Ravens

Quick Links

Brady suspension will ripple through AFC

usatsi_8361607_141983962_lowres.jpg

Brady suspension will ripple through AFC

Ravens fans might not want to hear it, but the big winners coming out of the Tom Brady suspension handed down on Monday might be the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The Steelers play at New England in the Thursday night Week 1 opener, and now the Patriots starting quarterback in that game is likely to be Jimmy Garappolo, who will be making his first NFL start.

Winning in Foxborough is never easy, but the Steelers path to 1-0 just got a lot easier.

Granted, Brady's agent has already said Brady will appeal the suspenison, but if Brady is on the shelf for one quarter of the season, it could have a major impact on the AFC playoff picture.

Other potential winners from Brady's suspension:

* The Buffalo Bills. The Patriots play at Buffalo in Week 2, and even if Brady's suspension is cut in half on appeal, he would be on the sideline for that game, too. The Bills went 9-7 and like to think they've closed the gap on the Patriots, who have won the AFC East every year since 2009.

* The rest of the AFC East. The Patriots have owned the division, winning every year but one since 2003. That one year (2008) was also the one year in that stretch in which Brady missed any games. He suffered a season-ending knee injury in Week 1, and the Patriots still went 11-5 with Matt Cassel starting the final 15 games. After facing the Steelers and Bills, the Patriots host Jacksonville and then travel to Dallas after a Week 4 bye. How deep a hole, if any, will the Patriots be in by then?

* NBC. Wait, how does NBC win when Brady will miss that season opener against Pittsburgh? Because eyeballs will be glued to that game anyway since it's the nationally-televised season opener and people will be curious to see Life After Brady. Then, assuming the four-game suspension is upheld, Brady will return on a Sunday night (on NBC) against the Indianapolis Colts, the team that got the DeflateGate ball rolling in the first place. Ratings will be through the roof.

* The Ravens and every other potential AFC playoff team. The Ravens have played well in Foxborough in the playoffs, but don't think for a minute the Ravens wouldn't rather face the Patriots in the playoffs at M&T Bank Stadium. In three of the past four years, the Patriots have hosted the AFC Championship Game. But a 2-2 or 1-3 start without Brady makes it more likely the Patriots would have to hit the road for the playoffs.

Then again, maybe the demise of the Patriots has been greatly exaggerated. Last year, the Patriots started 2-2, including a divisional loss to Miami and an embarrassing 41-14 loss at Kansas City. They proceeded to win seven straight games and, ultimately, the Super Bowl. 

Quick Links

Baltimore Ravens Roundup: DeCosta looking at 2019 NFL Draft as opportunity to address remaining needs

decosta-usat.png
USA TODAY Sports Images

Baltimore Ravens Roundup: DeCosta looking at 2019 NFL Draft as opportunity to address remaining needs

Here's the latest Baltimore Ravens news as general managers and head coaches gather in Phoenix, Az for the NFL Annual League Meeting. 

Player Notes: 

- General manager Eric DeCosta likes the way the Ravens' secondary is looking with Jimmy Smith, and said it would be "foolish" to turn a strength on the team into a weakness by potentially parting ways with the cornerback.

“It’s a very fluid process," DeCosta said via the Ravens' website. "We’re in good shape right now salary-cap wise. Jimmy’s a good player. We’ve got a really, really good secondary and it’s a passing league. I think that’s important.”

Smith carries a $15.85 million salary cap hit in 2019.

- The Ravens are looking at the 2019 NFL Draft as an opportunity to address their needs at wide receiver and pass rusher, according to comments made by DeCosta Monday. Free agency brought the departures of Michael Crabtree, John Brown, C.J. Mosley, Terrell Suggs and Za'Darius Smith leaving huge holes to fill in both areas. 

- The door hasn't been shut on re-signing free agent defensive end Brent Urban. In 2018, Urban appeared in all 16 regular season games for the Ravens posting 27 combined tackles and two passes defensed. 

- QB Robert Griffin III is being sued by his former agent Ben Dogra for unpaid marketing and endorsement fees, according to Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports. Dogra claims RGIII owes him over $650,000 as part of an agreement for 15% share of marketing and endorsement deals negotiated while he was Griffin's agent. The QB fired Dogra back in 2018. 

- One of the many potential rule changes being discussed this week at the Annual League Meeting is expanding replays during a game. The potential rule change has come front and center after the NFC Championship game between the New Orleans Saints and Los Angeles Rams, and it's something head coach John Harbaugh is in favor of. 

“If we can put somebody up there in the box that’s got a better angle that can help officiate the game from up there, let’s do that," Harbaugh said back in January. "Because at the end of the game, it’s about the credibility of the sport.”

Click here to see a few of the potential changes being discussed. 

Looking Ahead: 

March 24-27: Annual League Meeting in Phoenix, Az.

April 15: Voluntary OTA's may begin

April 19: Deadline for restricted free agents to sign offer sheets

MORE RAVENS NEWS: 

Quick Links

Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Get to know Earl Thomas and Mark Ingram

Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Get to know Earl Thomas and Mark Ingram

We are here to help you get your workweek started with the latest Baltimore Ravens news.

Player Notes: 

Running back Mark Ingram is bringing two Pro Bowls, 1,321 rushing yards and 50 rushing touchdowns to the Ravens, but there's a lot about him you may not know. Did you know that his father, Mark Ingram Sr., was drafted at No. 28 overall just like his son? Probably not. Here's five things to know about Ingram via the Ravens' website. 

Safety Earl Thomas isn't just talented on the field, but off the field as well. Thomas can play piano, drums, saxophone and the organ. During his freshman year of high school, Thomas would change out of his football uniform at halftime into his band uniform to perform and then back again. Here's five things to know about Thomas via the Ravens' website

Former Ravens wide receiver Jeremy Maclin is retiring from the game. The 30-year-old made the announcement at his wife's baby shower over the weekend. Selected 19th overall by the Eagles in the 2009 NFL Draft, Maclin played for the Eagles, Chiefs and the Ravens.

Outside linebacker Tim Williams is ready to be a defensive leader for the Ravens in 2019. With the departures of Eric Weddle, Terrell Suggs, C.J. Mosley and Za'Darius Smith in free agency, Williams is ready to be "that man" for the NFL's No.1 defense. 

Williams has yet to play a full season for the Ravens after being drafted in the third round of the 2017 NFL Draft. In 2018, the linebacker saw action in only sevens games due to hamstring and ankle injuries. 

In AFC news, Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski announced his retirement from the league Sunday via Instagram. The 29-year-old finishes his career with 521 receptions for 7,861 yards, 79 touchdowns and three Super Bowl championship. 

Looking Ahead: 

March 24-27: Annual League Meeting in Phoenix, Az.

April 15: Voluntary OTA's may begin

April 19: Deadline for restricted free agents to sign offer sheets

MORE RAVENS NEWS: