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Ravens News 3/30: Dynamic Duo and more

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NFL: Atlanta Falcons at Baltimore Ravens Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Lamar Jackson frustrated by injury questions: ‘Let’s get real’ - Jamison Hensley

“Let’s get real. I rather have a 100% PCL than go out there and play horrible forcing myself to put my guys in a bad situation now that’s selfish to me,” Jackson tweeted Tuesday night.

Jackson pushed back against those who suggested that he sat out the Ravens’ 24-17 playoff loss to the Cincinnati Bengals because he had not reached a long-term deal with Baltimore.

“I don’t remember me sitting out on my guys week 1 vs jets To week 12 vs Broncos,” Jackson tweeted. “How come all of a sudden I sit out because of money in which I could’ve got hurt at anytime within that time frame when we know the Super Bowl been on my mind since April 2018.”

Ravens QB Lamar Jackson’s trade request doesn’t mean a divorce is inevitable. Just ask Deebo Samuel. - Jonas Shaffer

As Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson’s trade request throws the franchise’s offseason into further turmoil, Samuel’s saga is a reminder that reconciliation is possible. It just might take a lot of posturing, a lot of waiting and a lot more negotiating to get there.

Two weeks into his quasi-free agency, Jackson hasn’t found any takers. The team with the most reliable interest is still the Ravens, who reportedly offered him a contract last summer with the second-most guaranteed money ever.

On Monday, with no long-term contract secured, little leverage in his Ravens negotiations and a seemingly quiet market for a 26-year-old star quarterback, Jackson announced that he’d requested a trade. Eleven months earlier, Samuel had done the same. He got what he wanted, too — from the team that wanted him all along.

“Do I regret requesting a trade?” Samuel said after signing the deal last August. “At the end of the day, this is a business. We came to a decision, and I’m here. So I’m happy to be here, and it is what it is.”

Predicting the fifth-year option decisions for every 2020 first-round draft pick - Brad Spielberger


PFF grade, 2020-22: 44.5 (120th/144)

PFF WAR, 2020-22: 0.10 (84th)

Fifth-year option amount: $12,722,000 (Playtime escalator)

PFF Prediction: Exercise

The Ravens traded for former Chicago Bears linebacker Roquan Smith at this year’s deadline and subsequently made him the highest-paid player at his position early in the offseason, which makes this an interesting decision. That said, Queen took a quantum leap in 2022, earning a 70.0 overall grade and racking up 24 quarterback pressures and five sacks. He and Smith could be the next dynamic duo over the middle for Baltimore.

John Harbaugh Excited About Young Pass Rushers - Clifton Brown

Baltimore and New Orleans tied for the fifth-most sacks (48) in the NFL last season, trailing only the Eagles (70 sacks), Chiefs (55), Cowboys (54) and Patriots (54). The Ravens want to remain one of the league’s best pass-rushing teams, and for that to happen, Harbaugh is counting on Oweh and Ojabo to be main contributors.

“For those two young outside backers to step up and be part of the mix is critically important,” Harbaugh said. ”We were talking about it, and they are excited. They are ready to roll, and I believe in those two guys.”

Veteran outside linebacker Justin Houston led the Ravens in sacks (9.5) last season, but he remains a free agent. Defensive end Calais Campbell, who had 5.5 sacks in 2022, has reportedly agreed to a one-year deal with the Falcons in free agency.

“You’re talking about two first-round [talents] – that’s what they are,” Harbaugh said. “And then you’ve got Tyus Bowser, who’s a leader. So, between those guys right there, I think that’s a good group of young players that we can build around. If a veteran gets added, he gets added, or a guy gets added in the draft, that’s fine, but I believe those three guys are going to get to the quarterback.”

What Ravens officials discussed outside of Lamar Jackson at owners’ meetings - Jeff Zrebiec

Team officials vowed a makeover over the wide receiver room, yet until late last week, there was no movement on that front. The signing of the 29-year-old Agholor, who had 362 receiving yards last season, to a modest one-year deal didn’t exactly feel like a bold first step. Agholor does provide some big-play ability, depth and experience. Still, it feels that if the Ravens are going to significantly improve their receiving corps this offseason, Agholor has to be one of three moves. Baltimore seems to recognize that, with Harbaugh’s acknowledgment that “we’re not done at all.”

Free-agent wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. showed up at the NFL owners’ meetings Tuesday and told CBS Sports’ Josina Anderson that he was planning on meeting with Ravens officials. Baltimore has maintained interest in Beckham since last year. The Ravens are also still active in the wide receiver trade market, although the cost in terms of what they’d have to give up in a deal and/or the contract they’d be absorbing are prohibitive for a team with limited salary-cap space and draft capital. There’s enough available, though, to suggest the Ravens will be able to adequately add to a group that’s currently headlined by Bateman, Agholor and Duvernay.

2023 NFL Draft: Ravens Seven-Round Mock Draft 2.0 - Joe Serpico

Round 1, No. 22

Option 1: Joey Porter Jr., CB, Penn State

Option 2: Zay Flowers, WR, Boston College

Option 3: Bryan Bresee, DL, Clemson

Round 3, No. 86

Option 1: Kayshon Boutte, WR, LSU

Option 2: Jaylon Jones, CB, Texas A&M

Option 3: Blake Freeland, OT, BYU

Round 4, No. 125

Option 1: Emil Ekiyor, OG, Alabama

Option 2: Zacch Pickens, DL, South Carolina

Option 3: Isaiah Hand, EDGE, Florida A&M

Round 5, No. 159 — via New England Patriots:

Option 1: K.J. Henry, EDGE, Clemson

Option 2: Brenton Cox Jr., EDGE, Florida

Option 3: Tyjae Spears, RB, Tulane

Round 6, No. 200

Option 1: Jadon Haselwood, WR, Arkansas

Option 2: Malik Cunningham, QB, Louisville

Option 3: Nesta Jade Silvera, DL, Arizona State