The Ravens should only trade Timmy Jernigan if they can get a second-day draft pick in return, and that seems unlikely, Jeff Zrebiec of The Baltimore Sun writes. There has been speculation that the defensive tackle could be on the block and coach John Harbaugh didn’t do much to slow down that talk when asked about it earlier this week. Jernigan, who is entering his contract year, appeared in every regular season game last season and totaled five sacks. He seemed to run out of gas towards the end of the season and his playing time was slashed down the stretch, but he still stands as Baltimore’s only interior pass-rush threat.
Although Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said he’d “obviously” be open to signing veteran wide receiver Anquan Boldin, he admitted he’ll leave the club’s personnel decisions to general manager Ozzie Newsome, according to Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun (Twitter links). Boldin, 36, has already indicated he’ll return for a 15th NFL season, but he may not sign with a club until later this summer. Baltimore may also look to find a receiver via trade, or perhaps pick up a veteran wideout that has recently been cut by another club, says Harbaugh.
Here’s more on the Ravens:
- Linebacker C.J. Mosley‘s fifth-year option is a mere “formality,” per Harbaugh, as Baltimore wants the former first-round pick “to be a Ravens for many years” (Twitter link via Zrebiec). The non-top-10 pick fifth-year option salary for linebackers in 2017 will be $8.369MM, so the figure could tick towards $9MM in 2019. Mosley, 24, missed two games last year but still racked up 92 tackles and four interceptions, grading as the league’s No. 7 linebacker, per Pro Football Focus.
- Harbaugh didn’t deny rumors that defensive lineman Timmy Jernigan could be traded, reports Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com. “Everybody is up for trade,” Harbaugh said. “It’s part of the conversation in the NFL.” Mike Lombardi of The Ringer recently indicated he’s heard Jernigan’s name pop up in trade discussions. Jernigan, who is entering the final year of his rookie deal, played in all 16 games last season and managed five sacks.
- While veteran tight end Ben Watson hasn’t yet been cleared to practice, he is ahead of schedule as he recovers from a torn Achilles, per Hensley. Watson, 36, signed a two-year, $7MM contract with Baltimore last spring, but never made it on the field after going down in August. There’s no guarantee Watson makes the Ravens’ final roster, as the club also boasts Dennis Pitta (who recently accepted a paycut), Maxx Williams, Crockett Gillmore, Nick Boyle, and Darren Waller at tight end.
- Right guard Marshal Yanda underwent offseason shoulder surgery to repair a nagging injury that caused him to miss three games in 2016, according to Hensley. Despite his health issues, the 32-year-old Yanda was spectacular once again last season, as PFF graded him as the NFL’s best guard. He’s signed through the 2019 campaign.
- With less than $8MM in cap room remaining, the Ravens are unlikely to pursue any more free agents until at least after the draft, team president Dick Cass informed Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun. “We’d like to preserve the opportunity to win a compensatory draft pick,” said Cass. “We really have to wait until [May 9] before we will sign a player, most likely. But you never say never. If an opportunity comes along, we might take it.” Cass added that the Ravens “have to be careful” with their remaining spending space, though he does think they’ll use all of it.
- Scouts view North Carolina State safety Josh Jones as a top-50 pick, according to Pauline, and a number of clubs have already expressed interest. Jones has worked out for the Jaguars and will meet with the Cardinals, Steelers, Ravens, Dolphins, and Jets. While Mel Kiper Jr. of ESPN.com ranks Jones as just the seventh-best safety on the board, Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com places Jones within his top-50 players (No. 48).
- Former NFL executive Mike Lombardi says the Ravens could look to trade defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan. “I think Jernigan is a fabulous player, but they can’t afford to sign him,” Lombardi said (via ESPN.com’s Jamison Hensley). The organization recently made Brandon Williams the highest-paid nose tackle in the NFL, and they also have Michael Pierce, Carl Davis and Willie Henry competing for playing time.
- Michigan edge defender Taco Charlton has visits lined up with the Buccaneers, Cowboys, Dolphins and Saints, Michael Rothstein of ESPN.com reports. Registering 9.5 sacks during a season in which he played with a high ankle sprain, Charlton believes he’s a top-15 player. He met Thursday night with the Steelers, Ravens, Titans and Saints. There’s definitely one team that appears to be interested here, if the overlap is any indication.
- The Ravens will conduct a predraft visit with Washington wide receiver John Ross, according to Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com. Ross, who notably ran a 4.22 40-yard dash at the combine earlier this month, underwent shoulder surgery last week, so Baltimore will presumably check in on the status of his injury. As Hensley notes, the Ravens could use a wideout after losing both Steve Smith (retirement) and Kamar Aiken (free agency).
- Moreau’s UCLA teammate, edge rusher Takkarist McKinley, will visit with the Browns in early April, per Courtney Fallon of NFL.com (Twitter link). After that, McKinley plans to meet with the Ravens, Steelers, Cowboys, and Lions, per Fallon. McKinley put up 10 sacks in 11 games for the Bruins in 2016.
California quarterback Davis Webb is a candidate to be selected in the first round of next month’s draft, according to Jason Cole of Bleacher Report (video link), who cites a “growing sense” Webb may be chosen on Day 1.
The Jets, Chiefs, and Chargers have all set up interviews with Webb, per Cole, while the Ravens and Buccaneers have also expressed interest in the 6’5″ signal-caller. A club could trade back into the first round with an eye towards drafting Webb, reports Cole, and such a move would enable a team to hold a fifth-year option on Webb. That option — for the 2021 campaign — would allow a club to retain Webb for a fifth season at a cheap rate.
While Webb has generally been considered a Day 2 pick to this point, the overall demand for quarterbacks could conceivably force him into the back end of Round 1. At present, Todd McShay of ESPN.com ranks Webb as the draft’s No. 7 QB, behind Deshaun Watson, Mitch Trubisky, DeShone Kizer, Patrick Mahomes, Nathan Peterman, and Joshua Dobbs.
Webb, 22, transferred to Cal from Texas Tech after losing out on the Red Raiders’ starting job to Mahomes. In his only season with the Bears, Webb completed 61.6% of his passes for 4,295 yards, 37 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
Earlier this month, Dennis Pitta agreed to a reworked deal that will allow him to remain in Baltimore. Today, we got the specifics on the tight end’s new contract.
Pitta, 32 in June, was set to carry a hefty $7.7MM cap number in 2017 and 2018. Now, his restructured pact calls for him to carry $5.2MM cap numbers in both years, Jeff Zrebiec of The Baltimore Sun tweets. He’ll get a base salary of $2.5MM in 2017 with a $500K roster bonus and $3MM in 2018.
This marks the second straight year that Pitta has agreed to rework his contract. Last year, the tight end restructured his deal and slashed his base salary from $5MM to $1MM. However, after turning in a stellar season, he earned another $3MM in incentives and nearly balanced it all out. In 2016, Pitta set career-highs in receptions (86) and receiving yards (729) while adding a pair of touchdowns. It was especially remarkable when considering that hip issues limited Pitta to just seven games between 2013 and 2015.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.