Tuesday's Mailbag: June 25th, 2013

Raven's LB Courtney Upshaw walks onto the field during training camp. - Evan Habeeb-US PRESSWIRE

13 questions are answered, including; cap situation for 2014, the role of all WR's, and the Patriots passing the Steelers as the Ravens' biggest rival?

Happy Tuesday, Ravens Nation! I hope everyone is having a fantastic day as you take a break from whatever you're doing to open the mailbag with me! Let's get started!

Q1: What's the word on Dickson's Free Agent Tender? - Kryptonianjorel on Baltimore Beatdown

As of May 31st, 2013, Ed Dickson signed his free agent tender worth $1.323 million.

Ed Dickson is looking to have a larger role in the offense this year, especially after the trading of wide receiver Anquan Boldin.

Q2: Of the 2014 UFA's the Ravens have, which do you think we'll re-sign, which will we re-sign but lose anyway, and which will we let walk? - Baltimore Bench on Baltimore Beatdown

The UFA's for 2014 include:

Now, let's start will the ones that walk.

I don't see Oher, Harewood, or Bynes coming back at all.

Now, I think we'll attempt to sign both Pitta and Dickson, but we'll only sign one. Graham, Ihedigbo, and Jones could all get re-signed (If they do it cheap) but if we can only sign one or two, we'd pick the one or two that play the best this season.

As for Jacoby Jones, I imagine he'll be back, but only if he allows the Ravens to reduce his pay, since the Ravens will need to make him cheaper. He also isn't as important anymore, which makes it less urgent to re-sign him, as long as our younger receivers play out the way we want them to.

Q3: I know we will not have that much free money for the 2014 cap which is not expected to move much. But if we don’t spend any of the $5 million we have now (after Elam signs) does all that get added to the 2014 year? If so, does it makes sense to wait and extend someone like Pitta in 2014 or get it done this off season? - Baltimore Bench on Baltimore Beatdown

I think it does get added to next year's cap. Although after signing Elam, along with the rest of the roster, it will be a lot less than $5 million, I would think. Of course, there is also tons of money going to Ngata and Suggs, two of our biggest players (and most expensive) on the team.

We should try and extend Pitta this off-season, since it would be one less thing that the Ravens don't have to get done next off-season, and it would be much easier on the front office and Dennis Pitta.

Q4: Who is the #3 tight-end? - @realWillThrill

Truthfully, I see it being Billy Bajema. He has been on the team before, he knows the ropes, and the Ravens re-signed him for a reason. Whoever the third tight-end is, they won't get TOO much playing time. I do see Bajema winning the job, of course I wouldn't be surprised if Matt Furstenburg comes out and impresses the Ravens more than Bajema does, we'll just have to wait and see.

Q5: The Ravens get 4 compensatory picks next year. Any early predictions on what rounds they will be? - @realWillThrill

As long as the lost free agents perform well and do not get hurt, the best the Ravens could get would be around a 3rd round pick, 2 4th rounders, and a 5th rounder. The worst would be 2 4th rounders, a 5th rounder, and a 6th rounder. Of course, this will be affected if any of the lost free agents become injured.

The lost free agents include:

  • LB Dannell Ellerbe
  • LB Paul Kruger
  • S Ed Reed
  • CB Cary Williams
Q6: What positions as of now should the Ravens use their draft picks on next year? - @realWillThrill

In my opinion, we should target the corner back position. Graham may not be returning next year, which would leave a weak secondary, so it may be good for the Ravens to draft a CB or two just to be safe.

Another position may be tight end, especially if the Dickson/Pitta tandem is split up.

Those are the two main positions as of now, but it could definitely change after the season next year, once a few players get signed and a few players leave.

Q7: What's our cap situation next year and what players do you think will receive the next contracts? What are your money predictions for them? - @realWillThrill

It looks like we'll have around $6.049 million of cap space next season, so I believe our main priority will be to re-sign Dennis Pitta. I think we'll give him a 2 or 3 million dollar deal for a year or two, just because he is capable of being our tight-end for the future.

Dennis Pitta and Jacoby Jones will be the first players that the Ravens attempt to re-sign in my opinion, as they are two of the most important.

Q8: Power rank all WR's on roster with predictions for roles and stats. - @realWillThrill

  1. Torrey Smith - I think Torrey Smith will be our #1 wide receiver and take the role well. He will be the main player for going deep, as he is one of the fastest on the team. Stat Predictions: 61 receptions, 1,027 yards, and 8 touchdowns.
  2. Jacoby Jones - I think Jacoby Jones will be our #2 wide receiver, as he proved that he had much talent last season. Of course he will also be the designated punt/kick returner, as he was one of the best in the NFL at running punts and kicks back last season. Stat Predictions: 32 receptions, 456 yards, and 4 touchdowns.
  3. Tandon Doss - I believe that Tandon Doss will be our #3 receiver, as he is the most talented young receiver (besides Torrey Smith) and he should have learned how to catch the ball during the off-season. Stat Predictions: 28 receptions, 341 yards, and 2 touchdowns.
  4. Deonte Thompson - Thompson will have a limited role in the offense, but since he is the fastest player on the team, I think he will definitely be on the field at times. He should do well in speedy routes. Stat Predictions: 15 receptions, 209 yards, and 1 touchdown.
  5. LaQuan Williams - Won't see the field much, but he may get some time in games where we are blowing teams out or if another receiver gets hurt. Stat Predictions: 7 receptions, 78 yards, and 0 touchdowns.
  6. Tommy Streeter - He will have a role like Williams', except he will be used in need-for-speed situations, since he is another fast receiver. Stat Predictions: 5 receptions, 54 yards, and 0 touchdowns.
  7. Gerrard Sheppard, Aaron Mellette, Marcus Rivers, David Reed, Omarius Hines, Marlon Brown, and Rashaad Carter: If all of these players make the roster (doubtful), then I see them watching the 6 guys ahead of them, trying to learn the trick of the trade so they can maybe play for us or another team later on in their career. Stat Predictions: 1 reception, 12 yards, 0 touchdowns.
Q9: Have the Patriots passed the Steelers as our biggest rivals? - @realWillThrill

I just wrote an article about this yesterday, as it was all about the trash and disrespect that the Patriots' fans gave Torrey Smith after we beat them in the AFC Championship Game and even now.

Of course, in this article, it talks about the Patriots and Ravens games and how they are more critical, since they are normally in the playoffs. The Ravens and Patriots have played each other in the past two AFC Championship Games, and the tempers are always flaring and tension is high.

Patriots' fans have also helped pave the way to make the Patriots the bigger rival, after all the heartless comments to Torrey Smith, along with awful trash talking to Ravens' fans and other players.

I believe that they have unseated the Steelers as the Ravens' biggest rivals, for the time being.

Q10: Where do you see Deonte Thompson fitting into our offense this year? - @T_Strad

I see him being the #4 receiver, which means the backup behind Doss. I see him being a very quick guy, which is definitely something the Ravens could take advantage of. Thompson should get some snaps, and ultimately, some receptions. My predicted stats for him (as listed above) are: 15 receptions, 209 yards, and 1 touchdown.

Q11: What is Jameel McClain's health status? - @T_Strad

According to multiple sources, Jameel McClain is still recovering.

McClain is having a smooth road to recovery, as there have been no restrictions so far. McClain is still waiting to be cleared, but overall he is doing fine. McClain has also reportedly been using the injury as motivational fuel, and if there's one thing the Ravens love, it's motivation.

Q12: Do you think that Courtney Upshaw can get on the field with the starting defense this year? - @briski715

I think it's possible, but I doubt it. I think he'll be behind Suggs and Dumervil at OLB, as expected. Upshaw proved himself very well in 2012, so I think that he will still get a lot of playing time, but starting is a stretch on a defense that has so much new talent, with the biggest addition being Elvis Dumervil.

Q13: Do you see a role for John Simon? - @briski715

Not really. He will be behind guys like Suggs, Dumervil, Upshaw, McClellan, etc. at OLB. Simon showed talent in college, but I believe that all he'll be for now is a backup LB, waiting to get his shot. I believe he'll play a game or two, just not a whole lot, since his position is being overshadowed by the stars on the Ravens' defense.


Well, that's all for this edition of Tuesday's Mailbag! It doesn't seem very long this week, as the responses weren't TOO detailed! I'll make sure to do much better next week! We still need more questions! Ask me questions here in the comments, email them to me at Victorgrayh10@gmail.com, OR tweet them to me @Frezeal33! I look forward to reading and answering your questions for next week, so send them in! Thank you! Have a great rest of your day, Ravens Nation!


IF YOU'RE INTERESTED...

I will be doing a Spreecast (as I do every week) tonight at 10:00 PM EST! We will be talking all about sports, especially the NFL! Come join us: http://www.spreecast.com/events/the-week-in-sports-june-18th-june-25th

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