In conference call with season ticket holders, Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome and head coach John Harbaugh acknowledged that the team is still trying to add a veteran cornerback.
What does it mean: It’s not exactly breaking news that the Ravens are still trying to improve their roster and have identified cornerback as a potential problem area. But Harbaugh’s comment that Newsome is working “right now” on signing a cornerback only adds to the speculation that the Ravens are targeting Kyle Arrington. There is not much else of quality available on the free agent cornerback market, which Arrington just joined on Monday when he was released by the New England Patriots. Very good in the slot, strong on special teams, durable and tough, Arrington would be a nice fit and the interest appears mutual. However, as it always does, it will come down to how big of a market there is for Arrington and how much the Ravens are willing to pay. Team officials have been consistent in saying that they don’t view cornerback as a glaring need, but Arrington sure would fill a couple of key roles for the Ravens. There aren’t a whole lot of teams who are making competent corners available, so Arrington could be the Ravens’ best chance to upgrade their depth at the position before training camp begins.
Ravens cut quarterback Keith Wenning, tight end Phillip Supernaw and linebacker Darius Allen and add three players that tried out for the team at last week’s rookie minicamp.
What does it mean: It was expected that the Ravens would make a couple of roster moves after the minicamp. It happens every year. It, however, was a little surprising that Wenning, a sixth-round pick in 2014, was one of the early casualties. With Joe Flacco, Matt Schaub, Wenning, Bryn Renner and Jerry Lovelocke (Edmondson) on the roster, the Ravens had one quarterback too many. However, they opted to jettison a recent draft pick that spent a full season practicing with the team, rather than Lovelocke, an undrafted free agent out of Prairie View A&M, or Renner, who was signed to a reserve/future contract in January. Usually, the Ravens give their draft picks a little longer look. However, Wenning never was overly impressive in limited practice repetitions. His arm strength was an issue and it couldn’t have helped his cause that the two coaches that he worked extensively with last year – Gary Kubiak and Rick Dennison – are both in Denver. The Ravens, who figure to keep just two quarterbacks on their 53-man roster anyway, probably felt that Renner and Lovelocke had bigger upsides. As for Supernaw, who was active for four games with the Ravens last season, his fate was sealed when the Ravens drafted both Maxx Williams and Nick Boyle this year. The Ravens actually did him a favor, giving him an early start on finding a new team. It wouldn’t be surprising if that team is Denver as Kubiak and Brian Pariani coached Supernaw in both Houston and Baltimore.
To fill the three open roster spots, the Ravens signed wide receiver Daniel Brown (James Madison), guard Leon Brown (Alabama) and inside linebacker Andrew Bose (Rhode Island).
What does it mean: While Leon Brown gives the Ravens three rookie free agents who played at Alabama last season, Daniel Brown is the most interesting addition. He’s a 6-foot-5, 225-pound receiver who had eight touchdowns as a part-time starter for the Dukes last season. Between him, first-round pick Breshad Perriman (6-2, 212 pounds), sixth-round pick Darren Waller (6-6, 240) and fellow undrafted free agent Cam Worthy (6-3, 212), the Ravens added some size to their summer receiving corps. Daniel Brown certainly looks the part, but he’s going to have an uphill battle to make the team, The Ravens have 11 receivers on their roster. The four primary holdovers (Steve Smith, Marlon Brown, Kamar Aiken and Michael Campanaro) plus the two draft picks (Perriman and Waller) are expected to make the team. Barring injuries or other roster moves, that could leave only one spot for the remaining five receivers.
Team announces that linebacker Jarret Johnson will sign a one-day contract today and officially retire as a Raven.
What does it mean: Good for Johnson, whose toughness, selflessness and consistency made him a key part of the Ravens’ defense for nine seasons. Johnson was a favorite of teammates and the fans but many of his contributions never showed up on the stat sheet or highlight reel. He never sought the limelight, so it’s nice that he’s getting a well-deserved opportunity to take a bow. I don’t know what Johnson’s plans are in the future, but I’d have to think that the Ravens would welcome any time that the former linebacker is willing to spend around the current players.