By Matt Vensel
3:00 PM EST, February 20, 2012
Here’s a look at what other media outlets are saying about the Baltimore Ravens as they head into the NFL scouting combine, which starts on Wednesday in Indianapolis, and free agency, which begins on March 13.
Peter King of Sports Illustrated is “hearing” that Ravens running back Ray Rice is eyeing a nine-figure contract:
“Ray Rice might be disappointed. I'm hearing Rice wants an Adrian Peterson-type of contract; Peterson signed a seven-year deal worth up to $100 million last September, with the major provision that he'll make $40 million in the first three years. I don't see the Ravens doing that for Rice. I see them, if they can't do a new deal, using the reasonable franchise tag of $7.7 million for running backs on Rice.
“I'm sensing the Ravens really want Rice back, but the Ravens have too many great players to sign to go nuts on him. Even though they paid Haloti Ngata $12.2 million a year on a five-year contract in September, I don't see them going anywhere near that for Rice -- and certainly not in the Peterson league. Baltimore usually finds a way to sign the players it really wants to sign, and I know it wants to keep Rice.”
Jason La Canfora of NFL Network says that Ben Grubbs could get tagged if the Ravens re-sign Rice by March 5:
“Ray Rice isn't going anywhere, and the Ravens are fully prepared to tag him, league sources said. If they do not at least engage in some serious discussions about a long-term deal, however, a league source said Rice is prepared to wait quite some time before signing or reporting. If Baltimore manages to get Rice signed in the coming weeks, then guard Ben Grubbs would be a candidate to get tagged, though Baltimore would have to juggle the cap and release some players to make the $9-million figure work.”
Dan Pompei of National Football Post believes Jameel McClain is poised to cash in due to a teammate’s injury:
“Ray Lewis’ toe injury came at a very opportune time for one Ravens teammate. Jameel McClain, who took over the defense calling and on-field leadership responsibilities from Lewis in his absence for five games, is about to become an unrestricted free agent. The Ravens went 5-0 without Lewis, in part because of McClain’s ability to do some of what Lewis did. McClain subsequently could get some action on the open market. It’s also possible the Ravens will step up and try to retain him, both for his short term value and his long term value as a replacement for Lewis after the 36-year old retires.”
Jeff Seidel of CSN Baltimore makes a case for the Ravens re-signing veteran defensive end Cory Redding.
“A player like Redding is very important to the Ravens. He’s a veteran who gives the defense a steady presence, something they need since there’s a number of younger players there. Redding is different than some of the other big names on the team. The spotlight doesn’t find him, nor does he want it to. He’ll come him, do his job quietly and move on. That’s why Redding is the kind of person who leads by example -- which is good for any team.”
Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com wonders if the Ravens would have interest in Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Mike Wallace, who is a restricted free agent.
“The Ravens and Bengals are among a handful of teams who are considered viable candidates to go after Wallace. Both teams are looking to upgrade at wide receiver. Both have more salary-cap room than the Steelers. And both have more motivation than other teams: Acquiring Wallace not only makes them stronger at wide receiver, but it takes away a playmaker that they won't have to defend twice a season.
“It's logical that the Ravens would be interested in Wallace. Baltimore only had two wide receivers who caught more than four passes last season (Anquan Boldin and Torrey Smith) and neither had more than 57 receptions. But the Ravens have never traded a draft pick higher than a second-rounder (Terrell Owens in a 2004 deal that was ultimately rescinded) and they've come across as being more impressed with Antonio Brown than Wallace.”
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