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Out of Joe Flacco's shadow, QB Tyrod Taylor signs new deal with Bills

Out of Joe Flacco's shadow, QB Tyrod Taylor signs new deal with Bills

Patience and opportunity have paid off for Tyrod Taylor, once Joe Flacco’s backup quarterback with the Ravens. The Bills announced Friday they had signed Taylor to a new contract, a six-year deal worth $90 million, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.

During four seasons with the Ravens (2011-14) when Flacco never missed a game, Taylor never stopped believing he could be a starter in the NFL.

He finally got his chance last season with the Bills, and Taylor responded by throwing 20 touchdown passes with just six interceptions, completing 63.7 percent of his passes with a quarterback rating of 99.4.

That was enough to convince the Bills they needed to lock up Taylor with a new deal. He just turned 27 years old August 3, and with a year of starting experience under his belt, Taylor’s career should still be trending up.

Week 1 will be even more interesting when the Bills visit M&T Bank Stadium to face the Ravens in the season opener. Incentive won’t be a problem for the Bills.

They are coached by Rex Ryan, who was passed over by the Ravens in 2008 for the head coaching job when they hired John Harbaugh. Ryan remained on Harbaugh’s staff as the defensive coordinator for one season, before leaving to become the Jets’ head coach.

But would Ryan love to beat Harbaugh, his friend and former boss, in Week 1? You bet. Would Taylor love to show his former team just how much he has grown as a quarterback? No doubt.

Taylor has done quite well since leaving the Ravens. In Week 1, we’ll see if the Ravens can keep Taylor from leaving Baltimore with a victory.

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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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