Ravens Rumors

Contract Details: Tannehill, Saints, Ravens

Here are the details from the latest contracts agreed to around the NFL:

  • Ryan Tannehill, QB (Titans): Tannehill’s restructured deal will pay out a $1.5MM base salary in 2021 and count $11.1MM against the cap, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets. Those numbers jump back up beginning in 2022, with Tannehill set to earn a $29MM base salary and count $38.6MM against Tennessee’s cap. In 2023, Tannehill is due a $27MM base and will be a $36.6MM cap hit. The Titans used two void years (2024 and ’25) to help create more than $15MM in cap space.
  • Marshon Lattimore, CB (Saints): Four years, $120MM, according to Yates (on Twitter). Like New Orleans’ Taysom Hill deal, this contract is flush with void years and does not reflect true value. Lattimore’s fifth-year option ($10.2MM) will be spread onto the Saints’ 2021 and ’22 salary caps, with $2.841MM on this year’s cap and $7.403MM next year, according to OverTheCap. Lattimore remains under contract through 2021.
  • Gus Edwards, RB (Ravens): Two years, $10MM. Edwards will collect a $3.75MM signing bonus and earn base salaries of $1MM (2021), $3.25MM (’22) and $4.38MM (’23) on this extension, Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic notes (subscription required).
  • Ja’Wuan James, OT (Ravens): One year, up to $9MM. James will receive a $500K signing bonus but count just $250K toward Baltimore’s cap this year, Zrebiec adds. If James is on the Ravens’ roster on the fifth day of the 2022 league year, he will collect a $500K roster bonus. In that scenario, James’ 2022 base salary will be $2.5MM. He would then count $3.25MM against the Ravens’ 2022 cap. $5MM in incentives round out the deal.
  • De’Vondre Campbell, LB (Packers): One year, $2MM, per the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Tom Silverstein (on Twitter). Campbell will receive a $1.1MM signing bonus and count $1.19MM against Green Bay’s 2021 cap. The Packers tacked on four void years, creating an $808K cap hit in 2022. The deal also contains $500K in playing-time incentives.

Ravens Work Out Charles Clay

Charles Clay recently worked out for the Ravens (Twitter link via Adam Caplan of SiriusXM). Clay has not taken the field since the 2019 season, but he could be on the verge of joining one of the league’s most potent offenses.

Last time out, Clay caught 18 passes for 237 yards and a touchdown for the Cardinals. All in all, he has 357 career catches, including some big seasons between 2013-2017. His 2013 with the Dolphins was especially notable, with 69 catches for 759 yards and six scores.

The Ravens could see Clay as a low-cost, potentially high reward addition. It also helps that he has history with offensive coordinator Greg Roman, having played for him in Buffalo in 2015 and 2016.

The Ravens’ TE depth chart is currently headlined by Nick Boyle and Mark Andrews. They’ve also got Eric Tomlinson, Josh Oliver, Eli Wolf, Jacob Breeland, and Tony Poljan on the 90-man roster.

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Ravens Sign First-Round Pick Odafe Oweh

Odafe Oweh is officially in the books. On Friday, the Ravens signed the first-round defensive end to his rookie contract.

Per the terms of his No. 31 overall slot, Oweh will earn $12.6MM over the course of his four-year deal. That’s not too shabby for an athlete who did not play football until his junior year of high school. Turns out, he was a natural. The Penn State product measured out as one of the most athletic edge rushers in the lead-up to the draft and wound up as one of the final selections in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft.

Oweh finished his collegiate career with All-Big Ten honors, 6.5 tackles for loss, and one a pass breakup at Penn State. He didn’t score a sack in his seven games, but he did notch five sacks in 2019.

Here’s the full rundown of the Ravens’ 2021 draft class:

Round 1: No. 27 Rashod Bateman, WR (Minnesota) (signed)
Round 1: No. 31 (from Chiefs) Odafe Oweh, DE (Penn State) (signed)
Round 3: No. 94 (from Chiefs) Ben Cleveland, G (Georgia)
Round 3: No. 104 Brandon Stephens, CB (SMU)
Round 4: No. 131 Tylan Wallace, WR (Oklahoma State) (signed)
Round 5: No. 160 (from Cardinals) Shaun Wade, CB (Ohio State) (signed)
Round 5: No. 171 Daelin Hayes, LB (Notre Dame) (signed)
Round 5: No. 184 Ben Mason, FB (Michigan) (signed)

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Ravens Officially Sign Ja’Wuan James

It’s officially official. On Thursday, free agent offensive lineman Ja’Wuan James inked his Ravens contract. 

James was cut loose by the Broncos earlier this year after suffering a torn Achilles’ tendon. The injury happened outside of the team facility, so he still has some business to settle with his former club. Given the nature of the injury, most assumed that James would spend the year rehabbing before signing his next deal in 2022. Instead, the Ravens moved quickly to sign him to a two-year deal worth up to $9MM in total.

James could even suit up sometime this year, according to Ravens head coach John Harbaugh. If James can stay healthy and return to the form he exhibited in South Beach, this could prove to be one of the savviest signings of the year. James’ last full season came in 2018 with the Dolphins. In that year, Pro Football Focus measured the former first-round pick as a top-35 tackle. He’s been a starter ever since he entered the league — save for his stints on the IR.

For now, longtime Steelers starter Alejandro Villanueva is ticketed to handle the right tackle job with Ronnie Stanley returning to his spot on the left side.

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Ravens Host Todd Gurley

The Ravens are hosting running back Todd Gurley on a visit today (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport). If signed, Gurley could provide yet another intriguing option for Baltimore’s already-loaded backfield.

[RELATED: Ravens’ Ja’Wuan James Could Play In 2021?]

The bulk of the Ravens’ carries will go to second-year pro J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards. But, with Mark Ingram now out of the picture, the Ravens are exploring every opportunity to fortify the group. Gurley hasn’t looked like his old Pro Bowl self in a while, but he comes with tremendous upside if he can stay healthy. Or, at minimum, he could mentor Dobbins as he looks to build on his stellar rookie season. Last year, he ran for 805 yards off of just 134 carries, good for a 6.0 yards per carry average.

Gurley, meanwhile, was held to just 3.5 yards per carry with the Falcons last year while adding 25 catches for 164 yards. His best work, of course, came with the Rams — he was an All-Pro in 2017 and 2018 with a combined 40 touchdowns during that stretch.

The Ravens have been active in the third wave of free agency, having just signed former Broncos tackle Ja’Wuan James to a two-year deal. And, despite his ruptured Achilles, there’s a chance that he could suit up for them this season.

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Ravens’ Ja’Wuan James Could Play In 2021?

The Ravens recently signed Ja’Wuan James to a two-year deal worth around $9MM. It’ll pay him a minimum salary in 2021 with around $8MM coming in 2022, as James of course tore his Achilles earlier this offseason while working out away from the Broncos’ facility.

Denver then cut him while voiding his hefty salary. James has since filed a grievance looking to recover $10MM in 2021 salary and $5MM in 2022 salary, but in the meantime is a member of the Ravens. It was initially assumed Baltimore signed him as a long-term future investment, but it turns out he could return to play sooner than previously thought.

Ravens coach John Harbaugh said yesterday that James hasn’t been ruled out for 2021 and could return to the field in November of December, via Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com (Twitter link). That being said, Harbaugh added it’s not something they’re counting on, just that it’s a possibility.

The Ravens also signed Alejandro Villanueva to be their new starting tackle opposite Ronnie Stanley after trading Orlando Brown Jr., but it’s possible James will be viewed as an upgrade over Villanueva once he’s healthy.

James’ time in Denver was plagued by injuries, but he was a very solid starter for Miami before that.

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Ravens To Sign Michael Schofield

The Ravens have signed Michael Schofield, per a club announcement. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but it’s expected to be a one-year arrangement for the veteran guard. 

Schofield, 30, has 87 career games to his credit, including 69 starts. He first entered the league as a third-round pick of the Broncos in 2014. The next year he started at right guard on their Super Bowl winning team. He later moved on to the rival Chargers, spending time at right tackle in addition to his interior work. His most recent stop was in Carolina, where he suited up for eleven games before his release earlier this year.

Schofield missed a good chunk of 2020 due to time spent on the COVID-19/reserve list. In his 270 snaps, he allowed four sacks and drew three penalty flags.

Now, the 6-foot-6 Schofield will try to make his mark in Baltimore. Given his size and ability to play multiple spots on the offensive line, he should have a decent chance of making the final cut.

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Jim Fassel Dies At 71

Jim Fassel has died of a heart attack at the age of 71 (via the Los Angeles Times). Fassel coached in the NFL from 1991 through 2006 and is known best for his time with the Giants.

Fassel broke into the pro ranks with the Giants and became one of three head coaches in franchise history to lead the team to a Super Bowl. In 1997, his first year as the Giants’ head coach, Fassel was named the NFL’s Coach of the Year. From 97 through ’03, Fassel guided the Giants to three playoff appearances. All in all, Fassel went 58-53-1 as the Giants’ HC.

After his first Giants stint, Fassel served as the Broncos’ offensive coordinator (1993-1994), Raiders’ quarterbacks coach (1995) and Cardinals’ OC (1996). Then, after his six-year run as the Giants’ head coach, he spent three years with the Ravens, including two as their OC. Fassel’s last coaching position was with the Las Vegas Locomotives of the United Football League. The UFL ceased in 2012, but Fassel continued to live in Vegas throughout his golden years.

Although Fassel fell short of a ring during his six-year tenure as head coach, he’ll be fondly remembered for igniting the 2000 Giants in the face of critics.

This is a poker game, and I’m shoving my chips to the middle of the table,” Fassel told reporters in November of that year. “I’m raising the ante, and anybody who wants in, get in. Anybody who wants out can get out.”

Julio Jones Fallout: Contract, Suitors, Titans

In a trade that will send one of the 21st century’s best players to the AFC, the Titans moved ahead of the pack in this pursuit via a firm offer. The Titans were the only serious Jones suitor, according to NBC Sports’ Peter King.

The Falcons spoke with several teams on Jones, though offers were scarce. At various points in this process, the team discussed the All-Pro wide receiver with every NFC West franchise. The Cardinals are a new entrant in this derby, but Albert Breer of SI.com notes neither they nor their NFC West rivals sent the Falcons firm offers.

The Titans initially proposed sending the Falcons a conditional third-rounder that could become a second, Breer adds, but Atlanta had Tennessee’s proposal of a second-rounder sans conditions on the table for a bit. Sunday-morning negotiations that ended with the teams agreeing to exchange later-round picks finalized the deal, according to King.

Tennessee’s willingness to absorb Jones’ $15.3MM guaranteed salary also outflanked other suitors, per Breer, who notes the Falcons were not interested in eating part of Jones’ 2021 salary in order to sweeten trade compensation. No first-round pick was offered, Breer notes, though at one point a first did come up as part of a potential pick swap.

A Jones-Falcons divorce first surfaced around draft time, and it became a deal framed around the new Falcons regime receiving cap relief. Given the salary component in these talks, that certainly is a key reason why Jones is Nashville-bound. But this separation began when Jones and the Falcons negotiated his wideout-record three-year, $66MM extension. Jones lobbied the Falcons for a new deal after the 2017 season; the Falcons refused and ended up making minor adjustments to his previous contract in 2018. The future Hall of Famer pursued the matter again in 2019. While the sides hammered out an agreement, the months-long negotiations — which ended with a Sept. 7 accord — took a toll on both parties. Jones communicated to the Falcons he wanted out in March.

Although the Ravens pursued several receivers this offseason and signed Sammy Watkins, their Jones interest ceased after the draft. Baltimore using first- and fourth-round picks on wideouts — Rashod Bateman and Tylan Wallace — ended its talks with its former division rival. Finances scuttled Seahawks involvement, King notes, adding the Patriots were also not serious players in this chase.

It sounds like the Falcons are preparing for a pricey Calvin Ridley extension. The 2018 first-round pick is now eligible for a new deal, and the Falcons are preparing for that expensive re-up, per Breer, by getting the Jones contract off their books. Though Atlanta is still eating some dead money from this trade, the team has some time on a Ridley extension. The Falcons picked up his fifth-year option in May, locking up Ridley through 2022.

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Ravens To Sign Ja’Wuan James

In a surprise move, the Ravens have agreed to sign offensive tackle Ja’Wuan James (Twitter link via ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter). James is unlikely to play anytime soon, due to his ruptured Achilles. Still, the Ravens moved to sign him with the hope that he’ll be 100% healthy for 2022. The deal could pay up to $9MM in total. 

[RELATED: James Files Grievance Against Broncos]

The deal is still pending a physical, though the exam will account for James’ primary injury. If all goes well, James will put pen to paper this week and collect $500K in guaranteed money for 2021. In essence, he’s getting $500K to rehab under team supervision this year and agreeing to play for $8MM in 2022. Beyond that, James can reach the full $9MM via incentives.

After spending his first five years with the Dolphins, James inked a four-year, $51MM deal with Denver to serve as their long-term starter. But, due to knee injuries, the former first-round pick only appeared in three games in 2019. Then, he opted out of the 2020 season. Now, he’s moving on to Baltimore, though he’s still hashing out some financial matters with his old club.

The Ravens see James as a potential heir to the right tackle job. They’ve got Alejandro Villanueva under contract for the next two years, but he’s unlikely to match Orlando Brown‘s level of performance. James, in theory, could provide better protection in 2022 with Villanueva serving as a backup.

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