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Bills G Levitre wonders if time's up in Buffalo

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Bills G Levitre wonders if time's up in Buffalo

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) Through rain, snow, heat and losing seasons, whether he's played guard, center or tackle, Andy Levitre has never missed a game - let alone a start - during his four years with the Buffalo Bills

He will make it 64 straight on Sunday, when the Bills close their season against the New York Jets.

What Levitre isn't sure of is whether it will be his final one with Buffalo with his contract set to expire.

``Yeah, I don't know,'' Levitre said Wednesday. ``I don't know if it's going to be here. I don't know if it's going to be somewhere else. But right now, I'm focused on trying to beat the Jets and we'll kind of see where it goes from there.''

The game is meaningless for the Bills (5-10) and Jets (6-9), who are out of playoff contention.

Just don't downplay its importance to Levitre, who's trying to avoid thinking about what it will be like leaving the field once time runs out.

``Every time that gets brought up, I kind of just try to push it away,'' Levitre said. ``Maybe that's something I'll think about on Monday, like, `Wow, maybe that was my last time.'''

Levitre would prefer to continue playing in Buffalo. The trouble is, he's unsure where the Bills stand regarding his future.

Though the team's expressed an interest in re-signing him, Levitre scratches his head in saying the front office has yet to follow through by formally making him any offers.

Safety Jairus Byrd is in the same boat with the 2010 second-round draft pick's contract set to expire. The Bills haven't yet opened contract talks. Byrd is open to re-signing with the team, and has yet to determine whether he will test free agency.

Byrd is having a solid season in leading the team with five interceptions and four forced fumbles.

General manager Buddy Nix has declined to comment, citing the team policy of not discussing the status of contract talks.

Levitre's value has certainly risen in having established himself as one of the franchise's most durable, dependable and versatile offensive linemen.

Though a majority of his starts have come at right guard, he's filled in at tackle and center as a result of injuries.

``He's a guy that we lean on a lot,'' quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick said. ``Andy is a guy that we depend on every Sunday, and a guy that has been extremely reliable throughout his career.''

Coach Chan Gailey refers to Levitre as the team's ``Steady Eddie.''

``He's been solid,'' Gailey said. ``He's been one of the pleasant things on offense as far as consistency goes.''

Levitre is the team's first offensive lineman to start at least 63 games since Ruben Brown enjoyed a 71-game streak from 1999 through 2003.

As for members of Levitre's 2009 draft class, only three other players have started all 63 games: Rams linebacker James Laurinaitis, Browns center Alex Mack and Ravens tackle Michael Oher.

Bills center Eric Wood was a first-round pick in 2009 and, by comparison, has made 46 starts while twice finishing seasons on injured reserve.

Wood, who has one year left on his contract, has spent much of the season lobbying Levitre to re-sign with the Bills.

``Obviously, I want him to come back here. We have a great chemistry on the line,'' said Wood, who shares the same agent as Levitre. ``But you know, Andy's done everything he could to maximize his earning power at this point. And after this year, he's going to have to do what's best for him.''

Wood and Levitre have helped bring stability to the Bills line. It's a unit that allowed 23 sacks last year - the third-fewest in Buffalo in a 16-game season. This year, Buffalo's allowed just 30 sacks and has the NFL's sixth-best running attack.

Levitre is proud with what he's helped accomplish with the Bills. And for someone who grew up in Northern California and played at Oregon State, he's come to enjoy living in Buffalo.

The cold winters certainly don't bother him. Levitre joked there are days he'll go out in the snow wearing shorts and sandals.

``I really do want to stay. I think it's great here,'' Levitre said. ``I love the city. The people here are awesome. Great football town. There's nothing more you can ask for except for winning. That's the only thing I can ask for. But we've got to earn that.''

NOTES: The Bills signed TE Derek Buttles to their practice squad and released OT J.B. Shugarts. ... WR Ruvell Martin has been excused for personal reasons for the next few days, but is expected to play Sunday. ... WR Marcus Easley practiced on a limited basis after missing last week's game with a hamstring injury.

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Ravens lower concession prices at M&T Bank Stadium ahead of 2018 season

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USA TODAY Sports

Ravens lower concession prices at M&T Bank Stadium ahead of 2018 season

Enjoying a game at M&T Bank Stadium just became a little more affordable.

On Thursday, the Ravens introduced their new "Flock Friendly Fare," reducing the price of 21 of their most popular food and beverage items.  

The change comes as the organization focuses on revamping the fan experience in 2018. Fans will see an average of 33 percent in total savings and up to 53 percent savings on a single item.  

"As a lot of you probably know, after every game we survey fans to see how we're doing; what have we done well and what have we not done well. Over the years, one of the biggest criticisms we received was for the gameday concessions prices," Ravens President Dick Cass said on the team's website

Alcoholic beverages were all reduced by $1 with the addition of domestic 12 ounce beer for $5.

Chicken tenders with fries went from $11 to $7, while a slice of pizza went from $8.50 to $6. No single item will cost above $9.

On average, you will now be able to feed a family of four for $44 compared to $66.75 in years past. To see all of the reductions, click the arrow in the post below. 

In 2017, the Atlanta Falcons reduced their concession prices upon opening their brand new Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The Ravens, however, are expecting to lose $1.5 million in concession revenue due to the change. 

Introducing our new Flock Friendly Fare!

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Vegas odds against Lamar Jackson starting for Ravens in 2018

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AP Images

Vegas odds against Lamar Jackson starting for Ravens in 2018

Vegas has spoken and they are not optimistic about rookie Lamar Jackson starting under center for the Ravens in 2018.

Bovado, an online gambling site, has set the odds on how the top 2018 rookies will perform and they have Jackson getting 0.5 starts this season.

That number will come as a surprise considering the popular narrative that Lamar Jackson will be the Ravens' starter in no time. The team made it clear they are planning for life after Flacco when they traded back into the first-round of the 2018 draft to select the quarterback out of Louisville at No. 32

Flacco - who is entering his 11th season with the organization - is experiencing a decline in his performance of late, one that can not be put entirely on his shoulders as the team has failed in finding him valuable weapons to throw to. Nonetheless, Flacco's projected 2018 season is very much up in the air and it appears Vegas is betting on the one-time Super Bowl MVP to bounce back. 

However, the Ravens have failed to make the playoffs four of the last five seasons, and if that trend continues into 2018, the rookie could get his shot at flipping the script.

If you're a betting man, it could payoff to bet the over on Jackson. Low risk, seemingly high reward. 

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