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Today's Q & A: Will Aiken be with Ravens in 2016?

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Today's Q & A: Will Aiken be with Ravens in 2016?

I’ll be answering Tweets from Ravens followers who have offseason questions. Today’s question is from @salinnikov:

Q: Will Ravens keep Kamar Aiken? Looks like his price will be high enough.

A: Yes, I definitely think Aiken will be with the Ravens next season. He’s a restricted free agent, but the Ravens want to keep Aiken and he wants to stay. Coming off a career-best season (75 catches, 944 yards season, five touchdowns), Aiken is just 26 years old, and the Ravens need weapons at wide receiver for quarterback Joe Flacco. Aiken took the hard road to get this far, as a Bills undrafted free agent in 2011. He doesn’t figure to rest on his laurels, and the Ravens are in no position to let a solid player with character like Aiken walk away.

The Ravens have several contract options with Aiken as a restricted free agent. They can work out a long-term deal with him before free agency. Or they can extend him a first-round, second-round, or low-round tender. Once Aiken is tendered, another team can still sign Aiken to an offer sheet, but the Ravens would have the right to match that offer. If the Ravens don’t match, the team making the offer would give the Ravens the draft pick equal to the tender offer.

A first-round tender will carry an estimated $3.58 million contract number for 2016, depending upon the 2016 salary cap. A second-round tender will cost around $2.52 million, and a low tender will cost around $1.65 million.

If the Ravens don’t reach a long-term contract agreement with Aiken, expect them to offer him a second-round tender. That should be enough to keep other teams from snatching Aiken, at a contract for next season the Ravens can live with.  

The Ravens didn’t have many bright spots in 2015, but Aiken was one of them. He’s very much in their plans for 2016.

Thanks for the question @salinnikov. If you have an offseason Ravens question you’d like me to answer, hit me on Twitter @CliftonBrownCSN.

[RELATED: Ravens have plenty of options with the No. 6 pick]

 

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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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