According to OverTheCap.com, the Ravens currently have just over $24 million in cap space without accounting for Jackson in any form.
“It does kind of create a little bit of a haze as to what the future’s going to look like with your roster,” DeCosta said at the scouting combine in Indianapolis this week. “There are some things that we’re not going to do right now that maybe we would try to do. But there’s no bigger question right now and no bigger decision. There’s no bigger challenge for this organization moving forward than this contract. All of my effort — well, most of my effort — is focused on this.”
That haze includes the status of several Ravens veterans, who either are scheduled to hit free agency later this month or carry a high cap number for 2023. Not including Jackson, Baltimore’s list of unrestricted free agents is headlined by three-time Pro Bowl cornerback Marcus Peters, a respected and popular member of the defense since being acquired midway through the 2019 season.
Whether Peters returns or not, cornerback is a position needing to be address this offseason.
No one can keep quiet over at The Castle these days. Former players have publicly blasted Saunders, who departed a week before a survey conducted by the NFLPA gave the Ravens’ strength staff the lowest possible grade, an F-. While 27 of the 32 NFL teams got at least an A- for their strength staff, the players’ assessment of Saunders was “markedly negative.”
When you see and hear things like this about player discontent, you start to wonder about the state of the franchise. At least with Monken, you expected several changes on the offensive staff, not a partial house cleaning.
But the Ravens are starting to enter the world of the bizarre. Every day there is more negative news. It’s not just coming from the current players, but the former ones as well. The NFLPA hasn’t done the Ravens any favors this week either with their reported participation in the Jackson negotiations and the release of the team report cards.
Kiper said last month that he would retire if his hometown Ravens draft Robinson in the first round. Kiper has long been adamant that he would not use such a high pick on a running back because they have a shorter “prime” and the ability to find value at the position in later rounds.
Well, Ravens Director of Player Personnel Joe Hortiz said he doesn’t necessarily agree.
“I know Mel may retire if we draft Bijan. I’d like to see him work. If we take Bijan, we’ll have to talk him into staying. We don’t want to lose Mel,” Hortiz joked.
“If he’s a great player and you feel like he’s going to impact your team and help your team, it’s valuable for your team. So I’m not opposed to supporting a running back in the first round.”
“He’s just a really talented player. He’s versatile. He plays on all three downs,” Hortiz said. “Obviously he’s a great runner – athletic, explosive, fast – but he can also do things in the passing game and is a willing blocker. If you get a chance to take a great player, you’ve got to take him.”
2023 NFL Scouting Combine: Standouts from quarterback, wide receiver and tight end drills - Trevor Sikkema
Though the 2023 NFL Draft is brimming with intriguing wide receiver prospects, explosive athleticism seems to be at a premium. That could be one of the reasons why some will have TCU’s Quentin Johnston as their WR1. His 40.5-inch vertical jump was tied for second best in the class on the weekend, as was his 11-foot-2 broad jump. Johnston being a great athlete isn’t anything new, but it was great to check those boxes — so much so that it might have solidified him as the first receiver taken in the draft.
This year’s winner of the Biletnikoff Award — given to the best receiver in college football — is one of the few who boasts true explosiveness and athleticism in this class. His on-field results didn’t say anything to the contrary, as he jumped 40 inches in the vertical and 11-foot-3 in the broad. He also recorded an official 4.40 in the 40-yard dash.
Hyatt was incredibly productive this past year because of his speed, and he showed this weekend once again that his athleticism stands in Tier 1 of this group.
Washington stood out even before testing Saturday, measuring in at 6-foot-7 and 264 pounds. Carrying that much size and weight would usually temper expectations for athletic numbers, but Washington proved otherwise. He ran a 4.64-second 40-yard dash, which, at his size, is nothing short of incredible. He then recorded a 10-foot-2 broad jump and capped his day off with a 4.08-second short shuttle to rank first among the tight end group.
Oklahoma · WR
Mims exceeded my expectations with his measurements (5-foot-10 7/8, 183) and still put up an excellent 40 time (4.38 seconds). He impressed with a 39 1/2-inch vertical and 10-foot-9 broad jump, as well. He seemed to fly a bit under the radar nationally despite playing at Oklahoma, but everyone saw him excel in drills. Mims caught every pass thrown his way. His body control was outstanding and he was one of the few receivers able to make a hairpin turn on comeback routes. Time to watch his stock rise.
Florida · QB
Richardson was electric inside Lucas Oil Stadium on Saturday. He ran a 4.43 40-yard dashweighing 244 pounds, the fourth-best time by a combine QB since 2003. Also, he jumped like an elite receiver (40 1/2-inch vertical, 10-foot-9 broad jump). The vertical mark was a record for a combine QB since ’03. He quickly shifted his focus to the throwing drills after his 40 run. Richardson threw from a strong base and displayed easy velocity. The ball jumped out of his hand, whether he was firing 65-yard throws or 12-yard outs. The arc on his deep throws was majestic. His placement on outs and fades was not perfect, which matches his film, but Richardson put his alpha ability on display during the workout.