The past week was a quiet one in terms of official news, though the Baltimore Ravens as an organization, and the Ravens as players were a part of NFL news and discussions.
The most important event of the week was a 63-61 victory of the Ravens over the Redskins! Yes, in basketball – in a benefit game sponsored by Torrey Smith and attended by a crowd of about 4,500 at the Comcast Center. The game went into overtime and was won on a tip-in shot by Jacoby Jones! Of course! The guy is always clutch, and thank God… it would be terribly embarrassing to lose to the Redskins in anything! Seriously – sounds like a great event put on by a great guy – whose wife is expecting any day now.
In the category of “you can’t make up stuff like this,” Ray Rice and fiancée got married the day after he was indicted for a domestic situation, being hit with an aggravated assault charge stemming from an incident with the fiancée in Atlantic City last month. More than enough has been said and written about this, though the unfortunate element – beyond the personal issue for the couple – is that this raises uncertainties about his effectiveness moving forward and what disciplinary and legal matters will befall Rice, affecting his availability. The fallout of this may come from the NFL’s personal conduct policy that states, “It is not enough simply to avoid being found guilty of a crime. Instead, as an employee of the NFL or a member club, you are held to a higher standard and expected to conduct yourself in a way that is responsible, promotes the values upon which the League is based, and is lawful.” We may recall the Roethlisberger six-game suspension as an example of this application. Look for the Ravens to have some alternative running back plans. For a discussion as to how that might be done, check out THIS ARTICLE by Comcast SportsNet’s Clifton Brown.
The best possible scenario befell the Ravens relative to supplemental draft selections. Baltimore received four – in rounds 3,4,4,5. This was really good news, since their regular third and fourth round picks were sent away in the trade to acquire Eugene Monroe. All of these selections in the capable hands of Ozzie Newsome are sure to allow the Ravens to fill more holes in the roster, and not just for 2014. At this moment, the Ravens will draft as follows:
The previously-reported 7th-round pick from the trade of Bryant McKinnie to the Dolphins will not now actually happen until 2015.
NFL owners meetings were held this past week with a variety of rules discussions and modifications. Coming from those meetings were various notes and journalists’ reports, including one about Panthers Coach Ron Rivera discussing the reasons for letting go of Steven Smith – including many back-handed compliments, but also some odd remarks that will surely motivate the Ravens’ new wide receiver. HERE is more about that from my post earlier this week.
As a gesture of his confidence in Coach John Harbaugh, Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti extended his contract one more year through the 2017 season. The longevity and continuity of the Ravens’ upper management and decision-makers is a great franchise strength.
And finally, it is interesting to see who among the Ravens received the most performance-based pay through a NFL system that rewards players beyond their contracts for their amount of time played. The top three were:
1. Wide Receiver Marlon Brown – $235,461
2. Center Gino Gradkowski – $230,105
3. Strong Safety James Ihedigbo – $229,688
Also this week, Ihedigbo officially has gone to the Detroit Lions. The main thing I will miss about him is trying to remember how to spell his name.