Baltimore Ravens take shot at Miami Heat for their modest victory parade

LeBron-James-Larry-O'Brien-trophyThe Miami Heat held their second victory parade in two years on Monday, and let’s just say it wasn’t exactly the 2004 Boston Red Sox World Series parade. The Heat are known for having some of the worst bandwagon fans in the country, so it would be shocking to see millions of them lining the streets to applaud their team for doing something it just did a year ago.

They NFL and NBA may have nothing to do with each other, but the Baltimore Ravens decided to take a shot at the Heat with a photo on the team’s official Twitter account Tuesday afternoon.

I think context is important here. The image they showed from the Heat parade looks like it’s on a main drag, and the camera is zoomed out further. The Ravens also showed a shot of their stadium, which is obviously going to be packed during a victory celebration.

Nevertheless, Heat fans deserve the criticism. Many of them walked out on their team during Game 6 and missed an epic comeback because of it, which is something they will never live down. But having a more loyal fan base than the Heat is kind of like being the fastest kid at fat camp. It’s not really something you should be bragging about.

Ravens owner wants Joe Flacco to be leader with Ray Lewis gone

Joe FlaccoThe Baltimore Ravens have lost several of their leaders to free agency, trade and retirement this offseason. Ray Lewis has been the clear-cut leader of the team for over a decade, and Baltimore’s locker room is sure to be much quieter with guys like him and Ed Reed no longer  around. That’s why Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti is looking for Joe Flacco to step up and fill the void.

“You are the leader now, like it or not,” Bisciotti told Flacco on Friday night, via the team’s official website.

While Flacco has never been seen as one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, his resume speaks louder than his statistics. He is the only quarterback to ever reach the postseason in his first five seasons and win at least one game every time. He has also played in three AFC championships and won a Super Bowl, all before the age of 29.

“Not many guys do what you did in five years,” Bisciotti said. “Not many did it your way. Not many like the way you do it. But I said at the end-of-the-year press conference after last year’s [AFC championship] defeat, that I think the fans of Baltimore will be rewarded by your low-key presence, and it will stand the test of time. Indeed it did, and we all hope it continues to do that.”

Flacco will have a tough time changing his personality, and the team shouldn’t want him to. His own father basically called him a dud earlier this year, but that’s one of the characteristics that helps him perform well under pressure. A $120 million contract says Flacco should be a leader, but don’t expect him to do it by screaming at his teammates before games. That’s just not his style.

H/T Pro Football Talk

Baltimore Ravens get their Super Bowl rings

Baltimore Ravens Super Bowl rings

It’s a great week of celebration for the Baltimore Ravens. The team visited the White House on Thursday to be congratulated for winning the Super Bowl, and they are scheduled to have a ceremony to receive their championship rings on Friday.

Torrey Smith had the best quote of all: “I might act like a woman when she sees her engagement ring!”

We don’t have any specs on the rings yet. We’ll update when we do. Below is a look at the 2001 Super Bowl ring for comparison:

[Read more...]

Joe Flacco’s agent: I’ve never seen ‘dumber move’ than Ravens not signing Flacco last season

Joe FlaccoThe Baltimore Ravens got exactly what they wanted from Joe Flacco when he led the team to a championship last season, but the situation could not have worked out worse for ownership regarding the franchise quarterback’s contract. Rather than signing Flacco to an extension in 2012, the Ravens waited until he won a Super Bowl and stripped them of any leverage they may have had.

Last August, Flacco and the Ravens were close on a five-year extension worth an average of $16 million per year. Flacco’s camp ended up walking away from the discussions, and his agent Joe Linta says the dispute was over $1 million in the final year of the deal. Now, Linta is throwing it in the team’s face that they didn’t act sooner.

“I’ve never in my life seen a dumber move,” Linta told USA Today Sports on Sunday. “I guess people can say, ‘Well, Joe was dumb, too.’ It could have been (dumb), God forbid, if he got hurt. But $1 million to Steve Bisciotti six years from now? That’s like 100 bucks for you or me today.”

While the contract spans over five years, it is realistically only a three-year deal that will need to be reworked in year four. Before the 2016 season, Flacco’s cap hit will be sitting at $28.55. In all likelihood, the Ravens will have to extend him further at that point in order to give the team more cap space.

“I’m not apologetic for the fact this is really a three-year deal, there’s no way they can afford $29 million a couple of years from now,” Linta said. “I’m not apologetic. They chose to walk away.”

Linta has no reason to apologize for getting his client Tom Brady and Peyton Manning money. Despite his mediocre regular season stats, Flacco has had great success in the postseason and has already won a championship at age 28. The Ravens took a gamble and lost, but they won a Super Bowl in the process. Who’s to say Flacco would have been as motivated if he wasn’t playing for a contract? I’m sure the team’s owners aren’t crying themselves to sleep over his contract.

Bernard Pollard missing Ravens’ White House visit, holds grudge

Bernard Pollard RavensBernard Pollard was one of the key members of the Baltimore Ravens’ Super Bowl-winning defense last season. Despite his great season last year, the team released him in March. He signed with the Tennessee Titans, and it sounds like there are some hard feelings between him and some people associated with the team.

During an interview with Norris & Davis Show on 105.7 The Fan in Baltimore, Pollard said he was “stunned a little bit” over his release. He said he would not be joining the team in DC for its celebratory visit to the White House, explaining that he already had a family vacation scheduled. But he says he would not have made the trip anyway even if he didn’t have a conflict.

“I’m not gonna be there,” Pollard told the hosts, via Pro Football Talk. “I’m either going to have someone get my ring or have them ship it to me. I gotta sit this one out, man. I actually have a vacation with my family and then I’m coming back to get [my ring]. If I didn’t have a vacation, I wouldn’t come anyway.”

“If I didn’t have a vacation, I still wouldn’t want to go. I’m not sour,” said Pollard.

“It’s not my teammates. It’s not my teammates at all. I would celebrate with them any time, any day of the week I would celebrate with them. But at the end of the day, I know what happened, I know what took place. . . . I’m sorry, but I just don’t want to be in the room with certain people.”

Pollard was going to count for $3.5 million against the salary cap this season, which doesn’t seem like a ton for what he would do. He said he believes the story GM Ozzie Newsome told him regarding his release.

Pollard led the Ravens in tackles last season, but he isn’t great in pass coverage. The big reason that seems to account for his release is what appears to be a rocky relationship with coach John Harbaugh. The team reportedly had a near mutiny situation in October, and Pollard along with Ed Reed were said to have been the strongest opponents to Harbaugh. Reed signed with another team while Pollard was released. That likely explains his release and bitter comments.

Arthur Jones starts Ravens ‘dream team’ talk after Elvis Dumervil signing

Elvis-Dumervil-BroncosBaltimore Ravens fans have watched their Super Bowl champion defense basically fall apart over the offseason. Ray Lewis has retired and Ed Reed, Paul Kruger, Dannell Ellerbe, and Cary Williams have all left via free agency. That means Baltimore will have an entirely new look on defense, but fans will be happy to know that the makeover now includes the addition of Elvis Dumervil.

According to Mike Klis of the Denver Post, Dumveril and the Ravens have agreed to a five-year deal worth a reported $35 million. Dumervil is a few years older than Kruger, but the former Denver Bronco has 63.5 sacks in his career and is considered one of the best pass rushers in the game. Does he make the Ravens a dream team? Defensive lineman Arthur Jones seems to think so.

“That’s awesome. It’s like a dream team in the making,” Jones said of the trade, via the Baltimore Sun’s Aaron Wilson. “I can’t wait until we all get together.”

Dumervil, who was released on March 15 after his revised contract with the Broncos was not faxed in time, is arguably the best free agent signing of the offseason. That being said, the Ravens will still have a ton of adjustments to make after losing their biggest leaders on defense in Lewis and Reed. Winning back-to-back Super Bowls is difficult enough, let alone doing so with a totally revamped defense.

Moreover, doesn’t Jones realize that the words “dream team” are the worst ones he can possibly use? Remember what Vince Young and Jason Babin said about the Eagles before the start of the 2011 season? We all see how that has worked out. Jones probably should have found a different way to express his excitement.

H/T Pro Football Talk

Torrey Smith, Ravens players frustrated over Anquan Boldin trade

Anquan BoldinWhen word surfaced on Monday that the Minnesota Vikings had traded Percy Harvin to the Seattle Seahawks, Adrian Peterson was not shy about expressing his disappointment on Twitter. Later in the day, the Baltimore Ravens traded playoff hero Anquan Boldin to the San Francisco 49ers. As you might expect, his teammates were just as disappointed.

The Ravens had made it quite clear that Boldin needed to take a pay cut to remain with the team, and it seemed unlikely that they would be able to find a trade partner given the fact that they had given up most of their leverage. However, San Francisco offered a sixth-round pick and Baltimore pulled the trigger. This did not please Torrey Smith.

As CSNBaltimore.com pointed out, a number of other Ravens players were also disappointed and confused after learning that the man who caught four touchdown passes in the playoffs en route to a Super Bowl championship had been dealt.

[Read more...]