No longer do the Ravens have months, weeks or even days to reach agreement on a long-term contract extension with Pro Bowl running back Ray Rice. They are now down to hours to accomplish what they established in February as one of their biggest offseason priorities.
In his first news conference since tearing his right Achilles tendon in April, Ravens All-Pro linebacker Terrell Suggs reiterated he'll play football this season, again denied he was hurt while playing basketball and expressed confidence that the defense can maintain its high standard without him.
Haloti Ngata, 28, played last season at 335 pounds, hoping that a little less weight would improve his quickness and endurance. But feeling that he wore down a little, Ngata said he showed up for minicamp this week at 345 pounds and is hoping to play around that weight for the upcoming season.
It's the Ravens' decision to fine Reed or not, but Harbaugh and owner Steve Bisciotti, made it clear in recent days they expected him to attend the minicamp despite the fact they hadn't spoken to Reed. However, Lewis has spoken to Reed and downplayed his long-time teammate's absence.
Derrick Mason spent most of the 30-minute news conference reminiscing about his time with the team and speaking about his decision to retire. But he also talked about the current state of the Ravens, specifically their offense.
Derrick Mason, the franchise's all-time leader in receptions and receiving yards, is expected to announce his retirement at a news conference tomorrow at the Ravens' practice facility, the Under Armour Performance Center, in Owings Mills.
Jamal Lewis filed for bankruptcy in Georgia in April, claiming $14.5 million in assets and $10.6 million in debts — among them, a more than $350,000 judgment on a defaulted loan from the bank whose name hangs over Ravens stadium.
Ravens strong safety Bernard Pollard was rewarded this month with a contract extension, a deal that can keep him in Baltimore through 2015. Pollard made 75 tackles and broke up a career-high 13 passes in 2011, but Pollard insists his attitude and his play won't change now that he has a new deal.
Ed Reed being non-committal about his future is an annual rite of spring here in Baltimore, and he kept the tradition going Thursday by telling Sirius/XM NFL Radio he isn't 100 percent committed to playing in 2012.
When several teams, including the Oakland Raiders and Chicago Bears, expressed interest in Baltimore director of player personnel Eric DeCosta for their general manager opening earlier this offseason, the Ravens responded by giving their long-time executive a contract extension and a title change.
Looking to round out their defensive line rotation, the Baltimore Ravens have agreed to terms with veteran nose tackle Ma'ake Kemoeatu, a league source has confirmed. Kemoeatu will likely replace backup nose tackle Brandon McKinney, who signed with Chuck Pagano and the Indianapolis Colts in free agency.
For the first time in a decade, the Baltimore Ravens last weekend drafted three players from college football programs that were below the NCAA Div. I-FBS (formerly I-A) level. As Ravens director of player personnel Eric DeCosta put it, the Ravens "had to manufacture some runs this year" because the team's draft board was similar to those of the NFL¿s 31 other teams and 147 of their top 150 players were selected.
In case you missed Temple's 38-7 win over Maryland last fall, the story in that lopsided Terps loss was Owls running back Bernard Pierce, who set a Temple record by rumbling for five touchdowns. Pierce, who was picked by the Baltimore Ravens in the third round of the 2012 NFL draft, had four of them before the midway point of the second quarter as Temple rolled to a 31-0 halftime lead at Byrd Stadium.
Despite the uncertainty over who will be their third wide receiver this season, the Baltimore Ravens waited until the final couple hours of the 2012 NFL draft weekend to address the wide receiver position. Late in the sixth round, the Ravens drafted Miami Hurricanes wide receiver Tommy Streeter. He was the 27th wide receiver drafted, but based on pre-draft rankings from several draft publications and websites, the Ravens got good value with the selection.
The Ravens¿ front office has long been admired for its decision making during the draft, but Ozzie Newsome, Eric DeCosta and Company also take great pride in the work that they do in the couple of hours following its conclusion. Offensive lineman Mike Flynn and linebackers Bart Scott, Jameel McClain and Dannell Ellerbe are among the undrafted free agents that the Ravens have signed and developed into key contributors.
After the fourth round of the 2012 NFL draft Saturday, Ravens offensive coordinator Cam Cameron made a cameo at the introductory press conference for Courtney Upshaw, Kelechi Osemele and Bernard Pierce. In addition to Kelechi, an Iowa State offensive lineman, and Pierce, the big Temple back, the Ravens had just drafted him another offensive player in Delaware center Gino Gradkowski.
Temporarily ignoring their needs on the offensive line, the Ravens made linebacker Courtney Upshaw, a defensive standout on an Alabama team that won the national championship last season, their first selection of the 2012 draft.
After a quiet first round of the draft in which they traded their pick at No.29 to the Minnesota Vikings for the 35th pick (3rd overall in tonight¿s second round) and the 98th overall pick, the Ravens will be on the clock tonight probably at about 7:15 barring another trade.
In advance of the first round of the 2012 NFL draft, Baltimore Sun columnist Mike Preston gives his take on six college prospects who are linked to the Ravensin the latest mock drafts from prominent national analysts.
In a couple of our recent NFL draft stories, we quoted Matt Williamson of ESPN's Scouts Inc. Williamson is a former scout for the Cleveland Browns who now evaluates current NFL players and college draft prospects for ESPN.com. He and I had a long conversation about the Ravens and their draft needs two weeks ago. Instead of focusing on just a few things that I asked Williamson about, here is the transcript of our entire conversation.
Each day this week leading up to Thursday's NFL draft, we will highlight one prospect whom the Ravens could draft with the 29th overall pick. Today's player is Alabama inside linebacker Dont'a Hightower, one of four Crimson Tide defenders who are expected to be selected in the first round.
While doing my homework on the Ravens and their history in the NFL draft, I spent a little time exploring our Ravens draft database (sorry for the shameless plug, but it's pretty neat feature if you haven't checked it out). In no particular order, here are some trends and random factoids from the 126 picks they've made in 16 years.
When I got home last night, I didn't know if my chills were coming from having stood out in the rain coaching lacrosse for two hours, or hearing the news that Kyle Boller might return as the Ravens backup quarterback.