Tag Archive | "Ravens"

Ravens re-sign defensive end Guy to two-year deal

Tags: , , , ,

Ravens re-sign defensive end Guy to two-year deal

Posted on 18 March 2015 by Luke Jones

Hours after agreeing to a two-year deal to bring back veteran Chris Canty, the Ravens added further depth to their defensive line by re-signing defensive end Lawrence Guy to a two-year contract.

The 25-year-old was acquired off waivers from the San Diego Chargers early last season and appeared in 11 games, collecting 16 tackles, a pass breakup, and a fumble recovery. Guy surpassed DeAngelo Tyson on the depth chart to emerge as the primary reserve behind Canty at the 5-technique spot in the second half of last season.

With young defensive ends Brent Urban and Kapron Lewis-Moore both coming back from serious injuries, the Ravens now have plenty of veteran depth to act as insurance as they revamp a defensive line that no longer includes five-time Pro Bowl selection Haloti Ngata.

In his NFL career, the 6-foot-4, 318-pound Guy has totaled 54 tackles, one sack, five pass breakups, and one fumble recovery in 35 games split among Baltimore, San Diego, and Indianapolis.

Comments (0)

Ravens bring back veteran defensive end Canty on two-year deal

Tags: , , , ,

Ravens bring back veteran defensive end Canty on two-year deal

Posted on 18 March 2015 by Luke Jones

Less than three weeks after releasing Chris Canty, the Ravens re-signed the veteran defensive end on Wednesday.

The 32-year-old was cut on February 27 to save $2.66 million in salary cap space, but general manager Ozzie Newsome said at the time that the Ravens wouldn’t close the door on a potential reunion. Canty was scheduled to visit the Seattle Seahawks this week before agreeing to a two-year deal that reportedly includes a team option for the 2016 season.

“We talked weeks ago about the possibility of Chris coming back,” Newsome said in a team release, “and we are happy he is.”

His new deal is worth a total of $4.65 million and includes a $1.5 million signing bonus and $1 million base salary for the 2015 season, according to The Sun. This would create a $1.75 million cap figure for this season.

Canty spent the last two seasons with the Ravens and appeared in 26 games, collecting 63 tackles and 2 1/2 sacks. Though Canty didn’t make a huge impact on the field, Baltimore will welcome back his veteran leadership on a young defensive line after five-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Haloti Ngata was traded to the Detroit Lions last week.

With veteran Lawrence Guy currently an unrestricted free agent, the Ravens would have been leaning heavily on the returns of injured defensive linemen Brent Urban and Kapron Lewis-Moore at the 5-technique defensive end spot with neither having taken an NFL snap in their respective careers. Second-year defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan is expected to step into Ngata’s spot on the starting defensive line.

Canty missed five games during the 2014 season while recovering from a staph infection in his wrist in October and an ankle injury at the end of the regular season. In his 10-year career, he has also played for the Dallas Cowboys and the New York Giants, serving as a member of the Super Bowl XLVI championship team.

Comments (0)

Ravens release running back Bernard Pierce after DUI arrest

Tags: , , ,

Ravens release running back Bernard Pierce after DUI arrest

Posted on 18 March 2015 by Luke Jones

Ravens running back Bernard Pierce was arrested early Wednesday morning for driving under the influence of alcohol.

He was released by the organization less than 24 hours later.

Pierce was stopped by a Baltimore County police officer after he was allegedly driving 55 miles per hour in a 30 mph zone on Dulaney Valley Road. The 24-year-old was reportedly cooperative with police but was arrested after failing field sobriety tests.

According to the police report, Pierce predicted his demise with the Ravens after being arrested.

“Do you know what happened the last time a Ravens player got a DUI?” he allegedly said while riding to the precinct. “I’m getting cut tomorrow, not like you care.”

The 2012 third-round pick is the third Ravens player to be arrested this offseason, joining defensive tackle Terrence Cody and cornerback Victor Hampton. All three players were released promptly after their legal troubles came to light.

Baltimore is sending a clear message that off-field misconduct will not be tolerated, but Cody was already unlikely to be back as a free agent, Hampton was a long shot to make the roster, and Pierce had fallen to third on the depth chart by the end of last season. The Ravens hope they won’t need to face another arrest, but the real test would come if a star player finds himself in trouble with the law.

Pierce entered the 2014 season as the starting running back in place of the suspended and eventually-released Ray Rice, but poor play resulted in him falling behind veteran Justin Forsett and even rookie Lorenzo Taliaferro at times. The Temple product averaged just 3.9 yards per carry last season after gaining a career-worst 2.9 yards per rushing attempt in 2013.

Once considered the potential running back of the future in Baltimore, Pierce hadn’t come close to matching his impressive numbers as a rookie in 2012 when he averaged 4.9 yards per carry and rushed for 532 yards as Rice’s understudy. His struggles over the last two seasons had led many to wonder if he’d even make the 53-man roster in 2015.

The Ravens issued a simple statement saying they were aware of the situation Wednesday morning before announcing Pierce’s release in the afternoon.

At the end of the 2012 season, Rice and Pierce appeared to be forming one of the better running back duos in the NFL, but both are gone less than three years later. Pierce’s departure increases the likelihood of the Ravens taking a running back at some point during this spring’s draft.

Comments (0)

Webb reportedly restructures deal with Ravens

Tags: , , , ,

Webb reportedly restructures deal with Ravens

Posted on 17 March 2015 by Luke Jones

A week after the Ravens traded one of the best players in franchise history because of a negotiating impasse, veteran cornerback Lardarius Webb is reportedly staying put.

According to CBS Sports, the sides agreed to renegotiate what remains of a six-year, $50 million contract signed in 2012. Originally scheduled to make $8 million in base salary in 2015, Webb will instead receive $6 million, which would appear to lower his cap figure from $12 million to $10 million for the coming season if no other maneuvering was done.

Armed with less than $8 million in cap space before the signing of veteran safety Kendrick Lewis to a three-year deal, the Ravens knew they would need to clear more cap room to make further additions this offseason. Webb can now make roughly $18 million over the final three years of his deal if playing-time incentives are reached, according to The Sun. This would indicate Webb’s scheduled base salaries of $8 million in 2016 and $8.5 million in 2017 were also reduced.

The restructuring appears to be a reasonable compromise after the sides had been negotiating for weeks. Coming off a disappointing 2014 campaign even by his own admission, Webb will still receive a $6 million base salary, which would currently be the 13th-highest in the NFL for 2015. However, a look at the bloated contracts a number of cornerbacks have received in free agency indicated there would have been a good market for Webb despite his underwhelming play.

Had the Ravens cut Webb, they would have received only $2 million in cap savings, which is what they’ll pick up with the adjusted contract while still retaining the 29-year-old defensive back’s services. A release with a post-June 1 designation would have saved the Ravens $8 million in space, but those resources would not have been available until long after most free agents of any substance had already found homes.

General manager Ozzie Newsome traded five-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Haloti Ngata to the Detroit Lions last week after the sides failed to agree to a contract extension to reduce a $16 million cap hit for the 2015 season.

Comments (2)

Ravens announce deals for long snapper Cox, defensive tackle Bilukidi

Tags: , , , ,

Ravens announce deals for long snapper Cox, defensive tackle Bilukidi

Posted on 17 March 2015 by Luke Jones

The Ravens announced a pair of re-signings on Tuesday, coming to terms with long snapper Morgan Cox and defensive tackle Christo Bilukidi.

General manager Ozzie Newsome reportedly struck a deal with Bilukidi a couple weeks ago, but the signing had yet to be announced. The defensive tackle had been scheduled to become a restricted free agent.

Cox has served as the Baltimore long snapper for the last five seasons, but the second anterior cruciate ligament tear of his career limited him to just seven games in 2014. It was unclear whether the Ravens would re-sign the unrestricted free agent after tendering a contract to exclusive-rights free agent Patrick Scales.

Because the 28-year-old suffered the season-ending knee injury in Week 7 of last season and has already been rehabbing for several months, he will likely be ready for training camp, but the presence of Scales does provide insurance as well as competition while Cox works his way back to 100 percent.

Comments (0)

Old college teammate Oher sold Kendrick Lewis on Ravens

Tags: , , , ,

Old college teammate Oher sold Kendrick Lewis on Ravens

Posted on 17 March 2015 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Free-agent safety Kendrick Lewis knew all about the Ravens’ tradition of defensive excellence, but it was an old college teammate and former Ravens offensive player who sold him on coming to Baltimore.

Reaching out to the man who hosted him on his first college visit to the University of Mississippi years ago, Lewis said it was former Ravens offensive tackle Michael Oher who convinced him he was making the right decision. It was quite an endorsement from the 2009 first-round pick, who left the Ravens as a free agent last offseason after an up-and-down five-year run.

The two played together for three seasons at Ole Miss with Oher being drafted a year earlier than the 2010 fifth-round selection of the Kansas City Chiefs.

“He was just upfront. He poured his heart out in all the great things he had to say about this organization to make my decision what it was,” Lewis said. “With my nature and the type of person I am and how Michael Oher described this place to me, I feel like it’s the best decision I made.”

The Ravens hope Lewis’ five years of starting experience in Kansas City and Houston will bring stability to the safety position that saw five different players receive meaningful snaps in 2014. Finishing 23rd in the NFL in pass defense, Baltimore hopes Lewis will bring stability next to the 25-year-old Will Hill, who emerged as a consistent starter in the second half of last season.

According to Pro Football Focus, opposing quarterbacks posted a 69.3 passer rating against Lewis in coverage, completing 20 of 33 passes for 252 yards, a touchdown, and two interceptions in 2014.

Lewis cited his pride in preparation and watching film as a strong asset in addition to his ball skills at the safety position. He has collected nine interceptions and 28 pass breakups in his five NFL seasons.

“He’s a guy that’s going to come here and solidify our defense, especially on the back end,” new defensive backs coach Chris Hewitt said. “He’s a guy that we’d looked for. We needed a veteran presence back there. He’s a guy that has been starting in this league ever since he has been here.”

Former Ravens safety Darian Stewart — who signed a two-year deal with Denver last week — and rookie Terrence Brooks struggled in deep coverage last season, giving up big plays at inopportune times. Lewis was most successful in Kansas City when playing away from the line of scrimmage and protecting against the deep pass.

His role changed in his one season with the Texans where he frequently played closer to the line of scrimmage. Defensive coordinator Dean Pees prefers being able to use his safeties interchangeably, shying away from the traditional roles of free safety and strong safety.

That will be just fine with Lewis, who enjoyed being able to show off his versatility in Houston.

“I don’t want to just put myself in a box and say I’m just a center fielder,” said Lewis, noting how he led the Texans in tackles last season. “I’m an all-around player. I’m here to do whatever the coaching staff allows me to do or wants me to do.”

Lewis is familiar with 2013 first-round pick Matt Elam after the two worked out together in Florida a couple offseasons ago. With a few more years of experience than Elam, Lewis could find himself in a mentoring role for the draft pick whose first two seasons have been a disappointment.

The Ravens could still look to add more safety depth over the course of the offseason, but Lewis will be expected to step into a leadership role at a position that featured plenty of inexperience in 2014. The 6-foot, 198-pound simply hopes to make what he already viewed as a good defense even better.

“When you see the Baltimore Ravens, you see their philosophy,” Lewis said. “You see their team was made up on defense. Me being a defensive guy, me being a safety, that’s what I wanted to be a part of.”

 

Comments (0)

Who’s left on wide receiver market for Ravens?

Tags: , , ,

Who’s left on wide receiver market for Ravens?

Posted on 16 March 2015 by Luke Jones

A week after watching Torrey Smith depart to sign a five-year, $40 million contract with the San Francisco 49ers, the Ravens appear no closer to filling the gaping hole left behind at the wide receiver position.

With the only players remaining on the roster with more than 24 receptions last season being the soon-to-be 36-year-old Steve Smith and starting running back Justin Forsett, it would be quite a risk for the Ravens to count solely on this spring’s draft to find help at the wide receiver position. Of course, limited salary cap space has prohibited Baltimore from pursuing more expensive options such as Andre Johnson over the last week.

Below is a look at seven veteran receivers who remain on the open market:

Dwayne Bowe
Age: 30
2014 stats: 60 caches, 754 yards, zero touchdowns
Skinny: Bowe has most recently visited with the Cleveland Browns and would appear to be one of the better options remaining on the market, but he’s also eclipsed the 800-yard receiving mark just once in the last three years. Working with Joe Flacco as opposed to Alex Smith would certainly help his cause, but the Ravens may not want to deal with questions about his work ethic and off-field trouble.

Greg Jennings
Age: 31
2014 stats: 59 catches, 742 yards, six touchdowns
Skinny: Jennings isn’t the deep threat that he was in his early days with the Green Bay Packers, but an unsettled quarterback situation was likely the biggest variable explaining his numbers dipping in Minnesota over the last two years. Considering he wouldn’t count against the compensatory pick formula since he was released, Jennings would make sense for the Ravens at the right price. 

Michael Crabtree
Age: 27
2014 stats: 68 catches, 698 yards, four touchdowns
Skinny: The market has been unusually quiet for the 2009 first-round pick, making you wonder if his asking price is too high coming off a disappointing final year with San Francisco. Never considered a speedster, Crabtree is less than two years removed from a torn Achilles tendon, which makes you wonder if his 2014 season was his new ceiling or only a stepping stone in regaining his pre-injury form.

Stevie Johnson
Age: 28
2014 stats: 35 catches, 435 yards, three touchdowns
Skinny: There is debate over how much the 6-foot-2 Johnson has left, but he proved to be productive when given opportunities in the San Francisco passing game last season. He had a reputation for being a knucklehead in Buffalo, but Johnson had three consecutive 1,000-yard seasons with the Bills and New England and San Diego have shown strong interest in him in recent days.

Denarius Moore
Age: 26
2014 stats: 12 catches, 115 yards, zero touchdowns
Skinny: The ultimate buy-low candidate, Moore showed promise as a vertical threat in the Oakland offense in his first three years, but the speedster was a non-factor for the Raiders last season. If you’re looking to take a flier on a receiver who could stretch the field after the Ravens parted ways with Torrey Smith and Jacoby Jones, Moore wouldn’t be the worst addition to add to the mix.

Nate Washington
Age: 31
2014 stats: 40 catches, 647 yards, two touchdowns
Skinny: Washington has quietly put together a decent NFL career as a complementary receiver, and he has still averaged at least 15.8 yards per catch in each of the last three seasons with Tennessee despite messy quarterback play. He’s no Torrey Smith, but he still has some ability to be a factor in the vertical passing game as a role player.

Hakeem Nicks
Age: 27
2014 stats: 38 catches, 405 yards, four touchdowns
Skinny: Consecutive 1,000-yard seasons with the New York Giants must feel like a long time ago for Nicks, who had underwhelming numbers while playing with Andrew Luck in Indianapolis this past season. He’s still young enough to turn around a career that’s trending in the wrong direction, but his disappointing numbers in 2014 will be hard for Nicks to sell to potential suitors.

 

Comments (2)

Ngata bids farewell to Ravens fans with full-page ad

Tags: , , ,

Ngata bids farewell to Ravens fans with full-page ad

Posted on 15 March 2015 by Luke Jones

Former Ravens defensive tackle Haloti Ngata capped a wild week by bidding farewell to the city of Baltimore on Sunday.

The five-time Pro Bowl selection took out a full-page ad in The Baltimore Sun in which he thanked fans as well as the Ravens organization after nine years together. On Tuesday, general manager Ozzie Newsome traded Ngata to the Detroit Lions in exchange for fourth-round and fifth-round selections in this spring’s draft after the sides were unable to work out a contract extension to lower his $16 million salary cap figure for the 2015 season.

With several days to reflect on the 31-year-old’s career in Baltimore, where would you rank Ngata among the greatest players in franchise history? You could probably make a decent argument to list him as high as fourth behind the slam-dunk trio of Ray Lewis, Jonathan Ogden, Ed Reed, but others such as Terrell Suggs, Peter Boulware, Jamal Lewis, and Joe Flacco are very much in the argument to be ranked just behind those first three.

Feel free to make your argument in the comments section for where Ngata should rank.

Below is what the 2006 first-round pick wrote in Sunday’s full-page ad:

Dear Baltimore,

Although my playing days have come to an end here in Baltimore, my family and I want to say an enormous thank you to the great people in this city and the members of Ravens Nation everywhere. It has been the privilege of a lifetime to play for the Baltimore Ravens for the last nine years and to hear you passionately cheering us on each and every week.

I want you to know how much I appreciate the way you welcomed me in and made me a part of the Baltimore community. When I came to Baltimore as a rookie, I did not know anyone in Maryland. And, yet, for nearly a decade, you provided the perfect place for me to develop as a player, grow as a man, start a life with my wife, raise my three boys, make friendships that will last a lifetime, and have experiences I will treasure forever.

I would like to thank the Modell family for their everlasting support; Mr. Steve Bisciotti for his great leadership in the Ravens’ organization; Mr. Ozzie Newsome for drafting me and bringing me to the Ravens; coach Brian Billick for coaching me during my early years; and coach John Harbaugh for teaching us to “Play Like a Raven” and coaching us to the ultimate goal: Super Bowl XLVII champions! To each coach and each staff member at the Ravens’ facility, past and present: thank you. I could not have had the career I did in Baltimore without your help.

I also need to thank my brothers-in-arms. I have played with the best teammates any athlete could ask for. Thank you for pushing me to become the best player I could be. The things we have accomplished together as Baltimore Ravens will link us together forever with a bond that cannot be broken.

Last, I want to give a public shoutout to my brothers and sister. Thank you for your undying love and support. Mom and Dad are proud when they look down on us from above.

I am looking forward to the experiences that await my family and me in the future, but please know that I will carry a part of Ravens Nation with me in my heart wherever I go for the rest of my life.

Ofa Lahi Atu,
Haloti Ngata, #92

 

Comments (2)

Ravens sign veteran safety Kendrick Lewis

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Ravens sign veteran safety Kendrick Lewis

Posted on 14 March 2015 by Luke Jones

After watching a number of their own depart in the first week of free agency, the Ravens have made their first significant addition of the offseason by agreeing to a deal with safety Kendrick Lewis.

Baltimore agreed to a three-year contract with the 26-year-old who started 16 games for the Houston Texans last season and spent the first four years of his NFL career as a starter with the Kansas City Chiefs. Lewis collected 84 tackles, two interceptions, three forced fumbles, and six pass breakups for Houston last season, but the Texans signed safety Rahim Moore to a three-year, $12 million contract earlier this week.

With starting safety Darian Stewart signing a two-year deal with Denver on Friday, the Ravens had an obvious need at the position and Lewis is considered a strong tackler despite being unremarkable in coverage. The 2010 fifth-round pick out of Ole Miss graded out as Pro Football Focus’ 27th-ranked safety in the NFL among those who played in at least half of his team’s snaps last year. Stewart was graded 23rd by the same publication.

The Lewis signing completes a fascinating game of musical chairs as he replaces Stewart, who will replace Moore in Denver after the ex-Broncos safety signed with Houston to take Lewis’ starting job. Houston was reportedly interested in bringing back the 6-foot, 198-pound Lewis, but he viewed Baltimore as a better opportunity.

Though not an addition appearing to have a great deal of upside, Lewis gives the Ravens a veteran option in anticipation of what looks to be a weak 2015 draft class of safeties beyond Alabama’s Landon Collins. Lewis and Will Hill would appear to have the inside track as Baltimore’s starting safeties at this early stage of the offseason, but others figure to be in the mix such as disappointing 2013 first-round pick Matt Elam and 2014 third-round pick Terrence Brooks, who is currently recovering from knee surgery and isn’t expected to be ready for the start of the season.

A restricted free agent, Hill was given the $1.542 million low tender before the start of free agency, which gives the Ravens the right of first refusal should another team sign the 24-year-old to an offer sheet.

Though general manager Ozzie Newsome doesn’t typically sign unrestricted free agents due to their negative impact on the compensatory pick formula, the loss of five unrestricted free agents of their own means that the Lewis addition wouldn’t appear to impact their ability to earn the maximum number of four compensatory picks for next year’s draft.

Comments (2)

Former Ravens safety Stewart finds home in Denver

Tags: , , ,

Former Ravens safety Stewart finds home in Denver

Posted on 13 March 2015 by Luke Jones

The Ravens’ free-agent exodus continued Friday with safety Darian Stewart becoming the latest to depart by signing a two-year contract with the Denver Broncos.

Stewart started 14 of 16 games last season after signing a one-year, $1.3 million contract with Baltimore last season. The 26-year-old was drawn to the Ravens because of his relationship with former secondary coach Steve Spagnuolo, who worked with Stewart when he was the head coach of the St. Louis Rams.

Stewart collected 53 tackles, an interception, a forced fumble, and three pass breakups during the regular season and secured an interception and a key pass breakup in the wild-card win over Pittsburgh. He joins defensive tackle Haloti Ngata (Detroit), wide receiver Torrey Smith (San Francisco), linebacker Pernell McPhee (Chicago), tight end Owen Daniels (Denver), and quarterback Tyrod Taylor (Buffalo) as Ravens players to depart this past week.

Though considered one of the more reliable in a group of safeties that saw playing time in 2014, Stewart’s loss isn’t considered a major one with the Ravens needing to improve at the position next to starter Will Hill. The problem will be finding that upgrade as this year’s draft class is not impressive beyond Alabama safety Landon Collins, who most expect to long be off the board by the time the Ravens pick 26th overall in the first round.

Free-agent safeties remaining on the board include Ron Parker of Kansas City, Louis Delmas of Miami, and Seattle’s Jeron Johnson.

With the Broncos losing free-agent safety Rahim Moore to Houston, head coach Gary Kubiak targeted Stewart after watching him play in Baltimore this past season.

In other free agency news from Friday, former Buffalo tight end Scott Chandler elected to sign a contract with the New England Patriots despite some interest from the Ravens.

Comments (0)