Baltimore Orioles

Ravens news, notes and opinions

The most interesting revelation from the Ravens' annual predraft luncheon Wednesday was general manager Ozzie Newsome's acknowledgement that the Ravens brought in Missouri wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham and Washington cornerback Marcus Peters for a predraft visit.

Peters was hardly a surprise, given that the Ravens need a cornerback and the fact that he's widely considered the second-best player at his position in the draft. Peters also was dismissed from the Huskies' program because of run-ins with the coaching staff, not any legal issue.


Green-Beckham, on the other hand, was accused of domestic violence, and Newsome has said that the Ravens likely would not add any players with such backgrounds.

Is the meeting with Green-Beckham a sign that the Ravens are reconsidering that policy? I don't want to speak for Newsome, but I highly doubt it.


My guess is that the Ravens are doing their due diligence and wanted to take the opportunity to meet Green-Beckham and see what he's about. You can't blame the Ravens for that.

-- Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta had a pretty amusing response when he was asked Wednesday about owner Steve Bisciotti's stated desire to use an early pick on a pass rusher.

With a wide grin, DeCosta said, "I think owners own, scouts scout, coaches coach. Everybody has opinions about the team."  DeCosta added that Bisciotti has a "great feel for the game" and that "personnel" is the owner's strong suit.

-- Know that I’m not the first to speculate on this  Geoff Mosher, who covers the Philadelphia Eagles for Comcast SportsNet, did so Thursday, after the release of the NFL preseason schedule. But I wonder whether the Ravens and Eagles might talk about getting together for some joint practices ahead of their preseason game Aug. 21 or Aug. 22 at Lincoln Financial Field.

John Harbaugh mentioned recently that he had discussed joint practices with some fellow coaches, but they were mostly preliminary, and he was still waiting on the release of the preseason schedule. A lot of details would have to be worked out, obviously, but Harbaugh felt like the Ravens got a lot out of last summer's practices with the San Francisco 49ers. The Eagles also have held them in the past couple of years under coach Chip Kelly.

Practicing against the Eagles' up-tempo offense would be good preparation for the season.

-- We should know in a couple of weeks whether Pittsburgh Steelers star running back Le'Veon Bell's reported three-game suspension for violating the league's substance-abuse policy has any impact on the Ravens. Bell is appealing the suspension, but I'm sure it wouldn't bother the Ravens if they happen to draw the Bell-less Steelers in the season's first couple of weeks.

The Ravens outplayed the Steelers in all facets of their playoff matchup in January at Heinz Field, but it certainly helped that Bell was out injured.

-- The NFL hasn't announced when its regular-season schedule will be released, but expect it to come out at some point over the next two weeks. The league will want to make a big show of it before the start of around-the-clock coverage of the draft, held beginning April 30.


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Last year's schedule was released April 23, but last year's draft also took place in the second week of May, so going by last year's timetable might not be prudent.

-- I get that offensive lineman Jah Reid has been a huge disappointment, starting just seven games in four seasons after the Ravens made him a third-round pick in 2011. But let's try to keep his re-signing in perspective a little bit.

For one, he'll be making essentially the veteran minimum with a one-year, $745,000 deal. Also, he’s no lock to make the team. In fact, he’ll probably enter training camp as a long shot to crack the 53-man roster with the Ravens’ top seven offensive linemen  Eugene Monroe, Kelechi Osemele, Jeremy Zuttah, Marshal Yanda, Rick Wagner, James Hurst and John Urschel  already established, barring injuries. And finally, the Ravens have only 66 players under contract, meaning they still have plenty of room to load up on draft picks and undrafted free agents. Reid is little more than a depth signing, a camp body.

All the Ravens really have given him is an opportunity to make the team. The reaction to his re-signing reminded me of my time on the Orioles beat, when fans seemed to stage uprisings over minor league signings. My response then was pretty much as it was after Reid re-signed: There's really nothing to see here.

-- With Rob Housler signing Thursday with the Cleveland Browns, the free-agent tight end market now pretty much consists of Jermaine Gresham, Zach Miller and James Casey. Casey is pretty similar to current Ravens fullback Kyle Juszczyk, so I don't think he'd be a great fit. And Gresham (back) and Miller (ankle) are both recovering from surgeries, so their health is a question mark.

With Bisciotti and director of college scouting Joe Hortiz talking about finding a tight end in the middle to late rounds, the Ravens are either really confident in second-year tight end Crockett Gillmore or really optimistic they'll be able to sign either Gresham or Miller. With Dennis Pitta's future still unclear, it would be hard to imagine the Ravens going into the season with Gillmore, a third-round pick last year, and a mid-round rookie as their top two tight ends.

-- Keep in mind that free agents signed after May 12 don't factor into the compensatory draft pick process. I'm not saying that's what the Ravens are waiting on, but it usually does factor into their free-agent thinking.


The Ravens have all but secured four compensatory picks in next year's draft, but signing guys like Gresham and wide receiver Michael Crabtree could cost them one of those picks. Crabtree, who has visited with the Miami Dolphins and Oakland Raiders, figures to sign in the next couple of weeks, but Gresham, with his health issues, could very well still be available in mid-May.