks the second year of its collaboration with ESPN’s SportsNation.

Madden NFL 13 is developed in Orlando, Florida by EA Tiburon.  For more information about Madden NFL 13, please visit: http://www.ea.com/madden-nfl. To download assets pertaining to the Madden NFL 13 please visit http://maddennfl13.newslinevine.com.

All player participation has been facilitated by National Football League Players Incorporated, the licensing and marketing subsidiary of the NFL Players Association.

EA SPORTS™ is one of the leading sports entertainment brands in the world, with top-selling videogame franchises, award-winning interactive technology, global videogame competitions and breakthrough digital experiences. EA SPORTS delivers experiences that ignite the emotions of sport through industry-leading sports simulation videogames, including Madden NFL football, FIFA Soccer, NHL® hockey, NBA basketball, NCAA® Football, Fight Night boxing, EA SPORTS MMA and Tiger Woods PGA TOUR® golf, and EA SPORTS Active.

For more information about EA SPORTS, including news, video, blogs, forums and game apps, please visit www.easports.com to connect, share and compete.

About Electronic Arts

Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:EA) is a global leader in digital interactive entertainment. The Company’s game franchises are offered as both packaged goods products and online services delivered through Internet-connected consoles, personal computers, mobile phones and tablets. EA has more than 100 million registered players and operates in 75 countries.

In fiscal 2011, EA posted GAAP net revenue of $3.6 billion. Headquartered in Redwood City, California, EA is recognized for critically acclaimed, high-quality blockbuster franchises such as The Sims™, Madden NFL, FIFA Soccer, Need for Speed™, Battlefield™, and Mass Effect™. More information about EA is available at http://info.ea.com.

EA SPORTS, EA SPORTS Active, The Sims and Need for Speed are trademarks of Electronic Arts Inc. Mass Effect is a trademark of EA International (Studio and Publishing) Ltd.  Battlefield is a trademark of EA Digital Illusions CE AB.  John Madden, NFL, FIFA, NHL, NBA, NCAA, Tiger Woods, and PGA TOUR are trademarks of their respective owners and used with permission.  Twitter is a registered trademark of Twitter, Inc.  All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Officially Licensed Product of National Football League Players Incorporated.

About SportsNation

SportsNation is a live sports television show born from the Internet, fueled by fan interaction and focused on fun.  The show, which has the youngest and most male audience on the ESPN network, features discussions of the day’s hottest sports topics but also smaller stories that generate buzz on the Web but are overlooked by other shows.  Feeding off the theory that if two heads are better than one, 200,000 heads are better than two, SportsNation engages hundreds of thousands of sports fans across the country via ESPN.com’s SportsNation page (http://espn.go.com/sportsnation/).

About ESPN Games and EA

ESPN’s long-standing relationship with EA produces deep brand integrations into console gaming titles such as EA SPORTS NCAA Football 12 and Fight Night Champion.  Additionally, the relationship in 2011 produced the biggest ESPN poll vote ever for the Madden NFL 12 cover vote, logging nearly 13 million votes, the most ESPN votes ever for a joint collaboration.  The Emmy award-winning EA Virtual Playbook also most recently extended to boxing and golf in 2011.

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PLAY-IN ROUND VOTING THRU FACEBOOK & OPEN WEB

Thanks for your interest in SportsNation’s Madden NFL 13 Cover Vote.

EA Sports and ESPN’s SportsNation have chosen two players from each NFL team to be included in a social play-in round for the Madden NFL 13 cover.

Starting March 7th on SportsNation’s Facebook page and on voting matchups called ‘sapplets’ or ‘widgets’ embedded across open web (info below), fans will be able to vote on matchups from each NFL team to send one representative into the final bracket of 32 players at ESPN.com/MaddenVote on March 21st.

If you choose to embed one of the 32 individual voting ‘sapplets’, you can use the next page that includes all 32 embed codes for all 32 NFL teams. They post to your site much like a YouTube clip and can increase time spent on your site as well as traffic by generating debate about matchups.

The social Play-in vote launches on Wednesday, March 7th and closes two week later on Wednesday, March 21st. The Facebook tab and voting ‘sapplets’ will be live during those two weeks.

CHEAT SHEET:

WAY TO EMBED:

  • Go to page 2. Find your team.
  • Copy the embed code.
  • Paste the embed code onto your website where you would embed a YouTube clip.
  • The voting platform is ready and interactive on your page!
  • Please Note: do NOT embed on Tumblr and do NOT change the height & width

Canvas

NEW embed Code

49ers Vote

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Chiefs Vote

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Broncos Vote

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Chargers Vote

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Raiders Vote

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Cardinals Vote

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Rams Vote

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Seahawks Vote

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Dolphins Vote

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Jets Vote

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Bills Vote

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Patriots Vote

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Giants Vote

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Redskins Vote

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Eagles Vote

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Cowboys Vote

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Texans Vote

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Colts Vote

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Titans Vote

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Jaguars Vote

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Falcons Vote

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Panthers Vote

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Buccaneers Vote

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Saints Vote

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Browns Vote

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Ravens Vote

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Bengals Vote

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Steelers Vote

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Vikings Vote

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Lions Vote

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Bears Vote

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Packers Vote

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