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Ravens News 2/11: Nervous Energy and more

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FBN-SUPER BOWL-RAVENS-SAMPAIO-LEWIS-WOODSON Photo by PETER MUHLY/AFP via Getty Images

4 things to know about new Ravens president Sashi Brown - Blair Young

He has 13 years of NFL experience

Brown’s last stint with the NFL was with the Cleveland Browns from 2013 through 2017. He was their executive vice president of operations for the last two years. He was responsible for developing visions and strategies for the team. He also oversaw scouting, roster management and the salary cap. The end of his tenure in Cleveland was not great as they finished with a combined 1-31 record and were the second team in NFL history to finish 0-16. His time with the Browns may have not been what he wanted, but one could argue that despite the record he did set them up for future success. They have gone 32-32-1 since he left including a playoff appearance in 2020. Brown got his start with the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2005 as general counsel and senior vice president spending eight years with them.

Lamar Jackson’s contract, potential free agent/re-signing targets: Ravens mailbag, Part 2 - Jeff Zrebiec

Who are some potential free-agent targets you could see the Ravens having interest in? — Bryan M.

The Ravens have spent a lot of money on free-agent safeties in the past and it’s yielded well more bad than good. I know fans are clamoring for Tyrann Mathieu. I’d be more inclined to look at a younger and cheaper option, like say Marcus Maye, if they’re comfortable with where he’s at health-wise.

I haven’t heard a lot of chatter about the chances of re-signing Anthony Averett or DeShon Elliott. Do you think there’s a shot either come back? — Benjamin S.

Yeah, there’s a shot. Averett is probably less likely than Elliott, just because Averett will have a bigger market. The Ravens already have a lot invested in Marlon Humphrey and Marcus Peters, so I can’t see them spending too much to keep Averett. Plus, you’d think Averett wants to go to a place where he’s a lock to start and that’s not in Baltimore if Humphrey and Peters are healthy. It should be said that Averett’s biggest supporter in the organization was Don “Wink” Martindale and he’s gone. I think the Ravens’ chances to re-sign Averett rest with a market just not materializing for the cornerback and Baltimore getting him back on a modest deal. As for Elliott, there’s a deal there to be made and it probably wouldn’t cost the Ravens much. But the Ravens have to be looking at diversifying their safety group and a rangy, ball-hawking safety is a far better complement to Chuck Clark. Elliott is a good player and fits the Ravens well, but that’s not his game.

7 ways the Ravens could create extra cap space this offseason - Justin Fried

The Ravens could release Tavon Young

Of the potential options on this list, this one is the least ideal. Tavon Young finally put together a full, healthy season in 2021 — in a year where seemingly all of his teammates got injured.

Young is a good player and an important part of the Ravens’ secondary, but he’s set to carry a $9.18 cap hit in 2022, the seventh-highest on the roster. The Ravens could release him and save nearly $6 million with a dead cap charge of $3.38 million.

The Ravens want to keep Young, but his price tag might be a little steep for their liking. Releasing him would nearly double their available cap space at the moment which presents an intriguing option.

Still, given that other key members of their secondary are set to hit free agency, the Ravens will likely do what they can to keep Young.

Ravens Potential Draft Target: Cornerback Trent McDuffie - Todd Karpovich

McDuffie was named to the All-Pac-12 first team, started 11 games, and finished with 35 tackles last season. He was named the team’s Most Outstanding Defensive Player at the postseason awards banquet.

Here’s the FanNation’s Draft Bible analysis:

McDuffie is a corner with average size and terrific instincts that shine in Washington’s zone-heavy defense. He stands out because of his natural feel for the position, as well as his understanding of where he has help. His eyes always seem to be in the right place and he picks up on route combinations very quickly. He rarely has a wasted step in his drops or breaks, and his angles are impeccable.

The question is whether McDuffie will fall to the Ravens at No. 14.

The NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah has McDuffie being selected by the New York Jets with the 10th overall pick, the second cornerback drafted behind Cincinnati’s Ahmad Gardner, who projects as the 6th overall pick for the Carolina Panthers.

Super Bowl LVI: Sixteen players and coaches reveal tales of Super Bowl nerves - Jamison Hensley

Ray Lewis: ‘You got to calm down, sugar, you got to calm down’

Lewis is a two-time Super Bowl champion. He earned MVP honors while helping the Ravens beat the Giants in Super Bowl XXXV and then had seven tackles in a win over the 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII.

“I always had a confident, nervous energy. It was never like the game was too big or anxiety kicked in. It was never that for me, it was always in the moment, I was so in the moment.

“Rod Woodson used to tell me all the time, ‘You got to calm down, sugar, you got to calm down.’ Because I was just always ready for the moment. ... Let’s get through all of these flags and fly cross and let’s get the ball snapped. In all of my career, I would tell you this, I was always prepared to lead.”