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B&B Big Story Banter: McClain & Ngata

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B&B Big Story Banter: McClain & Ngata

Posted on 18 April 2014 by Brett Dickinson

By; Brett Dickinson & Barry Kamen

BD: Barry, its been an interesting week for “Ravens” middle linebacker Rolando McClain.  After showing up a hour late for his team workout, he didn’t have a good outing.  McClain struggled the entire time on the field, being winded and could not even finish.  But the Ravens still activated him off the “retired” list. What do you make of the Rolando McClain situation and how will the team handle him?

BK: The case of Rolando McClain is a curious one indeed. A starter for a BCS National Championship team during his time at Alabama. A top 10 pick in the 2010 NFL Draft. Four arrests, including one not long after signing with the Ravens. Retirement from the NFL at age 24. Now, a potential comeback seems more like a dream than reality for McClain following this week’s workout with the team.

Seth Wickersham’s piece on Rolando McClain is a must-read for all interested Ravens fans. Written last October, it appeared that McClain’s retreat to Tuscaloosa helped clear his mind of things that were bothering him as an NFL player. The Alabama connection cannot be ignored; Rolando is a cousin of former Ravens fullback Le’Ron McClain, and general manager Ozzie Newsome loves getting players from his alma mater. With the news that the team activated him off of the retired/reserved list, it appears that the Ravens are committed to having McClain as a part of their team for the summer.

What bothers me most about the situation is McClain showing up late to his workout. This is the National Football League; be punctual. If an opportunity to play for the Baltimore Ravens does not mean enough to you to show up early, or even on time, you are in the wrong profession. With the NFL Draft approaching in the next couple weeks, there will be plenty of inside linebacker prospects who were not blessed with the talent of McClain, but will be working furiously to make an NFL team. Any expectations for McClain to see the field with the Ravens seem far-fetched. The Ravens should treat him as an undrafted free agent prospect, only giving him repetitions with the third-team players in drills, to see if it lights a fire. I have my doubts that there was any passion for the game in the first.

Haloti NgataIn another curious case, it was reported earlier in the week by NFL.com’s Albert Breer  that the Ravens offered defensive tackle Haloti Ngata a long-term extension to help alleviate Ngata’s large cap number. However, the offer was turned down by Ngata’s camp. Brett, your thoughts on the Ravens making this kind of offer to Ngata, and why would Ngata turn it down?

 

BD: This whole situation would have me pulling out my hair, if only I had any (I guess I can tug on my beard for a while).  First off, the idea of extending Ngata by the team is simply ridiculous.  We already went through this once, when the team re-upped with Terrell Suggs earlier this off season.  It seems like a mistake to just push off cap issues by keeping around a player on the decline; no matter what they have done for the organization in the past.

The NFL has been progressively becoming a young man’s game, with 30-something players becoming expendable because of wear and tear and high salary demands.  Ngata has not been the dominant player he once was for years, but still can be productive in the NFL for a couple of seasons.  The problem is what does it cost against the team’s salary cap?

Ozzie NewsomeThe Ravens have been pretty masterful of working around financial restrictions, but it will catch up to them sooner than later.  Player loyalty is nice to see, but is a dieing breed in the NFL.  Ozzie might have to catch up on this to keep the Ravens at a consistently high level of competition in the near future.

As far as Ngata turning down the deal, I believe the deal may have had an “out clause” where the team could cut him in a year or two.  We obviously do not have the figures, but it could have cost him money in the long term, as he is already due a large sum the next couple years.  In the end who am I to talk ill of Ozzie Newsome? But we may be seeing some faults in his approach. The team and the player may be better that this deal did not work out.

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Ravens reinstate Rolando McClain from reserve-retired list

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Ravens reinstate Rolando McClain from reserve-retired list

Posted on 17 April 2014 by Luke Jones

Only two days after Rolando McClain reportedly bombed his workout with the Ravens, the linebacker was reinstated from the reserve-retired list.

It’s unclear what this ultimately means for the 24-year-old’s future in Baltimore, but the administrative move allows McClain to potentially take part in the offseason conditioning program set to begin on Monday. The Ravens own the rights to McClain after signing him to a one-year contract last year before he abruptly retired from the NFL following an arrest in Decatur, Ala. last spring.

The organization could monitor his progress in workouts before ultimately making a decision to move forward with him on the roster or to grant him his release.

McClain gained plenty of negative attention for his failed workout on Tuesday when he arrived more than 20 minutes late and couldn’t pass the team’s conditioning test, making this latest development somewhat surprising. The University of Alabama product has remained in contact with general manager and fellow Crimson Tide alum Ozzie Newsome over the last few months.

The eighth overall pick of the 2010 draft, McClain played three up-and-down seasons with the Oakland Raiders while accumulating 173 tackles, 6 1/2 sacks, one interception, and 20 pass breakups in 38 starts.

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Rolando McClain reportedly fails to impress Ravens in workout

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Rolando McClain reportedly fails to impress Ravens in workout

Posted on 15 April 2014 by Luke Jones

The latest chapter in the Rolando McClain saga was once again a disappointing one for the retired 24-year-old linebacker as he failed to impress the Ravens in a Tuesday workout.

According to NFL Network’s Aditi Kinkhabwala, the 2010 first-round pick couldn’t finish a conditioning test or complete any drills and even showed up late for the workout. Needless to say, this wasn’t the kind of impression McClain could afford to make after he abruptly retired from the NFL last year following an arrest in Decatur, Ala.

General manager Ozzie Newsome has remained in contact with McClain, but coach John Harbaugh has remained skeptical when asked about McClain potentially returning to the Ravens. The former Oakland Raiders linebacker confirmed earlier this offseason that he was preparing himself for a comeback.

“It all depends on a couple things,” Harbaugh said at last month’s league meetings in Orlando. “Who [is he] as a person right now? Has he grown up? He had a lot of growing up to do obviously. And how hard he’s working, how hard he’s working at Alabama right now. If he’s working his rear end off, then I’m kind of excited about him. If he’s not, then I’ve got no interest in him being on our team.”

The Ravens retain McClain’s rights after signing the troubled linebacker to a one-year contract last spring.

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Former Terp Merriman suing Nike over “Lights Out” issue

Posted on 14 April 2014 by WNST Staff

Nike LIGHTS OUT Football Jersey

San Diego, CA: Former San Diego Chargers player Shawne Merriman today took athletic equipment giant Nike to court in San Diego alleging unfair competition and trademark infringement of his LIGHTS OUT® brand which has been synonymous with Merriman his entire career.  The suit was filed by his company, Lights Out Holdings, LLC in California Federal Court and demands immediate injunctive relief to stop Nike’s actions, and millions of dollars of damages including “statutory damages of up to $2 million per content mark per type of goods or services sold, offered for sale or distribution . . .” as noted in the complaint.

“I earned my ‘Lights Out’ nickname in high school when I knocked out four opposing players in one football game,” said Merriman.  “I made things official by securing the federal rights to my LIGHTS OUT trademark and have been using it ever since.  I am suing Nike as a last resort, not only to protect my brand, but to protect other athletes who are trying to develop a brand after their professional career, like myself.

The LIGHS OUT trademark registration covers a broad range of apparel: “clothing for men, women and children, mainly, bottoms, boxer shorts, caps, hats, headwear, nightwear, shirts, shorts, sleepwear, sweatshirts, tank tops, tops, t-shirts, underwear.”  Because Merriman’s company has had rights in the LIGHTS OUT mark for so long, the trademark has been deemed incontestable by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

In late 2006 or 2007, according to the lawsuit, Nike entered into negotiations with Merriman for a LIGHTS OUT line of apparel.  Negotiations between Merriman and Nike were unsuccessful but, according to the complaint, “after these discussions Nike decided to use the LIGHTS OUT clothing brand anyway.

The suit demands a preliminary and permanent injunction from trademark infringement and related unfair business practices by Nike in addition to a damages amount to be determined at trial, disgorgement of Nike’s profits and treble damages for willful infringement.

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Drug charges dismissed against Ravens wide receiver Thompson

Posted on 12 April 2014 by Luke Jones

Ravens wide receiver Deonte Thompson is no longer facing drug charges stemming from an arrest in Florida in February.

The 25-year-old was arrested in Gainesville on Feb. 22 and charged with felony possession of marijuana and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia. Thompson was a passenger in a car that was operating without headlights when it was pulled over and he and two friends were arrested and charged after marijuana was found.

According to a report from The Sun, Thompson’s charges were dismissed after Alvon Summerall pleaded guilty to the same charges as well as driving with a suspended license, taking full responsibility for the incident.

Thompson is entering his third season and is not assured of a roster spot after a disappointing 2013 season in which he battled a foot injury and caught only 10 passes for 96 yards.

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Rotoworld’s Norris thinks defensive line may be early focus of Ravens in draft

Posted on 12 April 2014 by WNST Audio

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Former Ravens tight end Dickson signs one-year deal with Carolina

Posted on 10 April 2014 by Luke Jones

Former Ravens tight end Ed Dickson signed a one-year deal with the Carolina Panthers on Thursday to officially end his four-year run in Baltimore.

A third-round pick out of Oregon in the 2010 draft, Dickson had some discussions about remaining with the Ravens earlier in the offseason before Baltimore signed veteran tight end Owen Daniels last week. His departure follows a disappointing 2013 season in which he managed just 25 catches for 273 yards and a touchdown despite No. 1 tight end Dennis Pitta missing 12 games with a dislocated hip suffered in training camp.

After spending his rookie season as the understudy to longtime Ravens tight end Todd Heap, Dickson appeared on track to becoming a staple in the Baltimore offense in 2011 when he started 16 games and caught 54 passes for 528 yards and five touchdowns. However, inconsistency catching the football and the emergence of Pitta late in the 2011 season relegated Dickson to mostly blocking duties in his final two years with the Ravens.

Dickson is expected to compete to be the Panthers’ No. 2 tight end behind starter Greg Olsen, who led Carolina with 73 receptions, 816 receiving yards, and six touchdowns in 2013.

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Super Bowl XLVII rematch headlines Ravens’ 2014 preseason schedule

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Super Bowl XLVII rematch headlines Ravens’ 2014 preseason schedule

Posted on 09 April 2014 by Luke Jones

The Ravens will kick off the 2014 preseason in a rematch of Super Bowl XLVII when they welcome the San Francisco 49ers to M&T Bank Stadium on Aug. 7.

Though the stakes will be much lower than they were some 14 months ago in New Orleans, head coach John Harbaugh will face off against 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh for the first time since their teams met on the NFL’s biggest stage. The preseason opener will also mark the return of former Ravens wide receiver Anquan Boldin, who was traded to San Francisco last year for a sixth-round pick.

In addition to facing the 49ers for the first time in the preseason, the Ravens will also travel to AT&T Stadium to take on the Dallas Cowboys in Week 2 of the preseason. Baltimore hasn’t played at Dallas since 2008 when they helped close Texas Stadium with an upset win over the Cowboys.

Week 3 will bring the Washington Redskins to Baltimore as the geographic rivals square off in the most important game of the preseason. This year will mark the eighth preseason meeting between the teams as the Ravens hold a 5-2 series lead.

The preseason finale will be played on Aug. 28 when the Ravens travel to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome to face the New Orleans Saints. In their only other preseason meeting, Baltimore beat the Saints in a 2005 contest taking place only hours before Hurricane Katrina devastated the city of New Orleans.

The Ravens will also play at New Orleans during the 2014 regular season, but given the way teams typically rest starters during the final preseason game, this amounts to little more than an interesting coincidence.

Entering their 19th season, the Ravens are 42-29 in all-time preseason play and 15-9 under Harbaugh.

None of this year’s preseason games will be nationally televised, but all will air locally.

Dates for the Dallas and Washington games will be determined at a later date.

Ravens 2014 Preseason Schedule

Week 1: Thursday, Aug. 7 vs. San Francisco 49ers
Week 2: (Date TBD) at Dallas Cowboys
Week 3: (Date TBD) vs. Washington Redskins
Week 4: Thursday, Aug. 28 at New Orleans Saints

 

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NFL Network’s Breer believes Ravens are not finished in free agency

Posted on 08 April 2014 by WNST Audio

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CSN’s Brown believes without running game Ravens offense will still struggle

Posted on 08 April 2014 by WNST Audio

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