The first 10 picks of the NFL draft took just under an hour and a half, a pace that would put the Ravens on the clock sometime tomorrow morning, but don't despair. The pace generally picks up after the first 10 rounds, since I'm pretty sure that the NFL and ESPN intentionally squeezed every minute out of the top picks.
Now that Lewis has retired, the Ravens are tasked with replacing him to bolster an inside linebacker spot weakened by Dannell Ellerbe signing with the Miami Dolphins and Jameel McClain still not medically cleared from a spinal cord contusion. Plus, trouble-prone middle linebacker Rolando McClain was arrested this week and charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.
The Ravens are the owners of that final first-round pick this year. The Ravens always think big at this time of year but their focus is not on finding the next Darrell Green. It's on restocking a roster that lost a number of key players from the team that beat the San Francisco 49ers 2 1/2 months ago to win Super Bowl XLVII.
The Ravens won¿t get their season-opening home game, like reigning Super Bowl champions have for the last decade. But they will play four prime-time games, including a Thanksgiving night home showdown against the rival Pittsburgh Steelers, and a much-anticipated rematch with the Denver Broncos to kick off their Super Bowl XLVII title defense.
The following players have signed with other teams: outside linebacker Paul Kruger (Cleveland Browns, $40.5 million), inside linebacker Dannell Ellerbe (Miami Dolphins, $35 million) and cornerback Cary Williams ($17 million).
You know how you wake up on Sunday morning and enjoy the challenge of trying to complete the crossword puzzle or the Sudoku in the newspaper? That's how NFL defensive coordinators and coaches like Pittsburgh's Mike Tomlin when they wake up in the morning feel about the read-option offense, which puzzled many teams during the 2012 season.
While team officials have yet to comment on Pollard's release, it continues a trend of offseason activity that has the Ravens' roster — particularly on the defensive side — getting younger, thinner, quieter and in some cases, cheaper.
However, that job opportunity quickly closed when the Bears agreed to a five-year, $35.965 million contract with former New Orleans Saints and Towson offensive tackle Jermon Bushrod. That deal included $17.715 million in guaranteed money.