Ronnie Stanley

Ravens Exercise Ronnie Stanley’s Option

The Ravens have exercised the fifth-year option on starting left tackle Ronnie Stanley, a league source tells Field Yates of ESPN.com (on Twitter). With that, Stanley is now under contract through the 2020 season. 

[RELATED: 2020 Fifth-Year Option Decision Tracker]

There was little doubt that the Ravens would pick up the fifth-year option on the 2016 first-round pick. Stanley has been a starter for the Ravens in all three of his NFL seasons and, last year, he graded out as the No. 17 ranked tackle in the league, according to Pro Football Focus.

The additional year will cost the Ravens $13MM in 2020 after his initial four-year deal wraps up. It’s not chump change, but it’s well worth it for the Ravens to lock down one of the best young tackles in the NFL.

The Ravens had until May 3 to make the call, but they didn’t need to take it down to the wire. Stanley’s $13MM sum will be guaranteed for injury only, so the club can easily get out of the deal if there’s an unexpected regression in his performance.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC Notes: Dolphins, Grimes, Gordon, Hali, Ford, Stanley, Pats Injuries

The Dolphins season has taken a dive in recent weeks. After starting the year 4-2, the team has lost control of the final AFC Wild Card spot, losing their past three games by a combined 67 points, thanks to blowout defeats at the hands of the Ravens and Panthers. However, while their reliance on Jay Cutler and midseason trade of Jay Ajayi have’t helped, Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald opines that the secondary has been one of the major reasons why the Dolphins are not in position to be playoff contenders, particularly in regards to loss of Brent Grimes when the franchise opted to cut him before the 2016 season.

Beasley explains that the front office decided to move on from the veteran cornerback because his age, salary, 2015 performance and even his wife’s antics, but in hindsight the team misses Grimes’ steady contributions. The 34 year-old corner will face his former team for the first time since they let him walk this Sunday. Since his release, the Dolphins have failed to rectify the position with the likes of Byron Maxwell, Tony Lippett, Xavien Howard and Cordrea Tankersley. While Howard and Tankersley are still young, both aren’t guys you can lean on during a playoff run. In comparison, Grimes has played more like a middle of the pack corner this season , grading out as the 60th best corner in the league, according to Pro Football Focus. Still, in Beasley’s opinion the way the team has handled their defensive back situation has been a dud all around over the past few years.

  • Josh Gordon is back at the Browns practice facility and he has made a positive impression on head coach Hue Jackson, according to Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal (Twitter link). Ulrich passes along that the second-year Cleveland head coach has stated that the wideout has been “involved” and is a “pleasure to be around”. The Browns reporter also states that Jackson expects the talented reciever to be back on the practice field on November 20. Still just 26 years old, Gordon last played for the team in 2014, and has since been suspended from the league for multiple drug violations. The former high supplemental draft pick will be a restricted free agent in 2018, so he needs to make the most of every opportunity to impress the coaching staff if he wants a real chance to continue his playing career.
  • The Chiefs will be without two key pass rushers when they travel to New Jersey to take on the Giants this Sunday. Both Dee Ford and Tamba Hali have been ruled out for the contest, according to Adam Teicher of ESPN.com (Twitter link). This is particularly interesting development in the case of Hali because the team took the cautious approach to resting him by putting him on the PUP before the start of the regular season. However, he remains on the sideline despite being placed back on the active roster. Kansas City will lean on Frank Zombo with these pass rush specialists unavailable. Getting to the quarterback has been an issue for the team, as the Chiefs currently rank in the bottom half of the league in terms of sacks, racking up just a combined 19.0 through ten weeks.
  • The Ravens have already lost their best offensive lineman for the year in Marshal Yanda and have another troubling injury situation unfolding regarding left tackle Ronnie Stanley. Even after a bye, the second-year lineman is doubtful to play with a concussion, tweets Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun. Obviously, all concussions should be taken seriously, but his absence should be a concern considering that Baltimore has really had to shakeup their protection for Joe Flacco with the injuries to Yanda and second-year guard Alex Lewis. James Hurst would likely get the start in place of Stanley, which is a significant downgrade for a team that is looking to gain momentum in securing the final AFC wild card spot over the last seven weeks of the regular season.
  • The Patriots will be without two starting offensive lineman of their own when they travel to Mexico City to take on the Raiders on Sunday afternoon. Both center David Andrews (illness) and right tackle Marcus Cannon (ankle) have been ruled out, according to Mike Reiss of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Backup lineman Ted Karras got some snaps at center during last week’s blowout of the Broncos and the team has reserve tackles in Cameron Fleming and LaAdrian Waddle who could fill in at right tackle. Bill Belichick and co. will also be without Chris Hogan and special teams ace Matt Slater, so the team has to overcome more than just new surroundings to get out of Mexico with their eighth win of the year.

 

Ravens Sign Ronnie Stanley

The Ravens are the latest team to lock up their first-round pick from this year’s draft, announcing today (via Twitter) that offensive tackle Ronnie Stanley has signed his rookie contract. More than half of 2016’s first-rounders are now under contract, with 17 signed and 14 still unsigned.Ronnie Stanley

Stanley, who was the first offensive tackle off the board this year, was selected with the sixth overall pick by the Ravens. There was speculation that if a video showing Laremy Tunsil smoking marijuana out of a gas-mask bong had not been leaked just before the draft, Baltimore would have drafted the Ole Miss tackle over Stanley, but both players were very high on the team’s board, and the Ravens are happy to have a potential long-term left tackle to protect Joe Flacco‘s blind side.

According to Over the Cap’s data, Stanley will be one of six rookies who receives a four-year contract with a total value exceeding $20MM. The Notre Dame alum’s deal is set to be worth $20.484MM, with a signing bonus of about $13.098MM. Baltimore will also have a team option for Stanley’s fifth season in 2020, which the team can exercise or decline in 2019.

As our tracker shows, the Ravens have now secured nine of their 11 draftees, with only third-round edge defender Bronson Kaufusi and sixth-round QB/WR Keenan Reynolds not locked up yet.

The Ravens also announced a few more roster moves today, per Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun, who tweets that the team has cut wide receiver Marlon Brown, defensive end Nordly Capi, and defensive backs Jermaine Whitehead and Nick Perry. Brown received a failed physical designation.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC Notes: Tunsil, Carroo, Ravens, Steelers

The Dolphins slotted Laremy Tunsil as their No. 2-rated player before the draft, with Jaguars defensive back Jalen Ramsey at No. 1, Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald reports. Had Tunsil not fallen to them at No. 13, the Dolphins would have been inclined to trade back and seek cornerback help, Salguero writes.

Among corners, the Dolphins had Eli Apple rated No. 2 behind Ramsey. Although Miami traded for Byron Maxwell, the team is now without all three of its primary starters from 2015 — Brent Grimes, Brice McCain and Jamar Taylor, the latter being traded to the Browns for a seventh-round pick Saturday.

Here’s more from the AFC as we transition into a post-draft world, beginning with more on the Dolphins’ board.

  • Miami traded up in the third round to take Rutgers wideout Leonte Carroo, but it’s not where the ex-Scarlet Knights target came off the board that’s interesting; it’s where his new team rated him. “We thought he was the second-best receiver in the draft,” Dolphins owner Stephen Ross said, via Salguero. That assessment runs counter to just about every pre-draft analysis in a draft that saw four wideouts go in the first round and three come off the board in Round 2. Prior to Miami selecting Carroo at No. 86, the Texans took Braxton Miller at No. 85. The Dolphins surrendered a sixth-round pick in this year’s draft — which it traded to the Vikings to select another receiver, Jakeem Grant — as well as third- and fourth-round choices in 2017 to become the ninth team to select a receiver this year. Rutgers suspended Carroo twice in 2015, and he was arrested once on a domestic violence-related charge.
  • Tunsil’s selection strikes Salguero as interesting considering as the No. 2 player on the Dolphins’ board, they couldn’t have done the exhaustive work on him as they did on someone like Apple or another player they thought would be in play at 13. He uses the Patriots, who did not pick until the 60s, not doing much work on Ramsey as an example.
  • Although Ozzie Newsome denied the Ravens picked Ronnie Stanley over Tunsil because of the now-infamous bong video posted on the tackle’s Twitter account before the draft, Peter Schmuck of the Baltimore Sun reports that the social media posting was passed around the Ravens draft room prior to the team selecting Stanley. The Ray Rice moment still hangs over the franchise, Schmuck writes, inducing Baltimore to play it safe when it comes to questionable prospects.
  • The past two years, the Steelers have chosen 11 defensive players compared to just four on offense, and Mike Tomlin told media (including Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette) it’s realistic three could emerge as starters in Week 1. “I believe it’s realistic,” Tomlin said of the prospect of the team’s top three picks — cornerback Artie Burns, safety Sean Davis and nose tackle Javon Hargrave — starting against Washington in September. “That’s why we chose them where we chose them. But they have to earn it, and we’ll give them the opportunity to do that.” Following the departures of Steve McLendon and Brandon Boykin, the team has holes in its lineup at No. 2 corner and at defensive tackle.

Draft Rumors: Ravens, Tunsil, Jack, Panthers

Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome claims that the team preferred Ronnie Stanley over Laremy Tunsil, even before the leak of Tunsil’s now infamous video.

The thing that I’m so proud of, . . . our scouts get a lot of information,” Newsome said, according to Jeff Zrebiec of The Baltimore Sun. “When things happen, a lot of the times we’re not surprised. We took the best player, the player that was rated the highest on the board at that point. I cannot neglect the importance of the work that our scouts do in the fall and in the spring getting information for us.”

More draft rumors from around the NFL:

  • The Panthers had UCLA linebacker Myles Jack on their draft board when they selected at No. 30, but the knee injury kept them from taking him, as David Newton of ESPN.com writes. “Very frankly, the kid came out and said he is going to need microfracture (surgery),” GM Dave Gettleman said. Earlier today we learned that the Cowboys are not considering Jack with their early second round selection.
  • At least one team strongly considered drafting Jack late in the first round, Alex Marvez of FOX Sports tweets. However, that team couldn’t get over the knee issue and the risk factor involved with taking the UCLA linebacker so early.
  • The Browns didn’t attempt to trade up late in first round last night for Memphis QB Paxton Lynch, a source familiar with the situation told Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon-Journal (on Twitter).

Pauline’s Latest: OTs, Steelers, Packers, Bucs

League insiders believe that as many as six offensive tackles could be selected in the first round of tonight’s draft, according to Tony Pauline of WalterFootball.com. Laremy Tunsil, Ronnie Stanley, Jack Conklin, and Taylor Decker are the obvious names, but Jason Spriggs, Le’Raven Clark, and Germain Ifedi are also candidates to go off the board tonight. The clubs that have put the most research into offensive tackles, per Pauline? The Colts, Packers, Seahawks, Broncos, Panthers, and Steelers.

Let’s check out the latest draft rumors, all courtesy of Pauline:

  • Among the teams hoping to trade down tonight are the Falcons, Colts, Vikings, and Jets, according to Pauline. On the other side of the coin, the Cardinals, Panthers, and Broncos may like to trade up. Denver, presumably, would be targeting a quarterback in a trade-up scenario.
  • The Steelers will consider a cornerback at pick No. 25, but they’ll also look at offensive tackles, writes Pauline. Pittsburgh returns Alejandro Villanueva at tackle, and signed Ryan Harris this offseason, but an upgrade wouldn’t be out of the question.
  • The Packers might also like to find a new left tackle, says Pauline, as Green Bay would like to transition incumbent David Bakhtiari to left guard.
  • If pass rusher Noah Spence is still available at the end of the first round, a club might trade back up in order to draft him, per Pauline. The Buccaneers are one team to watch in such a situation.

Extra Points: Blackmon, Chargers, Cowboys

Justin Blackmon has pleaded guilty to one count of misdemeanor DUI stemming from a December arrest in Oklahoma, as TMZ writes. This incident marks Blackmon’s second DUI in three years. The former Jaguars wide receiver – who technically remains on the team’s roster, on the reserve-suspended list – was banned indefinitely in 2013 for repeated violations of the NFL’s substance abuse policy.

Here are a few more pre-draft odds and ends from around the NFL:

  • One source tells Alex Marvez of FOX Sports (on Twitter) that the Chargers will not be taking Notre dame offensive tackle Ronnie Stanley at No. 3. That pick remains shrouded in mystery though, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets that “no one knows” who San Diego will draft.
  • There continues to be a lot of buzz that the Cowboys will move down in the draft from No. 4, tweets Troy Renck of The Denver Post.
  • According to Joel Corry of CBSSports.com (via Twitter), $7MM of Josh Norman‘s new $15MM signing bonus with Washington will be deferred until May 1st, 2017. That doesn’t impact the cap hits on Norman’s deal — it simply affects his payment schedule.
  • As Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk details, no NFL draft since 1999 has seen five quarterbacks selected in the first round, but if there are teams particularly high on players like Connor Cook and Christian Hackenberg, there’s a chance it could happen tonight.
  • Dan Pompei of Bleacher Report takes an interesting look at how teams really make their draft picks, examining the role of team owners, general managers, coaches, and scouts in the process.

Luke Adams contributed to this post.

Schrager’s Latest: Chargers, Buckner, Lynch

Here’s the latest from Peter Schrager of FOX Sports (all links to go Twitter):

Peter King’s Latest: Chargers, Stanley, Jaguars

In his column this morning, Peter King of The MMQB writes that he is skeptical of the idea that the Chargers will trade down. The Bolts were fielding tons of calls from teams prior to the Browns-Eagles trade for the No. 2, but the interest has “dried up since then,” according to King. Football people continue to link the Chargers to Notre Dame tackle Ronnie Stanley, which echoes a report from Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller on Wednesday night.

Here’s more from King:

  • Stanley is also the No. 1 tackle on the Jaguars‘ board, King hears, but GM Dave Caldwell is more likely to go with a front-seven player or trade down.
  • Two anonymous teams say that Jalen Ramsey’s lack of productivity and his lack of plays made at Florida State are scaring them off. Ramsey notably had just two interceptions in his final 40 college games. A third team that is actually high on Ramsey is worried that he was moved from cornerback to safety in college.
  • King hears that there weren’t many trade calls made on Wednesday, but that could change today. King anticipates the Ravens to call around and gauge interest in their No. 6 pick. He anticipates that the Titans (No. 15) will continue to look into trading up for a tackle. The Dolphins (No. 13) could try and move up for Ezekiel Elliott if the Cowboys don’t beat them to the punch. The Jaguars (No. 5) and Browns (No. 8), he expects, will “aggressively” try to move down.
  • King doesn’t believe that the Jets or Browns will take Paxton Lynch.
  • Despite talk of a slide, King guesses that Myles Jack will not fall out of the top 15. The Giants have reportedly taken the UCLA product off of their board and other teams with interest are thinking about having him sign an injury waiver before selecting him.

Extra Points: Chargers, Brady, Las Vegas

With less than 24 hours to go until the draft, we have a pretty good idea of how the first two picks will go. The real intrigue, then, starts with the Chargers at No. 3. Matt Miller of Bleacher Report (on Twitter) seems confident that the Bolts will take Notre Dame offensive tackle Ronnie Stanley.

While we wait to see how that plays out, here’s more from around the NFL:

  • The NFL does not see any need to reignite settlement talks with Patriots QB Tom Brady and the NFLPA, a league source tells Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (via Facebook). The NFL believes that neither the NFLPA nor anyone from Brady’s camp has provided any rationale for settlement discussions, so they are not motivated to revisit that idea. The league believes the time for those talks has come and gone, Schefter writes, after the two sides had discussed a settlement last summer.
  • The Raiders will need the approval of 24 NFL owners if they wish to move to Las Vegas, but Vincent Bonsignore of the Los Angeles Daily News figures that they already have four votes in the bag. The Rams and Chargers would likely OK the move because it would remove the Raiders from their market. Meanwhile, the Cowboys and Texans would likely approve the relocation because it would prevent the Raiders from moving to San Antonio.
  • Lions GM Bob Quinn and head coach Jim Caldwell went to Ohio State to work out offensive tackle Taylor Decker, as Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press writes. If Detroit goes tackle in the first round, Birkett gets the sense that Decker could be their guy. Decker says that he has also met with the Bills, Broncos, and Titans.
  • Johnny Manziel‘s lawyer, Jim Darnell, tells Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link) that there has been no settlement of any kind with the quarterback’s ex-girlfriend Colleen Crowley. That contradicts a previous report that indicated Manziel and Crowley had reached an out-of-court civil settlement, and suggests that Crowley will have motivation to cooperate with the prosecution during Manziel’s case.
  •  The Seahawks worked out defensive end/outside linebacker Xzavier Dickson today, according to a league source who spoke with Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post. Dickson, a former seventh-round pick of the Pats, played collegiately for Alabama. He also spent time with Atlanta’s taxi squad.
  • 49ers GM Trent Baalke personally worked out Clemson defensive end/outside linebacker Kevin Dodd and also brought him in for a pre-draft visit, Alex Marvez of FOX Sports tweets.