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Ravens notes: Middle linebacker C.J. Mosley’s goals don’t include new contract

Putting pen to paper (or more accurately, computer to paper), middle linebacker C.J. Mosley has posted to his locker a single sheet of paper with six objectives. Topping the list is “Lead league in tackles,” followed by “lead LB’s in INT,” “First team All-Pro,” “Pro Bowl” and “Defensive MVP” and capped by “Superbowl MVP.”

Mosley, who has been invited to three Pro Bowls in his first four years since the organization selected him in the first round of the 2014 NFL draft, has been close to leading the league in tackles and linebackers in interceptions and earning first-team All-Pro status. Meeting all six ambitions would seem to be a daunting challenge, but the 6-foot-2, 250-pound Mosley is undeterred.

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“That comes with preparation and getting into the playbook and having great game plans,” he said Wednesday. “So at the end of the day, I feel like I’ve been at that caliber since I got into the league. I’ve just got to keep doing what I’ve been doing, and everything will work out.”

Absent from that piece of paper is any reference to a contract extension to his rookie deal that ends after this season. Mosley, 26, did not appear frustrated at the lack of movement towards an agreement, but ever so slightly acknowledged that it could turn into a hindrance.

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“I’ve got my last year to play out, but I guess further down the road, it might become more of an issue maybe,” he said. “I don’t know. Like I said before, those are the types of things that I let my agent and them work on upstairs. I’ve talked to my agent, and we’re trying to get somewhere with it. That’s about all I can say right now.”

Grant intent on keeping job

Only four months into his tenure with the Ravens, Janarion Grant has already picked up the biggest difference between returning kicks and punts on the college and NFL levels.

“In the league, it’s a vertical game,” he said. “So you have to get vertical. There’s no running sideways. In college, you could be able to do that, but these guys in here, this is their job, and this is what they do. They’re real physical, and they play fast, and that’s what you have to do.”

Grant, an undrafted rookie, will get a chance to prove what he has learned as he is listed as the team’s top option at kick and punt returner heading into Sunday’s regular-season opener against Buffalo. Grant outdueled Tim White despite finishing with a 23.6-yard average on kicks and a 7.2-yard average on punts compared with White’s numbers of 20.8 yards on kicks and 7.8 yards on punts.

“Janarion, in our opinion, won the job,” special teams coordinator and associate head coach Jerry Rosburg said. “The stats don’t necessarily reflect one guy winning the job over the other guy. Like we say in our meeting room, every day’s a competition. So there’s a lot of practice reps that go into that, and we just felt overall that his ball security skills were good. He gave up one in a preseason game, but his ball-catching was good all during the preseason, and he got some tough yards in a preseason game that we thought were impressive, and that’s why we went in that direction.”

Grant, who left Rutgers as the program’s career leader in kick-return yards and ranked fourth in punt-return yards, is well aware that his grip on the returner job is not set in stone.

“You’re in the league. Everybody is elite in here,” he said. “So you’ve got to stay on top of your game with the scouting reports and everything else. You can’t lose that job, and that’s what I’m trying not to do.”

Extra points

Joe Flacco is the Ravens’ undisputed starter at quarterback, but that has not dissuaded Bills coach Sean McDermott from taking some time to study rookie Lamar Jackson. “Well, we understand the threat that he brings when he’s on the field, so we spend a considerable amount of time in preparing for him — as well as Joe Flacco, I should say,” McDermott said. “Joe is a documented Pro Bowl quarterback. Certainly, I have a lot of respect for Joe, first and foremost.” … Rookie inside linebacker Kenny Young (left knee bruise) was upgraded from limited to full participation in the Ravens' injury report Thursday. Cornerback Maurice Canady (thigh) was limited for the second straight day, while for the second consecutive day defensive tackle Willie Henry (hernia surgery) and rookie tight end Hayden Hurst (stress fracture in foot) did not practice. … The Bills are healthy, too. Starting strong-side linebacker Lorenzo Alexander did not practice for noninjury-related reasons. Backup middle linebacker Julian Stanford (nose) practiced on a limited basis Thursday after sitting out Wednesday’s session. For the second straight day, rookie wide receiver Ray-Ray McCloud (knee) did not practice. … The team announced several pre-game festivities for Sunday’s game. Fans entering the stadium will be given an 18-inch by 24-inch Ravens flag, and the defensive starters will be announced during player introductions. The United States Air Force Heritage of America Band Vocal Trio will sing the national anthem, and 75 soldiers and airmen from the Maryland National Guard will hold a 40-yard American flag during the anthem. An American bald eagle named “Challenger” will fly around the stadium and land on the field during the anthem, and a group of A-10 Warthogs from the Maryland Air National Guard will fly over at the end of the anthem.

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