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Ravens roster preview: Quarterback

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Ravens roster preview: Quarterback

It's clear that coming off a 5-11 season, the Ravens have some tough decisions to make regarding their 2016 roster. To be sure, injuries were a huge part of the story this past season, but there figures to be significant roster turnover after one of the worst seasons in team history. And as always, the salary cap will have a major influence on how the Ravens go about constructing their 2016 roster.

Over the past two weeks, we have been examining each Ravens position group with an eye toward 2016. Who stays? Who goes? Today we conclude our look at the offense with the quarterbacks.

Note: For the purpose of this discussion, we will limit the roster to those players on the final 53-man roster and injured reserve. (Here is a more thorough explanation of free agency terminology.)

Under contract: Joe Flacco, Ryan Mallett

Unrestricted free agents: Jimmy Clausen, Matt Schaub

Restricted free agents: None

Exclusive rights free agents: None

Joe Flacco will be back as the Ravens starting quarterback next season; the huge question is, what will his contract look like?

At the moment, Flacco has a cap hit of more than $28 million. At the "State of the Ravens" news conference, general manager Ozzie Newsome suggested the Ravens would be prepared to build a roster around that whopping figure, but no one expects that to be the case.

The Ravens and Flacco will work to renegotiate a deal that will lower Flacco's cap figure for this year (and next, which at the moment is north of $31 million), freeing up money to address their other pressing roster needs. This has always been priority No. 1 for this offseason.

There is still the question of when Flacco will be fully recovered from the torn ACL that cost him the final six games of the 2015 season, the first games he's missed in his eight-year career.

While Flacco rehabilitates, it appears Ryan Mallett will be the team's No. 1 quarterback through OTAs and into training camp after stepping into that role late last season. As long as he avoids the immaturity and disciplinary issues that derailed his career in Houston, Mallett offers the Ravens a veteran, viable starter until Flacco is ready and a capable backup once Flacco returns.

With those two under contract, there's no need to bring back either Jimmy Clausen or Matt Schaub, although Clausen, who has history with offensive coordinator Marc Trestman and played capably in two starts, could come back as a training camp arm. As for Schaub, it's a safe bet he's thrown his last pass -- and pick-six -- as a Raven.

Depending on Flacco's health, this might be one of those rare years the Ravens break camp with three quarterbacks on the 53-man roster. Expect Flacco and Mallett to be atop the quarterback depth chart, with plenty of low-budget competition to earn the No. 3 spot.

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Fellow dance student of Ravens' Alex Collins fatally shot in Florida school shooting

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USA Today Sports

Fellow dance student of Ravens' Alex Collins fatally shot in Florida school shooting

On Wednesday, February 14, a horrific school shooting claimed the lives of 17 innocent people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. 

The tragic event impacted people far and wide, and hit especially close to home for Ravens running back Alex Collins.

The former Arkansas star was born in Plantation, Fla., a suburb of Fort Lauderdale and went to high school just 15 miles south of Douglas High School. 

In the offseason, Collins took Irish dancing lessons to improve his footwork, and following the act of terror, the Ravens' tailback learned that one of his dance partners had been killed in the mass shooting.

17-year-old Cara Loughran attended The Drake school of Irish Dance with Collins in addition to two other Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students and was fatally shot by the gunman on Wednesday afternoon. 

Collins took to his Twitter account to issue this heartfelt message.

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“The school shooting yesterday hit home,” Collins wrote.

“We received confirmation a few hours ago we lost one of the girls, Cara Loughran. Two other girls saw and experienced unspeakable tragedy. My heart goes out to these girls, all their families and their teacher Chrissy.”

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Baltimore Ravens to take on Chicago Bears in Hall of Fame game

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USA Today Sports

Baltimore Ravens to take on Chicago Bears in Hall of Fame game

BALTIMORE -- The Baltimore Ravens and Chicago Bears will launch the NFL's 99th season by playing in the annual Hall of Fame game on Aug. 2.

The Ravens' first appearance in the Hall of Fame game, which launches the league's 2018 Enshrinement Week. Former Baltimore linebacker Ray Lewis is among the inductees, along with former Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher.

Lewis, who played 17 seasons with the Ravens, and Urlacher, who played all of his 13 seasons with Chicago, both were elected on the first ballot.

Lewis joins Jonathan Ogden as the only Ravens in the Hall of Fame. Both were selected by Baltimore in the first round of the 1996 draft.

The other members of the Class of 2018 include Bobby Beathard, Robert Brazile, Brian Dawkins, Jerry Kramer, Randy Moss and Terrell Owens. All will be inducted on Saturday, Aug. 4.

This will be the record-tying fifth time that the Bears will play in the Hall of Fame game. They won the previous four, most recently 27-24 over Miami in 2005.

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