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#pounditSunday, March 7, 2021

Articles tagged: Baltimore Ravens

Here is where Lamar Jackson, Ravens stand in early contract talks

Lamar Jackson

Lamar Jackson has two years remaining on his rookie contract, and it goes without saying that the former MVP is one of the most underpaid players in football. The Baltimore Ravens are working on changing that, but the two sides apparently have a long way to go.

Jackson and the Ravens are in the early stages of discussing a contract extension, but Ben Volin of the Boston Globe was told by two sources that they are “far apart” in negotiations. Jackson is due to make a base salary of just $1.7 million next season and also still has the fifth-year option remaining on his deal for 2022.

While it’s unlikely Jackson will get anything close to the 10-year, $503 million extension Patrick Mahomes signed with the Kansas City Chiefs last offseason, that will probably be the starting point for his representatives. A more realistic deal would be something close to the four-year, $160 million extension Deshaun Watson got from the Houston Texans.

Jackson took a bit of a step back last season after being named NFL MVP the year before. He finished with 2,757 passing yards, 26 passing touchdowns and nine interceptions. He added over 1,000 rushing yards and had seven scores on the ground.

While the production was nothing to scoff at, Ravens fans were left disappointed. One Baltimore player believes Jackson will be more motivated than ever after the way last season ended. If that translates into a big year in 2021, he’d be in a stronger position to negotiate his extension.

Orlando Brown hints at Ravens departure again on social media

Orlando Brown Jr

Baltimore Ravens offensive lineman Orlando Brown Jr. appears to have made up his mind about his future with the Baltimore Ravens.

Brown spent his first two NFL seasons as a right tackle for the Ravens, where he quickly developed into a Pro Bowler. However, after left tackle Ronnie Stanley suffered a season-ending ankle injury in Week 8, the Ravens shifted Brown to the left, where he quickly adapted. In fact, Brown enjoyed his time at left tackle so much, he made clear that he sees himself holding the position full-time.

On Friday, Brown doubled down, tweeting what read like a goodbye message to the Ravens while also sharing a portion of an article where he described his father’s insistence that he play left tackle.

With Stanley poised to return in 2021 — and expecting to reclaim his typical position — the Ravens have an issue on their hands. Brown is set to enter the final year of his rookie deal in 2021, where he’d be making $920,000 as a base salary. That’s exceptionally low for a player of his caliber, but the bigger issue may be that he simply sees his playing future in a position where the Ravens can’t really offer him a starting job.

The Ravens are facing some key decisions this offseason. Some key players may be too expensive to retain, and they also want to sort out their quarterback’s long-term future. Now, Brown’s unhappiness is yet another thing Baltimore will have to sort out.

John Harbaugh not begging a receiver to come play with Lamar Jackson

John Harbaugh

Despite all the regular season success, the Baltimore Ravens have fallen short in the playoffs two years in a row. Some of the blame for that has fallen to the team’s offense, specifically issues in the passing game.

The Ravens do not have a clear No. 1 receiver for quarterback Lamar Jackson. This might be the offseason to address that with high-end receivers potentially heading for the market, but don’t expect coach John Harbaugh to get on his knees and beg them to come.

“I’m not going to beg anybody to be here,” Harbaugh said Wednesday, via Jamison Hensley of ESPN. “I’m not a college coach and I don’t have to recruit anybody. ‘You want to win? You want to win? You want to be a part of a great organization, and you want to be a part of a team, and you want to love coming to work every single day, and you’re a football player and you love football? If you’re all about stats, and numbers, and your stat line, and how many balls you catch, necessarily, and that’s all you care for — then there’s a lot of other teams you can go play for, and we’ll be looking forward to lining up against you.'”

Harbaugh essentially sums up the Ravens’ philosophy perfectly. To play in Baltimore, it’s vital to buy into the team. That’s why a lot of veterans decided to join up for 2020 in a bid to win the Super Bowl, but most of them play on the defensive side of the ball.

That said, the Ravens need wide receivers. Even Harbaugh knows that. There’s a reason they were desperate enough to sign this guy late in the 2020 season.

Kurt Warner defends himself after blaming weather for Ravens’ loss

Kurt Warner

Kurt Warner seems to believe the best team did not win Saturday night’s Divisional Round playoff game between the Baltimore Ravens and Buffalo Bills, and the Hall of Fame quarterback has come under fire for his controversial take.

After the Bills defeated the Ravens 17-3 in Buffalo, Warner said on NFL Network that he wished the two teams could have played indoors. He obviously felt the windy conditions favored the Bills, and he would prefer if weather were taken out of the equation.

“Can we just play every playoff game inside?” Warner said, drawing groans from his colleagues. “I know that’s a part of football. I don’t like when we come to the biggest moments of the season and the elements become a part of the mix. I want the best team to be able to advance and all the elements to be the exact same for every team.”

As you might expect, Warner was torn apart on Twitter. He stood by his opinion, however, and said weather should not be a factor in the playoffs.

There are many reasons Warner’s take was a lousy one. For starters, the Ravens play in an outdoor stadium in Baltimore. It’s not as if they’re a dome team, so they should be accustomed to playing in less-than-ideal conditions. More importantly, the Bills were the better team during the regular season and earned home-field advantage.

Teams that play home games in a dome are typically better in that environment than outdoor teams, and vice versa. That’s why it is important to earn home-field advantage, and it may be even more crucial this season.

With a very limited number of fans permitted to attend games, weather and a familiar environment may be the only reward for the team that is seeded higher. The Packers are also more comfortable playing in rough conditions in Green Bay, and they deserve to have that advantage as the No. 1 seed in the NFC.

Warner’s Rams teams were known as the “Greatest Show on Turf,” so it’s no surprise he dislikes playoff games in bad weather. The Ravens made crucial mistakes like this one, which is why they only managed three points. Weather may have been a factor, but both teams had to deal with it.

Report: Ravens likely to explore contract extension for Lamar Jackson

Lamar Jackson

The Baltimore Ravens are preparing to lock their star quarterback down long-term once their season concludes.

According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, the Ravens plan to explore a contract extension with quarterback Lamar Jackson. Rapoport makes clear that any deal with Jackson would be a “big-time” extension, and would likely be explored in late spring or summer.

The Ravens have Jackson through 2022, which would represent his fifth-year option season, but they won’t want to put off contract extension talks too much longer. Jackson promises to be very expensive to retain, but the Ravens know that, and it sounds like they’re prepared to at least talk about the big money the 24-year-old is certain to command.

With the 2018 draft class of quarterbacks moving toward their final guaranteed year, Jackson is unlikely to be the only member of that group to possibly get a big payday during the offseason.

Ravens players explain why they stomped on Titans’ logo

Ravens stomp Titans logo

Baltimore Ravens players celebrated on the Tennessee Titans’ midfield logo following a huge interception by Marcus Peters on Sunday, but they insist it was not meant as a sign of disrespect.

Peters intercepted a Ryan Tannehill pass with less than two minutes remaining, and the play essentially sealed the win for the Ravens. Baltimore players then got together and stomped and celebrated on the midfield logo at Nissan Stadium. After his team’s 20-13 victory, Ravens defensive lineman Derek Wolfe said the stunt was more about revenge than disrespect.

“It wasn’t a disrespect thing,” Wolfe said, via Michael Giardi of NFL Network. “It was more like a team-unity thing; like we accomplished something as a team, so we’re going to go out there and take a little bit of revenge, I guess.”

Baltimore defensive back Marlon Humphrey also downplayed the celebration. He said Ravens defenders were just looking to celebrate with Peters and happened to be at that spot on the field.

Ravens players can spin it however they want, but the revenge factor was obvious. It was also deserved. They were simply returning the favor after the Titans did something similar to them in their previous two meetings.

Titans players gathered on the Ravens’ midfield logo at M&T Bank Stadium prior to kickoff when the teams met earlier this season. That led to John Harbaugh getting into it with Malcolm Butler (video here). Harbaugh then snubbed Tennessee coach Mike Vrabel and refused to shake his hand after the game. The Titans had pulled the same stunt before the two teams met in the playoffs last year.

Simply put, the Ravens got the last laugh. You can’t blame them for rubbing the Titans’ noses in it.

Mike Vrabel critical of officials following Titans’ loss to Ravens

Mike Vrabel

Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Vrabel was unhappy with the officiating in his team’s playoff loss to the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday.

Vrabel will likely draw a fine from the NFL for the way he spoke about the officials after the Wild Card game. He seemed particularly upset that there was no flag thrown on Marcus Peters’ fourth-quarter interception, which helped seal the 20-13 win for Baltimore. Vrabel said an official told him Titans wide receiver Kalif Raymond ran into Peters, which is why there was no penalty.

You can see the interception play below:

The officials let a lot go, which is nothing new for a playoff game. Vrabel shouldn’t be that upset because his team benefitted from a no-call on AJ Brown’s one-handed touchdown catch (video here) early in the game. The refs seemed intent on allowing players on both sides to be physical.

There’s another reason Vrabel has no right to complain: His decision to punt on 4th-and-2 at the Ravens’ 40-yard line midway through the fourth quarter may have cost Tennessee the game. You can read Vrabel’s explanation for that decision here.

Lamar Jackson led Ravens off field without shaking Titans players’ hands

Lamar Jackson handshake

The bad blood between the Baltimore Ravens and Tennessee Titans is very real, as evidenced by what happened at the end of Sunday’s playoff game.

In a highly-anticipated rematch from last year’s playoff upset, the Ravens escaped with a 20-13 win over the Titans. After kneeling for the final time to run out the clock, quarterback Lamar Jackson snubbed the Titans in the customary postgame handshakes and fraternizing, leading a number of teammates straight down the tunnel instead.

This will undoubtedly be a source of controversy, but we probably should have seen it coming. After all, Jackson is essentially mimicking what his coach did when these teams last met. That was in response to the Titans’ perceived disrespect of Baltimore’s midfield logo, which the Ravens also got some payback for on Sunday.

This is a real rivalry at this point, with legitimate antipathy on both sides. The way this game ended is clear proof of that.

Ravens stomp on Titans’ midfield logo following Marcus Peters INT

Ravens stomp Titans logo

The Tennessee Titans angered the Baltimore Ravens by gathering on their midfield logo before each of the last two meetings between the teams, and John Harbaugh’s team returned the favor on Sunday.

Ravens cornerback Marcus Peters intercepted Ryan Tannehill with less than two minutes remaining and Baltimore leading 20-13. After the pick, Ravens players all got together and stomped on the midfield logo at Nissan Stadium. Here’s the video:

The stunt drew a 15-yard penalty for taunting, but we doubt the Ravens cared. If you’re familiar with the backstory, you know why they couldn’t wait for an opportunity to do that.

Titans players gathered on the Ravens’ midfield logo at M&T Bank Stadium prior to kickoff when the teams met earlier this season. That led to Harbaugh confronting Titans players and getting into it with Malcolm Butler (video here). Harbaugh then snubbed Tennessee coach Mike Vrabel and refused to shake his hand after the game.

Harbaugh was likely irate before the regular season meeting because the Titans pulled the same stunt last year in the playoffs before they beat Baltimore. This year, it was the Ravens getting the last laugh and coming away with the 20-13 victory.

Safety on final play gives Browns bettors terrible bad beat against Ravens

Browns Ravens safety bad beat

A safety on the final play of the epic “Monday Night Football” game between the Baltimore Ravens and Cleveland Browns heavily changed the outcome for many bettors.

The Browns were trailing 45-42 following a 55-yard field goal by Justin Tucker with two seconds left. With few options left, Cleveland tried a whole bunch of laterals on their kickoff return. They ended up taking a safety, making the game 47-42.

Many people thought the game was over at 45-42, but the safety actually counted and threw off the spread.

The Browns were getting three points and were in position to push at 45-42. Instead, anyone who had the Browns at +3 lost their bet. What a brutal outcome and addition to our category of heartbreaking bad beats.