Bradley Bozeman

Ravens Hope To Extend Bradley Bozeman, Patrick Ricard

The Ravens are looking to extend the contracts of center Bradley Bozeman and fullback/tight end Patrick Ricard, according to league sources who spoke with Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com. However, they’ve yet to make real progress on either front. 

[RELATED: Ravens’ Jackson Out For Week 11]

The Ravens want to keep both players, but they’re up against a tight cap situation already with less than $900K in room, according to Over The Cap. Meanwhile, they also have to prioritize Lamar Jackson‘s next contract. Reportedly, the star quarterback wants something in the range Patrick Mahomes‘ $45MM/year deal with the Chiefs. The Ravens can probably shave a few million off of that total — without matching KC’s ten-year commitment to Mahomes — but it’ll be a whopper of a contract no matter what.

The Ravens could consider the transition tag for Bozeman, but he’d be lumped in with the league’s highest paid tackles with the offensive lineman designation. That’d mean a ~$15M salary for next year, which is outsized even for this year’s No. 9 ranked center (per Pro Football Focus’ advanced metrics). The same goes for Ricard — whether he’s classified as a tight end or a running back, the ~$10MM transition tag would be far too pricey, despite his blocking ability. For now, he’s playing out the remainder of his two-year, $7.3MM pact.

Bozeman, who turns 27 later this week, could probably garner upwards of $10MM/year on the open market. For reference, there are are currently eight centers in the eight-figure per annum club: Frank Ragnow (Lions), Corey Linsley (Chargers), Ryan Kelly (Colts), J.C. Tretter (Browns), Ryan Jensen (Buccaneers), Brandon Linder (Jaguars), Chase Roullier (Washington), and Rodney Hudson (Cardinals).

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC Notes: Simmons, Newton, Ravens

Broncos safety Justin Simmons has still not signed his franchise tender, and like most players seeking new contracts, Simmons’ negotiations have been impacted in a big way by the pandemic. As a result, Ryan O’Halloran of the Denver Post believes Simmons is more likely to play out the 2020 campaign on his $12.7MM tender than land a multi-year pact. The one caveat to that would be if Simmons is willing to give Denver a hometown discount, but there have been no real indications that he is willing to do so.

However, O’Halloran does not expect the process to be an ugly one, and he fully believes Simmons will sign his tender and report to camp if there is no new deal in place by the July 15 deadline.

Let’s take a quick trip around the AFC:

  • Much has been made of the minimal guarantee and base salary that 2015 MVP Cam Newton stands to earn under his new one-year pact with the Patriots. 49ers CB Richard Sherman took to Twitter to express his outrage over the deal, calling it “disgusting” that a player like Newton would have to settle for such chump change (and ignoring the myriad injury concerns that led to the contract). But Newton himself, in his first public comments about the financial details (via Instagram), said simply “[t]his is not about money for me. It’s about respect.” A productive season in Foxborough would lead to Newton’s market rebounding in a big way in 2021, though the Pats may be inclined to use the franchise tag on him if that happens.
  • The Ravens lost future Hall-of-Fame RG Marshal Yanda to retirement this offseason, and though the club has a number of young players who could replace him, the pandemic will likely give veterans a leg up over less experienced talents. As such, Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic expects D.J. Fluker to win the starting right guard gig, while 2019 left guard Bradley Bozeman is the clear favorite to reprise his role in 2020.
  • In the same piece linked above, Zrebiec notes that the Ravens, who recently cut veteran LB Jake Ryan, did so because both sides realized that Ryan — who has only played in two games since 2017 — still wasn’t healthy and wouldn’t have enough time to get healthy and learn the team’s defense.
  • In case you missed it, Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue may be prepared to sit out the entire 2020 season if he does not get traded.

Ravens Sign 8 Draft Picks

Of the 12 draft choices the Ravens made this year, eight are now under contract. The Ravens signed the final eight of their 2018 draft picks on Saturday. Here’s the full rundown:

Baltimore’s unsigned contingent consists of Hayden Hurst, Lamar Jackson, Orlando Brown and Mark Andrews.

Scott and Lasley made it a four-pass-catcher draft for the Ravens, who used first- and third-round picks on tight ends. The Ravens have overhauled their receiving corps this offseason, cutting Jeremy Maclin, letting Mike Wallace depart in free agency and signing John Brown, Michael Crabtree and Willie Snead.

Averett and Elliott will attempt to carve out positions in Baltimore’s secondary, while Sieler becomes the third Division II front-seven piece on the Ravens’ roster, joining Brandon Williams and Matt Judon.