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.
The NFL offseason heats up on Tuesday when the free agency period begins and the NFL draft will take place next month. In anticipation of those events, blogger and reporter Matt Vensel will look at six key positions the Ravens might address in free agency and the NFL draft in the days leading up to the start of free agency. Today, he looks at safeties.
Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco received a $29 million signing bonus among other incentives in the deal he signed Monday. He also emerged as a partner of sorts with the Super Bowl champions, joining a small fraternity of quarterbacks whose performance and salary-cap figures are pivotal to the health of their respective franchises.
The Baltimore sports scene is blessed with a bunch of talented bloggers who bring their unique perspective to the conversation. Each week, Matt Vensel of The Baltimore Sun hopes to chat with one of them in a regular feature called Blogger on Blogger. This week, he exchanged emails with Gordon McGuinness, who writes about the Ravens for Pro Football Focus.
That development dropped the exclusive franchise tag to $19.136 million, the average of the top five quarterback salary-cap numbers. That figure is derived from Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford's $20.82 million salary-cap number ($12.5 million base salary) as well as New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning's $20.35 million ($13 million base salary), Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning's $20 million ($20 million base salary), New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees' $17.4 million ($9.75 million base salary) and San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers' $17.11 million ($12 million base salary).
The Ravens have had positive talks regarding starting inside linebacker Dannell Ellerbe and will continue to hold discussions regarding their second-ranked priority free agent behind Flacco, according to his agent. The Ravens met with Ellerbe's agent at the NFL scouting combine, but aren't expected to resume talks with him until later this week.
Baltimore Ravens vice president of football administration Pat Moriarty and Joe Linta, the agent for the Super Bowl Most Valuable Player, met at the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis over the weekend for the first talks since hitting an impasse last August.
The welcome prospect of having a top quarterback is juxtaposed by a challenge: trying not to lose several key players due to a tight salary cap situation that will be impacted by the expense that Flacco carries this year and going forward.
Contract negotiations between the Ravens and quarterback Joe Flacco have yet to relaunch, but it's already becoming clear the kind of elite asking price that the Super Bowl Most Valuable Player hopes to command.
The agent for Ravens free agent quarterback Joe Flacco expressed confidence that he'll resume contract negotiations with team vice president of football of administration Pat Moriarty in the near future.
The journey everybody has been talking about in the Baltimore Ravens locker room for the last month officially came to an end at 10:44 p.m. Sunday with the Baltimore Ravens reigning as SuperBowl champions.
Remember this name: Tyler Palko, if only for a moment. For anyone out there who still yearns for the days of Troy Smith or who still thinks Tyrod Taylor ought to get a shot at quarterbacking the Ravens (Seriously, does anyone still believe that?) let the name Tyler Palko serve as yet another example of what I like to call the gross underestimation of how truly great a quarterback the Ravens have in Joe Flacco.