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In a change of heart, Ravens re-sign veteran DB Lardarius Webb

In a change of heart, Ravens re-sign veteran DB Lardarius Webb

BY TYLER BYRUM, @theTylerByrum

When free agency began this offseason, general manager Ozzie Newsome and the Baltimore Ravens made their goal clear: improve their defensive secondary. At first it appeared that Lardarius Webb was not going to be a factor for the team to achieve that goal, but even NFL teams can change their mind. 

Immediately the team signed safety Tony Jefferson when the free agency period began. Being the odd man out, the Ravens then waived the eight-year veteran Webb who had been with the team his entire tenure in the NFL.

But in a change of heart, just over a month following his release, Webb re-signed with the Ravens for a three-year deal, reportedly worth $10.5 million.

Drafted from by the Ravens in the third round back in 2009, the natural cornerback got moved to the team's full safety position after seven seasons at that position last year. Helping the defense rank No. 1 in the NFL in interceptions, Webb had one of his most productive seasons, stats-wise, and appeared to be adjusting to the position. In eight years, he has amassed 13 interceptions and 374 tackles for the team. 

The 31-year-old also has seen time on the special teams unit, returning both kick-offs and punts. Devin Hester though took over the return duties last year. 

Due to his age, and slight loss of speed, it appeared the team was comfortable letting him go back on March 10.

It would not at all be surprising if this was a move made to renegotiate Webb's contract that was expected to last at least two more seasons and take a cap-hit at $5.5 million this year. Although, normally that is a move made within a day or two of the player's release, not a month like the case for the Ravens. Fortunately for the team, he was not picked up by another team in free agency.

Since his release, the team has also brought in veteran Cowboys corner, Brandon Carr to go alongside Jimmy Smith. With a heavy defensive back roster in the 2017 NFL draft, this move all but eliminates an early round pickup at that position, but Newsome has made clear he can change his mind.

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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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