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Chiefs shouldn't be playing Sunday

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Chiefs shouldn't be playing Sunday

Suppose Jovan Belcher had been a Raven. Suppose a member of the team had killed his girlfriend in front of his mother and infant daughter. Suppose that player had then gone to the Ravens complex and shot himself in the head in front of John Harbaugh and Ozzie Newsome.

Would you still want the Ravens to play the Steelers today?

As of late Saturday night, the NFL was still planning for the Chiefs-Panthers game to go on as scheduled Sunday, despite the murder-suicide committed by Kansas City linebacker Belcher. It’s all still so stunning, it’s hard to know how the Chiefs should react at the game. A moment of silence? But wouldn’t that be honoring a murderer? Make no public display at all?

Can the Chiefs really be in the right frame of mind to play a game so soon? Shouldn’t the NFL at least give them an extra day?

One man’s opinion: Don’t play Sunday. Wait until at least Monday. Better yet, postpone the game. Play it after the last regular-season weekend, before the playoffs start, on a Thursday. Neither team is going to be in the postseason. Take revenue from the game and set up a trust fund for the infant girl who just became an orphan in the most awful way.

It may be a long time or may never know the whys about this tragedy. But, for now, waiting to play just seems like the right thing to do.

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Deadline passes without a long-term deal for Ravens outside linebacker Matthew Judon

Deadline passes without a long-term deal for Ravens outside linebacker Matthew Judon

Wednesday’s deadline for a long-term deal came and went, and Matthew Judon ended the day just as he began it: Without a contract extension.

Judon and the Ravens had until 4 p.m. to reach an agreement, but now that option is no longer possible as he’ll play the 2020 season under the franchise tag — which is worth $16.8 million.

The case for extending Judon was a clear one. He’s the team’s best pass-rusher, has missed just two games in his four NFL seasons and registered a career-best 9.5 sacks and 33 quarterback hits a season ago. 

With Judon, who will turn 28 next month, on a one-year deal, the options to replace him elsewhere on the depth chart are sparse. The closest anyone came to nearing his sack total was Tyus Bowser, who had five sacks and 10 quarterback hits. Next was two players (Patrick Onwuasor and Pernell McPhee) who had three sacks each. 

RELATED: JUDON JOKES BEFORE DEADLINE

But the reality of the situation is much more complex for the Ravens and Judon. 

While Judon has gotten better progressively throughout his career, he’s never entered the elite category of pass-rushers in the NFL. His 9.5 sacks a year ago tied him for 19th in the league, tied with Mario Addison, now of the Bills, and Jordan Phillips, now of the Cardinals. Both players, coincidentally, changed teams after the 2019 season. 

Additionally, the Ravens’ salary cap situation is going to get a lot more complex in the coming months and years. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown the league’s financial situation into flux, as there are questions about the salary cap increasing for the 2021 season — in fact, there are rumors it might even decrease.

With that in mind, the Ravens aren’t in a strong spot, cap-wise, to spend freely. 

They’ve got left tackle Ronnie Stanley up for an extension after this season, a contract that could eclipse Laremy Tunsil’s whopping $22 million per year deal.

In 2022, cornerback Marlon Humphrey will be up for a contract extension. That same year, tight end Mark Andrews and right tackle Orlando Brown Jr. will hit the free agent market as well. All three players were Pro Bowlers in the 2019 season. 

Finally, there’s the looming storm of quarterback Lamar Jackson’s eventual contract extension. He’s due to become a free agent in 2023 after his fifth-year option. 

The Ravens, however, are eligible to begin negotiations with Jackson after the 2020 season concludes. If that’s the case, and they follow the same trajectory as the Chiefs did with Patrick Mahomes, money is going to get a lot tighter in Baltimore in the coming seasons.

Which brings the team back to Judon, and where he fits in their long-term plans.

“They’ve kind of got a ‘bad-good’ problem to have,” Judon said a month ago. “We have a lot of young talent, and unfortunately, we can’t all stay on the rookie deal our whole careers.”

If the Ravens and Judon are able to find a dollar figure that works for both sides after the season ends, it’s conceivable to think he’ll have a home for the next few seasons. As for how much money the Ravens can allot, however, remains to be seen.

But now, any deal will now have to come after the 2020 season has concluded. And at the moment, it looks like this will be Judon’s last season as a Raven.

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Ravens will not host fans at 2020 training camp

Ravens will not host fans at 2020 training camp

There is no official start date for when the Baltimore Ravens will be back at Under Armor Performance center for training camp. However, whenever that day comes, fans will not be in attendance.

In a press release sent out by the team on Wednesday, Ravens president Dick Cass said “health and safety will always be a top priority, and while we are disappointed that fans will not attend training camp, we believe this decision is in the best interest of the public and our organization. We look forward to welcoming back fans in the future when we can safely do so.”

The team's decision not to host fans follows protocols put in place by the NFL/NFLPA, which prohibits teams from doing so.

The training facility which in years past, has hosted up to 2,000 fans at each practice, will obey by the NFL/NFLPA guidelines to not host fans even if state and local government regulations say otherwise.

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