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Birk center of Ravens attention

Posted on 03 March 2009 by caseywillett

Matt Birk looks like he could be very close to becoming a member of the Baltimore Ravens this afternoon. Birk has spent the afternoon visiting with the Ravens at their facility. Birk was a name that I had heard mentioned with the Ravens going back to last Friday when free agency began and it was apparent that Jason Brown was leaving town.

The Ravens have dealt with Birk’s agent before, as he is represented by the same agent as Joe Flacco.

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Tuesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 03 March 2009 by Glenn Clark

Maryland 84, Wake 78

I don’t usually pick the Terps to beat better teams; but after talking to a lot of people who are indifferent to the team; something tells me they will win this one. They’re going to struggle with Wake’s size; but if it comes down to a battle of “Greivis vs. Teague”, I think Vasquez carries the Terps at home. I also just don’t see the Terps dropping back to back games at Comcast Center in the same season

Let’s see what everyone else has to say……

Best of Monday’s WNST Blogs:

Drew Forrester thinks 52 should be in Baltimore right now

Drew Forrester thinks another team will jump into Ray Lewis fray

Rex Snider says start to Birds’ season ‘brutal’

Glenn Clark thinks Prisbell right to say Post story didn’t find violations

Drew Forrester says despite relationship with Under Armour; Gary didn’t commit violation with Stephenson

Nestor Aparicio says loss of Dew Tour will hurt city economically

Casey Willett wonders whether Roberts, Alomar best 2B in Orioles history

Todd Helmick says Terps have serious ‘reloading’ to do in Spring

Nestor Aparicio says Tribute to Dads coming Thursday

Ed Frankovic thinks Caps need to be busy before Trade Deadline


The Official Site’s Spencer Fordin says Murphy hits 2 run homer to lift Birds past Red Sox

The Official Site provides numerical evidence of win

The Official Site’s Spencer Fordin says Bergesen could pitch his way into rotation due to injuries

The Official Site’s Spencer Fordin says Birds not ‘discouraged’ by arm injuries

The Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec says Bergesen’s ability to ‘throw strikes’ has him turning heads

The Sun’s Peter Schmuck says ‘no structural problems’ found with Hill’s elbow

The Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec says Birds to play 7 inning intrasquad game today with Baez, Penn, Sherrill all pitching

The Sun’s Peter Schmuck says O’s don’t want to rush young pitchers

The Sun’s Dean Jones Jr. expects Ryan Adams to stay in Frederick

The Sun’s Dean Jones Jr. says Waters struggled in relief despite being credited with win over BoSox

The Sun’s Peter Schmuck says Hill will have to have fluid removed from elbow

The Sun’s Peter Schmuck says Wilfredo Perez gets save in win over Boston

The Sun’s Peter Schmuck says Eaton scheduled to arrive at Spring Training today

Carroll County Times’ Rich Dubroff says Trembley thinks Matusz has ‘tool box full of talent’

The AP says Albers’ arm injury amongst reasons he thinks he should be starter

The AP says Birds couldn’t solve Masterson early

ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark says Guthrie will get first Team USA start Thursday vs. Phillies


The Official Site’s Mike Duffy says Brown had ‘hoped to stay’ in Baltimore

The Sun’s Jamison Hensley says Ravens ‘cool off’ on Marvel Smith

The Sun’s Jamison Hensley says Marques Douglas could still return to Ravens

The Sun’s Ken Murray says Bart Scott didn’t ‘shop’ Jets deal with Ravens last week

Examiner Steve DeClue thinks Ravens should ‘lower’ offer to 52

Carroll County Times’ Aaron Wilson says former NFL QB Theismann doesn’t think 52 has many ‘options’

ESPN.com’s James Walker says Ravens will have one of AFC’s ‘fastest secondaries’

ESPN.com’s James Walker says Ravens, 52 ‘best option’ for each other

ESPN.com’s James Walker says other AFC North teams should be happy to see Bart Scott gone

Fox Sports’ John Czarnecki says Foxworth signing shows Ravens’ ‘desperation’

NFL Network’s Charles Davis mocks Beckwith to Ravens

NFL.com’s Vic Carucci says Scott most important piece to Ryan’s “Raven-ization” of Jets

National Football Post’s Wes Bunting mocks Laurinaitis to Ravens


Wake Forest Official Site previews tonight’s trip to Maryland

Wake Forest Official Site offers complete Deacs-Terps release (pdf)

The Sun’s Jeff Barker says NCAA Tournament hopes ‘loom large’ for Terps

The Sun’s Jeff Barker says Gregory has fond memories of watching Terps in NCAA Tournament

The Sun’s Jeff Barker says Neal will be only player honored with Senior Night tonight

The Sun’s Matt Bracken says Terps staff plans to make more visits to see Stephenson, Padgett

The Diamondback’s Mark Selig says Neal represents ‘everyman’

Washington Post’s Steve Yanda says size could be issue again tonight for Terps against Wake

Washington Post’s Dan Steinberg again thinks Terps best team in MD/DC/VA region

Washington Post’s Steve Yanda scouts Wake Forest

Washington Post’s Eric Prisbell says Under Armour releases statement defending relationships with athletes

Washington Post’s Steve Yanda says Terps showed ‘emotion’ in win over NC State

Washington Post’s Eric Prisbell says Stephenson story more about Under Armour than Maryland

Washington Post’s Steve Yanda says Sidney Lowe thinks Vasquez ‘clever’

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says Neal has made ‘mark’ in senior season

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says Terps have similar resume to Florida

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens thinks Terps 3th best team in country

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens has Terps IN

ESPN.com’s Joe Lunardi has Terps OUT

SI’s Andy Glockner has Terps IN

Sporting News’ Ryan Fagan has Terps OUT

Terrapin Times’ Dan Painter talks to Mt. St. Joseph coach Clatchey about prospect Eric Atkins, former MSJ star Gregory (must subscribe)

Scout.com’s Evan Daniels says Calvert Hall prospect/Ernie Graham son Jonathan has ‘options’ (must subscribe)


The Official Site says Coleman named ACC Player of the Week again

The Sun says Toliver, Coleman named All-ACC

Washington Post’s Camille Powell says Toliver gets first All-ACC 1st team nod after 3 years on the All-ACC 2nd team


ESPN.com’s Heather Dinich says Terps will have to replace Egekeze’s scoring

ESPN.com’s Heather Dinich says Torrey Smith could be breakout WR in ACC

College Football News’ Pete Fiutak thinks Maryland-Cal 25th best nonconference game of ‘09

Terrapin Times’ Mark Clem says VA prospect headed to campus (must subscribe)


The Diamondback’s Michael Katz says continued success at “X” could lift Jeff Reynolds to Tewaaraton Watch list

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens has Terps 5th in bracket


Inside Lacrosse says Wimer Player of the Week

Inside Lacrosse’s Terry Foy says Wimer 3rd on Player of the Year watch list


The Official Site previews today’s trip to UMBC

Inside Lacrosse says Harrison, Peyser, Peyser, Rabil all on tryout list for 2010 U.S. Team


The Official Site previews today’s trip to Siena


The Official Site says Barney named All-MAAC 2nd team; Winbush named to All-Rookie team

The Official Site says Winbush picks up another weekly honor from MAAC


The Official Site previews Thursday night showdown with Coppin State


The Official Site previews Navy’s trip to Mount today


The Official Site says Kina 1st team, Chris Harris 2nd team All-Patriot League

Examiner Tom Flynn says Midshipmen will be 3rd seed in Patriot League Tournament


The Official Site previews home opener with Mids today


The Official Site says Matt Cannone named CAC Player of the Week

The Sun’s Edward Lee says Cannone 2nd consecutive Gull to be honored by CAC


The Official Site says Palace signs Bermuda national team star John Barry Nusum


Daily Racing Form’s Marty McGee says Churchill Downs introduces new safety standards

Thoroughbred Times’ Ron Parker says Old Fashioned still favorite in Triple Crown poll


The Sun’s Childs Walker says Dew Action Sports Tour won’t return to Baltimore in ‘09


-Congratulations to SunTrust Athlete of the Morning Jay Greene. With no local high school games yesterday due to the snow; we decided to have a “College Athlete of the Winter” contest this morning. Drew was in charge of tabulating the voting for the contest; and we KNOW he would never fix the voting in this sort of thing. According to Drew; Greivis Vasquez was 2nd in voting, Reggie Holmes 3rd, Kristi Toliver 4th, and Carlee Cassidy 5th.

Some more score picks…
UMBC 12, Johns Hopkins 10. I think this is a REAL opportunity for UMBC to show that they are the premiere team in Baltimore. The Retrievers have been outstanding early; and despite the Jays’ struggles, I’m not counting them out. This should be a good one on a chilly night in Catonsville.
Loyola 10, Siena 6. I like the Greyhounds MUCH more with Shane Koppens back.
Navy 11, Mount St. Mary’s 4. The Mids will bounce back nicely from a loss to Bucknell; with the Mountaineers not serving as much competition.

Talk to you tomorrow.


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Tuesday Morning's Crab Cakes and Light Beer

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Tuesday Morning’s Crab Cakes and Light Beer

Posted on 03 March 2009 by Chris Bonetti

The Swinging Bunt

Cover Curse?  Everyone has heard about the dreaded magazine or video game cover jinx.  Whether its Sports Illustrated or Madden, if your mug is up on their, watch-out!  One would certainly think that no publication would want this bad rep… so what are they to do?  Multiple covers, of course.  MLB ’09 has done just that, and has issued custom covers for all Major League Clubs for their fans to enjoy.  Newly re-signed second basemen Brian Roberts appears on the Orioles’ cover with beautiful Oriole Park at Camden Yards in the background… let’s all pray he doesn’t have a bad year!

Baez is a criminal!  Blogs by Fans, Spring Training ’09 lists what they believe are the 40 worst contracts signed by active players in Major League Baseball.  The Orioles are only responsible for signing one of these said deals.  In 2006, ’09 roster hopeful Danys Baez, inked a three season $19M contract, which the O’s are $6.33M on the hook for this year.  This one-time Cuban defector should be deported for stealing, seriously.  Newly signed starter Adam Eaton makes the list also, but the three year $24.51M deal he got in ’06 is being paid for mostly by the Philadelphia Phillies.  If those O’s were defending world champions they wouldn’t need their horrible decision trying out for their rotation either.

Oh, those sad, sad Nats.  O’s fans… at least you’re not Nats’ fans.  This has been a very difficult week for the Washington Nationals organization, maybe their most trying since moving from their club from our neighbors to the north to our nation’s capital.  While the team remains in Spring Training preparing for the season, it’s been off-field issues that have gotten negative national attention from poor decisions the front office has made.  These choices have led to a tremendously disappointed fan-base, and under great scrutiny GM Jim Bowden resigned yesterday.  The worst of their moves?  … some say its the scamming of Latin ball-players… I’ll mention the questionable move to have this thing is their mascot.  What is that?

Scanning the Blogosphere

SI.com Photos sections has the top 8 college basketball games to end the regular season in pictures.  #7 features tonight’s game at Comcast Center, Wake Forest-Maryland.  The photo for the game is Greivis driving right for a lay-up earlier this season against Miami.

Pro Football Talks has new St. Louis Ram and ex-Raven, Jason Brown’s ‘not exactly complementary’ comments on former teammate Kyle Boller.  I’m sure being called “gun shy” is exactly what Boller needs when he himself is looking for a contract as a free agent, as well.

The Sporting Muse lists the most intimidating players in all of sports history by each sport.  Two players who have played (or maybe still do) in Baltimore make the cut.  Ray Lewis was recognized in the NFL, the other may surprise you… former Oriole flop Albert Belle made baseball’s list.

Pro Football 24×7 explain that “Bart Scott’s agent dupes Jets GM.” Ozzie doesn’t get duped by anyone!

Scout.com says in their latest 2 round mock draft says the Ravens will take USC OLB Clay Matthews and Jairus Byrd,  a corner from Oregon.

Blogs by Fans, Spring Training ’09 previews the O’s projected Opening Day roster and gives insight into the team’s key roster battles.

Busted Coverage:  The latest from our favorite dumb ass liquored up kicker, Steeler Jeff Reed… it includes puking and signing women’s private areas.  Shocker.

CMS Video of the Morning

The newly launched MLB Network is looking at every team in their “30 Teams in 30 Days” season preview.  Here’s a link to the Baltimore Orioles edition, which aired February 27th.

Also, as the Loyola beat-writer here at this fine station, I would be remiss not to alert everyone to the fact that I have posted the video I shot from Rider’s buzzer-beating victory over the ‘Hounds last week on Senior Night at Reitz Arena. Painful for any fan of the Green and Grey.

The Morning’s Final Thought

The Baltimore Orioles as an organization have their problems.  Breaking news for every, I know.  Everyone knows they take a lot of grief, and overwhelmingly deserved at times, from fans, and media alike… heck, I’d say if you’re listener to WNST, you’ve heard all about it.

In order to regain the trust of the town, the baseball team needs to really make a concerted effort to reach out to rebuild burned bridges.  Being present doing good things in the community is probably the quickest way back to good graces, but lowering ticket prices is a nice start as well.

Here’s the latest updates on the Orioles’ 2009 Birdland Stimulus Package.

It’s really important for the club to focus on fans that are my age and lower.  I’m 23 and personally, with the exception of a few occasions, during my 5 years in Baltimore… I’ve only been to ball games on Tuesday and Friday nights because of those ‘special’ nights.

It’s a Charles Street length road to travel to get the whole way back to being the biggest game in town… but at least they’re maybe getting past the crawling stage.

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Monday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 02 March 2009 by Glenn Clark

I wrote a lot yesterday. Please read that. And enjoy the snow!

Let’s see what everyone has to say…..

Best of Sunday’s WNST Blogs:

Drew Forrester says 52 may have been better off not talking

Nestor Aparicio thinks Post out to get Gary

Thyrl Nelson thinks Ravens should consider trading Suggs

Glenn Clark says Terps did ‘just enough’ to beat NC State

Thyrl Nelson pokes fun at the Redskins (a concept we can ALL celebrate!)

Casey Willett says Leonhard did not finish deal with Jets, but Ravens aren’t interested

Glenn Clark says Post finds smoke, no fire with Under Armour/Stephenson story

Drew Forrester says O’s get another ‘reclamation project’ in Eaton

Drew Forrester says Ravens would have likely released Rolle had he asked for release or not

Drew Forrester says ‘near sell-out’ crowd sees Greene, Proctor play final game at RAC Arena

Drew Forrester says Hill has injury issues in past

Glenn Clark says St. Frances’ Vinson amongst stars of weekend

Chris Bonetti says Marquis Sullivan scores 14 as Greyhounds beat Iona

Ed Frankovic says Caps beaten by Panthers to end homestand


The Sun’s Mike Preston says Samari Rolle doesn’t feel ‘wanted’, wants out

The Sun’s Jamison Hensley says Ravens believe they have solved CB puzzle with Foxworth signing

The Sun’s Mike Preston says Ravens should pull deal for 52 off table knowing market isn’t there for him

The Sun’s Peter Schmuck wonders why players trying to leave team that appeared to be close knit

Carroll County Times’ Aaron Wilson says Ravens expected to continue talks with Marvel Smith today

ESPN.com’s James Walker says Brown thinks Boller was ‘gun shy’ in Baltimore

ESPN.com’s James Walker says Rolle’s release ‘likely’ to save Ravens $4 million

SI’s Don Banks says 52 ‘overplayed his hand’ in free agency

SI’s Peter King says Rex Ryan took incredible recruiting trip to Bart Scott’s house Thursday night

Sporting News’ Clifton Brown says Ravens ‘not as strong’ as team that reached AFC Championship Game

NFL.com’s Pat Kirwan says Foxworth got big money after not being wanted short time ago


MLB.com’s Bill Ladson says Wieters goes deep as Birds top Nats

The Official Site’s Spencer Fordin says O’s used ‘statistical analysis’, ‘historical trends’ to come up with Roberts’ contract extension

The Official Site’s Spencer Fordin says Hill skips start with ‘stiff left elbow’

The Official Site’s Spencer Fordin says Birds sign Adam Eaton

The Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec says Birds ‘optimistic’ Hill’s injury not serious

The Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec says David Pauley effective starting in place of Hill

The Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec says Bergesen will face Justin Masterson, Red Sox this afternoon

The Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec says Wieters hitting .429 thus far this Spring

The Sun’s Dean Jones Jr. says Justin Turner also added home run in win over Nationals

Examiner Jay Trucker ‘confused’ by Eaton signing

Carroll County Times’ Rich Dubroff says Jim Johnson, Chris Ray, Chris Waters, Wilfredo Perez all also scheduled to pitch today

The AP says Hill would have made start if game had been in regular season

Washington Post’s Cameron Smith says Birds will pay Eaton $400,000 if he makes roster


The Official Site says Pat Healey scores winner as Blast beats La Raza in overtime

The Sun says Cabral passes 900 point mark for career in win at Monterrey


The Official Site says Vasquez scores 33 as Terps beat NC State

NC State Official Site says Smith scored just 7 in 2nd half of loss

The Sun’s Jeff Barker says Terps improve to 7-7 in ACC with win

The Sun’s Jeff Barker says Maryland officials conducting internal review of Stephenson recruitment

The Sun’s Jeff Barker says Terps get little rest before battling Wake Forest Tuesday night

The Sun’s Jeff Barker says Gary wants Bowie to ‘shoot more’

The Sun’s Jeff Barker says Gary relied on Neal for leadership in late stages of win

Examiner Steve DeClue says Vasquez ‘punctuated’ victory with ‘meaningless’ 3 pointer at buzzer

Examiner Dylan Waugh says Vasquez’s floater in final minute was dagger to Wolfpack

The AP says Vasquez added 5 assists in win over Pack

The Diamondback’s Mark Selig says Terps still in NCAA Tournament ‘consideration’ with win at RBC Center

The Diamondback’s Greg Schimmel says Neal played career high 37 minutes in win

Washington Post’s Mike Wise says Gary convinces Terps they’re ‘on the ledge’ again

Washington Post’s Steve Yanda says Tracy Smith lead Wolfpack with 19 in loss

Washington Post’s Dan Steinberg doubts Gary happy to see another recruiting story

Washington Post’s Steve Yanda says Wolfpack commit 16 turnovers in loss

Washington Post’s Steve Yanda says Terps had plenty of ‘open looks’ in win

Washington Post’s Steve Yanda says University investigating comments made by Mouton

Washington Post’s Eric Prisbell and Steve Yanda report on relationship between recruit Stephenson, Under Armour, University of Maryland

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says Hayes played 31 minutes without turnover in win

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says Terps win 7 ACC games for 16th straight season

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says Terps have won 5 of last 9; but have looked good during stretch

Charlotte Observer’s Ken Tysiac says Vasquez ‘apologized’ for decision to shoot 3 at buzzer

ESPN.com’s Mark Schlabach says Terps need to win one more this week

ESPN.com’s Andy Katz says Terps need to feed off ‘good vibes’ in Comcast Center Tuesday night

Turtle Sports Report’s Maddie McConnell says Neal chips in 11 to help lift Terps


The Official Site says Terps clinch ACC regular season title with win at Miami

The AP says Coleman scored 17, grabbed 16 boards in the Terps’ win over ‘Canes

The Diamondback’s Aaron Kraut says Strickland added 17 in win

Washington Post’s Camille Powell says Terps will open ACC Tournament with NC State/Wake Forest winner


Inside Lacrosse says Terps up to 6th in media poll

Inside Lacrosse’s Quint Kessenich has Terps 5th in own poll

The Sun’s Edward Lee says Brian Farrell missed Duke game with two cracked ribs, fluid in lungs

The Diamondback’s Michael Katz says Jason Carter told Dave Cottle to leave Phipps in for 2nd half of win over Blue Devils

The Diamondback’s Adi Joseph says 17,000+ in attendance at M&T Bank Stadium to see Terps win


The Official Site says Gilliam scores 19 as UMBC beats Albany on Senior Night


Inside Lacrosse says Retrievers up to 6th in coaches poll


The Official Site says Anthony Winbush scores 17 as Loyola beats Iona


The Official Site says Denver gets two goals from Joey Murray in win over Towson


Inside Lacrosse’s Sean Burns says Jays slip almost out of Top 10 after loss to Princeton

The Sun’s Edward Lee says Pietramala wouldn’t blame Gvozden solely for Jays’ poor play in loss to Tigers


The Official Site says Mids open Patriot League Tournament with home game against Colgate Wednesday


-Congratulations to SunTrust Athlete of the Morning Chris Urps. Now a 2 time winner of the Athlete of the Morning award; Chris Urps was nominated by brother Joe Urps. Urps won the 160 pound title for Chesapeake (Anne Arundel County) in the 4A-3A regional wrestling championships.

Talk to you tomorrow.


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What About Stover ???

Posted on 02 March 2009 by Rex Snider

We can all probably agree Matt Stover is not the kicker of yesterday ….. or five years ago.  His presence on the 2008 Baltimore Ravens roster may have been more of a hindrance, than benefit.

Overall, Stover converted 27 of 33 field goal attempts and he proved, once again, to be MONEY inside 30 yards.  By all accounts, he’s a better MAN than player – and he’s a damn good player.  He brings integrity and stature to the organization and he’s devotedly committed to the Baltimore community, from a stewardship perspective.

Yet, in truth, we’re all uneasy about Matt Stover’s leg ….. especially beyond 40 yards.  If he’s lining up for a 45 yard attempt, you’re holding your breath, right?  And, if the prospect of a 50+ yard field goal looms, we’re bound to see Sam Koch trotting onto the field.

I’m not suggesting a team can’t be effective by pinning the opposing offense deep in it’s own territory.  In fact, the Ravens capitalized on many opportunities, in 2008.  Still, it’s tough to compete with the Patriots, Colts and Steelers when we know they’re gonna attempt and probably convert field goal opportunities beyond the 35 yard line.

Given Stover’s limited range, it has also become necessary to carry a “long kicker” on the roster.  Enter Steve Hauschka.  This predicament has certainly impacted John Harbaugh’s decisons on his active roster, each gameday.  Eventually, it’s gonna hurt – maybe it already has …..

I could elaborate further on reasons why Matt Stover might not be a good fit for the 2009 Baltimore Ravens.  No problem here.  But, TELL HIM.

Have you ever been in limbo?  It sucks, huh?  I’ve been there and hated every bit of the ride.  It affects the guy wavering in uncertainty, as well as his family.  Yep, there are actually families connected to the inner workings and personnel decsions of professional sports franchises.

I understand it’s a cruel business.  Players get cut all the time.  In training camp, many “slapdicks” know they’re there to get cut and some get the shock of their lives when the “coach wants to see them ….. and they need to bring their playbook.”  It’s unforgiving.

Yet, Matt Stover isn’t like most guys.  He’s the last remaining member of the team that relocated from Cleveland.  He’s made Baltimore his HOME and he’s given an immeasurable amount of love to the organization and this city.

For once, I’d hope Ozzie Newsome, Steve Bisciotti and their staff would break from any normal “it’s just business” tactics and handle Matt Stover’s situation with some personal and humane regard.  Don’t string the guy along.

If you don’t want him back, tell him.  After all, there was no problem in doing it for Jason Brown.  If you’re not sure whether you want Stover back, tell him.  But, do something.

He’s not just another kicker ….. even if his abilities have lowered his appeal to such a level.

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Terrell Suggs And The Value Question

Posted on 01 March 2009 by Thyrl Nelson

With Free Agent Spending Seemingly Out Of Control, Might Trading Terrell Suggs Before He Reaches Free Agency Be The Ravens Best Option?


The NFL’s version of the World Series of Poker is now into it’s third day, and getting more interesting by the second. The high stakes staring match that we’ve all grown accustomed to seeing each NFL off-season, has to be of interest to Ravens fans, simply because their stake in the game is much higher this time, than in years past.


The “game” of free agency is always an interesting one, because unlike in poker, it’s not always easy to tell who the winners are once everyone gets up from the table. Over at the big table, for example, Albert Haynesworth has already cashed in, and can easily be considered a winner. His counterpart, Daniel Snyder though, got up feeling like a winner too, time will tell whether or not he’s right. It’s also, not exactly clear who else was even sitting at that table, if anyone. And those who walked away without winning Haynesworth’s services may not have actually lost at all. Again, time will tell.


As for the Ravens, not only have they already played out a number of hands, but they still have significant money spread around the floor as well. Wisely, they took Terrell Suggs off the table before the games began, but have already lost a significant portion of their buy in. Losing the services of Jason Brown and Bart Scott will hurt, but keeping money in their pile seemed to be a bigger priority for the club. Still though, the Ravens money pile isn’t looking so hot either.


The Ravens, it seems, can’t afford any seats at the big tables, and by now, most of the big tables have been closed already anyway. They still have a significant stake on the table in the Ray Lewis game, and so far appear to have played their cards masterfully there. Nonetheless, they’ll pretty much have to play that hand out, before deciding how much they are able to play with at the smaller tables.


And even though the team decided not to play any hands at the big table this year, they still have to be concerned with the action that took place there. Everyone has a stake in what happens at the big table. That’s because not only will everyone have to play there eventually, and because the ante there only goes up, never down. It’s also because the ante at the big tables will also be used to determine the price of poker at every other table.


The Ravens, in tagging Suggs, paid big money not to have to sit at the big tables again this year. The Raiders paid ridiculous money to not have to sit there with Nnamdi Asomugha for the next few years. And Ray Lewis, it seems, took a seat at the big tables, but couldn’t find anyone who wanted to play with him at those stakes.


Suggs’ seat at the big tables though, for next year, is all but guaranteed. By failing to sign him to a long-term deal before Asomugha and Haynesworth negotiated their deals, the Ravens probably lost significant bargaining power in the negotiation with T-Sizzle. And as other teams start to look around their own rosters and proactively start wrapping up their own stars to long-term deals, that number could grow even higher.


Certainly the Ray Lewis situation has to be priority number one at this point. But regardless of how that situation plays out, the Ravens may have priced themselves out of the ballgame with Suggs, by waiting too long to get the deal done.


First of all, it’s not just conceivable, but likely that if the Ravens had signed Suggs to a long term deal prior to the start of free agency, rather than tagging him, then he’d have a salary cap number for this year, lower than the $10.1 million or so that he’ll receive under the tag. Doing that would have given them quite a bit more resources going into free agency. What’s done is done though, and where they go from here is what’s most important.


Signing Suggs to a long-term deal still seems to be the best option for the team, and I suspect that as details come out about the structures of these other contracts, the numbers may be a bit more bearable. It’s been reported, for example, that Haynesworth’s deal is essentially a 4-year deal worth $41 million. A huge 2013 roster bonus is the reason for the gaudy $100 million figure, and that bonus will likely never be paid. Still, at $10.1 million per season, Suggs’ cap number is already heavy. If the number goes far beyond that, deciding what to do with him could be tough.


The trade rumors surrounding Suggs have been there before. The fans have most famously entertained the idea of Suggs for Anquan Boldin a number of times, whether or not the front office has ever given much thought to it is another matter altogether though. How much Suggs will ultimately cost is another mystery as well. Because of his hybrid position, even determining Suggs’ franchise number was difficult last year, what he could get on the open market is anyone’s guess. And given what Haynesworth just got, Suggs may be willing to take his chances.


At $10.17 million, Suggs can hardly say he’s underpaid, and will likely sport the highest salary cap number of any linebacker next season. Furthermore, franchising him for a third time would cost the Ravens over $16.5 million next season, that’d make it all but assured that Suggs would get the chance to try his hand on the open market if they don’t get a deal done this season. The fact that Haynesworth was able to negotiate such big money as defensive tackle, and the $16 million plus that Julius Peppers will command under the cap may have the younger and more versatile Suggs content to take that chance.


Replacing Suggs would be difficult to say the least, and the fact that the other 2/3 of the linebacking corps may already be out the door, would seem to make that more and more unlikely. But at potentially $12 million or more per season, against the salary cap, Suggs may have outgrown his price tag on a team that has proven themselves adept at finding and developing versatile and athletic linebackers. And at this point, with a relative bargain of a price, the market for dealing Suggs may never be better.


Ozzie Newsome and the Ravens have proven themselves masterful time and again in the draft, and although never big players in the free agent market, the team has typically done well for themselves there too. The Ravens approach to free agency has usually been to take advantage of the salary cap casualties once the bulk of free agency has played out. This season in particular, the Ravens got big dividends from players like Jim Leonhard, Lorenzo Neal, Willie Anderson and even Frank Walker, all afterthoughts on the free agent market. Some of the cuts likely to come as a result of the big contracts being signed this week, could wind up playing to the Ravens benefit once the dust has settled in free agency.


The question that the Ravens have been trying to answer with regards to Scott, Brown and Lewis this off-season, will be even more difficult where Suggs is concerned. Would the amount of money, that the market has dictated that they’re worth, be better spent by the team in other places? When we’re talking about the kind of money that Suggs will command, you’d think that you could fill a number of holes if you evaluated talent well, and the Ravens certainly do that.


And at this point, trading Suggs would likely get you a handsome return too. On the other hand, if the current collective bargaining agreement is allowed to expire and the salary cap goes away, the whole perspective of things will change again. In baseball, we as fans can get mad at our teams for not spending money, because there’s no real spending limit. In football though, with a salary cap involved, fans have grown much more concerned with value. If that goes away the strategy shifts again.


With the cap situation unresolved, playing your hand too early could be dangerous. You could speculate that some teams are operating this off-season as if they already think that the cap is going. If it does go away, I’d like to keep everyone. But if not, then it’s important to spend wisely. And if not, then other teams, less prepared for the cap’s return, might be forced to re-shift their strategies and expose more of their players to free agency in order to stay compliant. We all know how much that could work to the Ravens’ favor.


What will the smart money do? I suppose only time will tell. But if history is any indicator, the smart money is on the Ravens.









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Grade the Ravens on free agency so far

Posted on 28 February 2009 by caseywillett

Although it has been only been a little over a day and a half since the beginning of free agency, what grade would you give the Ravens so far.

Here are the only things that we know for sure :


Domonique Foxworth


Jason Brown to Rams

Bart Scott to Jets


What grade do you give them at this point?

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Ray Made His Bed — Now He Has To Sleep In It

Posted on 27 February 2009 by Alex Thomas

Nestor brought up a really good point early this afternoon on his show Limited Access sponsored by Royal Farms.

I had been wondering about this all day, and hadn’t had the chance to blog about it until now – Ray Lewis is not garnering the attention he thought he would from potential suitors in the NFL.

Bart Scott has an offer from the Jets, and is in the process of allowing Ozzie Newsome to match the offer. (By the way, good for him…maybe Ray should take a lesson from Bart on how to properly do business in the NFL.)

The Redskins have made Albert Haynesworth a very rich man.

Jason Brown is on a plane to St. Louis.

Domonique Foxworth is signed with the Ravens, which I am very excited about. I think he’s an upgrade over Corey Ivy, and he has a great reputation as a community leader and a positive influence in the NFL.

Fred Taylor is the newest member of the New England Patriots.

Corey Ivy is sitting down with Rex Ryan and Jets brass later today.

Sage Rosenfels has inked a two year deal with the Vikings.

And where’s Ray Lewis? He’s not on a plane. He’s not in an owner’s office. He’s not on the phone with NFL GMs.

He’s sitting at home waiting like the rest of us.

Obviously, there is not a dire need in the league for Ray Lewis’ services, and he obviously thinks much more of himself than other teams do.

And it’s not like teams don’t have money to spend. Tampa Bay just cleared tons of room under the salary cap. The Dolphins also have money to spend.

The Jets used to have money to spend until they jumped on the Bart Scott bandwagon, effectively leaving Ray Lewis out in the cold. In reality, the Jets cannot afford to sign both Scott and Lewis, and the Jets were probably the most logical fit for Ray Lewis considering the ties with Rex Ryan and the need for linebacker help.

I am a huge Ray Lewis fan, and I still hope that he winds up in purple next year, but he has handled the free agency situation all wrong. From start to finish, he has botched every opportunity possible to not only appease his fans in Baltimore, but to do what’s economically right for him.

Now that he’s made his bed, he’ll have to sleep in it. He may leave here with a tarnished reputation because of the crap he’s pulled via the Jamie Dukes interview and the Demarcus Ware story.

And what’s worse, one of Ray’s cronies told Adam Schefter that he no longer wants to play in Baltimore because he is insulted beyond repair. He thinks the Ravens have continually low-balled him, when on the contrary, he’s proverbially ball-tapping himself.

This not only upsets Ravens fans, but it’s detrimental to Ray’s wallet. Other teams are not going to like the way this is all unfolding, and all teams except for the Cowboys tend to shy away from these three-ring circus acts. In case you haven’t heard, Jerry Jones has repeatedly told the media that he is not going to sign big name free agents this off-season.

In my mind, I think he’ll end up coming back to Baltimore for less money than he could have collected in the first place. And he has nobody to blame but himself.

He has left $17 million in guaranteed money on the table in Baltimore, an offer that is very fair for a 34 year old linebacker, and he may never see that dollar amount again.

I think he’ll test the market and find out that teams like the Dolphins are willing to give him something like $12-13 million guaranteed. He’ll come crawling back to Ozzie Newsome and ask for the original offer after struggling to remove his foot from his mouth.

The only problem is, the Ravens won’t offer him that much money after they see his true market value. And truth be told, they probably won’t even be able to afford the original offer anymore. The Ravens will be in the hunt for a strong wide receiver this off-season, and good wide outs don’t come cheap.

As much as I love Ray, I really wish he would have handled this situation better. It would have been better for him, the Baltimore Ravens, and the fans to go to every media outlet and sing the praises of John Harbaugh and Steve Bisciotti. You know, say something like: “I’d love to be a Raven, why would I want to go anywhere else?”

If anything, saying something like that would put all the pressure on the Ravens to re-sign the future Hall of Famer. Instead, Ray has royally ticked off a lot of Baltimoreans, a group of people who by-and-large have had his back throughout all of his off-the-field struggles.

It’s too bad, really. For as intelligent of a football player as Ray Lewis is, he has demonstrated time and time again that he’s not too bright when it comes to business savvy and public relations, and he may seriously regret some of these decisions when it comes time to sign a contract this spring.

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Friday Morning's Crab Cakes and Light Beer

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Friday Morning’s Crab Cakes and Light Beer

Posted on 27 February 2009 by Chris Bonetti

The Swinging Bunt

LaRussa wants O’s pitchers?  Tony LaRussa, the manager of the St. Louis Cardinals, joking quipped yesterday that if Dave Trembley can’t find use for all 37 pitchers in Baltimore camp to send some over to him at Cards camp.  In 1989, George Will called LaRussa a ‘genius’ in “Men at Work” and then in ’05, Buzz Bissinger said so too, in “3 Nights in August.”  If LaRussa were to actually ever see these pitchers who don’t make the opening day roster in Baltimore and still wanted them… I, Chris Bonetti, in ’09 is saying Tony Larussa is not a genius.

More on Jeff Reed, stupid Steelers kicker.  I realize nobody really needs even more evidence that the Steelers and their fans are morons, yet still I give you more.   You all remember the original story –   Drunken kicker, Sheetz bathroom, towel dispense.  Yeah. The latest is that earlier that evening Reed was at a scheduled appearance, where Steeler fans paid an $8 cover to be at a bar with the kicker.  Reports now are that Reed showed up to the event already drunk.  The part about Pittsburgh fans paying $8 just to be around this nitwit is shocking… in a literal sense.  The fact that Reed was already hammered is also shocking… but in a sarcastic way.

Babes writing books about baseball?  Baseball books are big money… Tom Verducci, Jose Canseco, Kirk Radomski, and Selena Roberts’ book about A-Rod is shall I say, ‘highly’ anticipated.  It’s simple, if you have an inside scoop you can make the New York times Bestsellers List.  The next great baseball book is now on the horizon… ladies and gents, Alyssa Milano is authoring a piece with Joe Torre, “Safe at Home, Confessions of a Baseball Fanatic.”  Oh goody, I can’t wait!

Scanning the Blogosphere

Ravens Insider has their latest notes on Ravens free agents: Ray Lewis, Bart Scott, and Jason Brown.

O’s on Deck has some quick hitters from the Orioles win over the Cardinals, including thumbs up for Justin Christian, Scott Moore, and Nolan Reimold, in Grapefruit League action yesterday.

Dempsey’s Army has their ‘five things’ to watch for in their spring training outlook.

Face Off has three things to watch in both games of the Face-Off Classic at M&T Bank Stadium tomorrow.

Recruiting Report has all you need to know about Baltimore Freedom Academy sophomore Kevin Smith, “Baltimore’s next great point guard.”

CMS Video of the Day

B-More Bird’s Nest might have nailed it right on the head, “The Ravens should draft Dave Neal.”

The Morning’s Final Thought

A job well done goes to Busted Coverage and their latest edition of “The Hottest girls on the BCS.”  Today the site that has been ‘Wasting your time since 2007’ takes a look at the ACC.

The Terps come in with a very respectable ranking at #7.  Florida State tops the list, which isn’t surprising, nor are Boston College and Duke finishing at the bottom.  I’m pretty partial towards this pretty co-ed from Clemson.

This is definitely a link you should check out at somepoint over the weekend.  Check you on Monday…

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(Updated 3:05 p.m.) CB Domonique Foxworth signs with the Ravens, Scott close with Jets, Ray Lewis is miffed

Posted on 27 February 2009 by caseywillett

3:06 p.m. – Domonique Foxworth is officially now a member of the Baltimore Ravens. Foxworth was very funny and entertaining during his press conference. You can listen to the entire press conference in the audio vault and also check out Foxworth as he joined Nasty Nestor right after his press conference.

1:00 p.m. – The Ravens will hold a 2:30 press conference to announce the signing of a free agent. In the press release, the player is not named but Domonique Foxworth is the guy. Early reports are that he has signed a four year deal with the team.

In other Ravens news, Marques Douglas has been released by the Ravens after he returned to the team this season. Jason Brown is in St. Louis still this afternoon visiting with the Rams.

11:00 a.m. – Tim Graham’s blog on ESPN.com says that Bart Scott is leaving his comfort zone in Baltimore, but maybe finding a new one in New York with the Jets. Harold Lewis who represents Scott ,says that is not about the most money for Bart.

9:45 a.m. – Adam Schefter of NFL.com has updated a blog on the situation involving Ray Lewis and the Ravens. Here is the blog from Schefter who spoke with a source close to Ray who expressed his own opinion on the Ravens-Lewis situation.

9:20 – Dominique Foxworth is believed to be in Baltimore meeting with the Ravens today. It is also believed that he is seeking around five million dollars a year.

9:08 – Although reports are out now that Bart Scott and the Jets have done a deal. That is not true at this hour. Scott is visiting the Jets today, but has not signed a deal yet.

8:53 a.m. -Our friends at NationalFootballPost.com are reporting that Bart Scott has agreed to a contract with the Jets.

8;45 a.m. Adam Schefter of the NFL Network is reporting this morning that Dominique Foxworth will visit the Ravens today and could sign with the team today.

7:12 a.m. – Bart Scott will not be going to St. Louis today. Instead, he is headed to New York to visit with the Jets and is expected to get an offer from them today.

6:45 a.m. – The latest is still the same from earlier this morning on the Jason Brown and Bart Scott front as they are both going to visit with the Rams today. Another Raven taking some phone calls last night and a couple this morning is Dan Wilcox, who has drawn some interest from a couple teams.

12:45 – New report is that both Bart Scott and Jason Brown will be visiting with the St Louis Rams tomorrow according to Alex Marvez of FoxSports.com.

12:40 – The Jason Brown world tour looks like it will be making a visit to the Midwest first possibly as early as tomorrow, as was told to me this morning by a league source. The likely team is expected to be the Rams. This goes along with a report from earlier in the day that there was a new team interested in Jason Brown’s services coming from NationalFootballPost.com

Here are some news on the Ravens as free agency begins:

– Ray Lewis will begin to look for a home starting tonight. There are reports of a deal being on the table here in Baltimore that the Ravens and Lewis and his people talked about late into the evening.

– Bart Scott is the most intriguiing of the free agents for the Ravens. Reports have surfaced that a deal with the Ravens could be announced in the morning. There are also reports that he might be headed out on visits starting in the morning. My guess is that Scott stays in Baltimore and becomes the middle linebacker.

– Kyle Boller has been labeled as a target by the Dallas Cowboys as a backup to Tony Romo.

-Several teams have expressed in bringing in Jason Brown. The reports that the Redskins were the front runners, might have died down late into the evening. The Rams, Vikings, and Bills, are still believed to be pursuing Brown. Look for Matt Birk to be a possible suitor for the Ravens if he does not agree to a deal with the Vikings. Birk and Joe Flacco both have the same agent.

-There is a report that former Terp Dominique Foxworth could be on the Ravens radar screen.

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