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Hot ticket: Players make Super Bowl ticket grab

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Hot ticket: Players make Super Bowl ticket grab

NEW ORLEANS (AP) Heading back to his hometown, Jacoby Jones couldn't afford to tell the truth.

The All-Pro kick returner for the Baltimore Ravens got 15 tickets for the Super Bowl as a participating player. The demand from family, friends in New Orleans was way beyond that.

No Big Easy there.

``I told my family before I left (Baltimore) I only got nine,'' Jones said, shaking his head and smiling. ``They're expensive and I'll do something for you during the game, so y'all can be together.''

Each Raven and San Francisco 49er player and coach had access to 15 tickets: two complimentary, the rest for purchase. Prices range this year from $800 to $1,200, the same as last year in Indianapolis.

When the game was last played in New Orleans 11 years ago, every seat cost $400.

Tickets also are available to players on injured reserve. For the 49ers, that's almost 90 people, not counting front office personnel who generally had access to two tickets each.

``I said I only got nine so they'd fight over them,'' Jones said with a laugh. Then he did a really smart thing: He put his mother, Emily, in charge of ticketing. ``My mom is old school, no nonsense. She's from here, born and raised. It will be immediate family.''

Jones tried to make up for the shortfall by buying the rest of his family jerseys, about 30 in all.

Teammate Ed Reed was in the same pickle. He's from New Orleans, too. So the star safety sought advice from Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma, who played in a Super Bowl in his hometown of Miami three years ago.

``I would actually auction off tickets to random folk if I could,'' Reed said. ``I'm still kind of chopping things down, making sure you've got your lists right, especially when you come home. You want everyone to come to the game.

``Honestly, I could fill the Superdome up. I could fill every seat. I would love to, but you can't. So I want my family to know that right now. Things are starting to get a little pricey, but I'm just grateful to go through it. I could do this every year.''

With a seven-figure salary, he could. Some other players who don't quite earn those big bucks might find a yearly Super Bowl trip too expensive.

Nah.

``I took all 15, for everybody in my family and my boys back home in Indy,'' said second-year receiver Tandon Doss, a backup for the Ravens. ``It's the Super Bowl.''

The NFL keeps about one-fourth of the tickets, with many going to league sponsors. Each participating team gets 17.5 percent for the organization and for its fans, who generally enter a lottery to purchase tickets. The host club gets 5 percent, and the other 29 clubs get 1.2 percent each, or 34.8 percent overall.

The Superdome's capacity for the Super Bowl is approximately 72,000.

Players who don't fill their allotment become more popular than ever with teammates who need as many tickets as they can get their hands on.

Niners defensive lineman Ricky Jean Francois attended LSU and most of his pals are still in Baton Rouge. But he didn't buy all the tickets available to him.

``I had a lot of requests but I only take care of the immediate family,'' he said. ``I ain't worried about all the friends and everybody else out there. I just stuck with the immediate family. Let's get that over with - and save money, too.''

Teammate receiver-punt returner Kyle Williams only wanted friends and relatives at the game if he was playing. He's on injured reserve. His popularity quotient probably spiked because it meant extra tickets for other Niners.

But Williams' decision was rare. Many other players grabbed their 15, then handed them to family members to distribute.

``My mom handled it all,'' San Francisco All-Pro linebacker Aldon Smith said, echoing many 49ers and Ravens. ``People have to understand the ticket thing, so we made it clear: Go through my mom.''

Ravens cornerback Corey Graham set some ground rules for his tickets: Only people who came to his games all season.

``You have a lot of people that are going to want to come to the game because it's the Super Bowl,'' Graham said. ``But if you haven't been supporting me throughout the year, going to the regular games when we were playing the Detroit Lions or the Cleveland Browns, then why would I want to bring you out here to come to a great place like New Orleans to see the Super Bowl on the greatest stage in the world?''

Sorry.

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Ravens agree to terms with first-round pick Hayden Hurst

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USA TODAY Sports

Ravens agree to terms with first-round pick Hayden Hurst

The Ravens have their entire 2018 draft class locked up.

The team agreed to terms with first-round pick Hayden Hurst, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.

Hurst's rookie contract - like all first-round picks - is a four-year deal with a team option of a fifth year. According to the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the 25th overall pick is due $11.1 million. 

The 24-year old, who was a walk on at South Carolina at 21-years old after being drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2012, finished his three-year career with 100 receptions, 1,281 yards and three touchdowns.

Standing at 6-foot-3, Hurst will be a nice addition to the TE corps with Nick Boyle and third-round draft pick Mark Andrews. 

Fellow first-round pick Lamar Jackson signed his rookie contract on June 5th.

Training camp kicks off for the Ravens July 19th. 

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Ravens experimenting with getting Joe Flacco and Lamar Jackson on field at same time

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Ravens experimenting with getting Joe Flacco and Lamar Jackson on field at same time

Since drafting Lamar Jackson, the Ravens have made it clear that Joe Flacco is their starter. That doesn't mean they're not experimenting with having them both on the field at the same time, however. 

During this week's minicamp, the team has been lining Jackson up at multiple positions. 

"Gosh, I sure like him out there helping us," coach John Harbaugh said of Jackson during Tuesday's minicamp, via ESPN.com.

"If you put two quarterbacks on the field at once, what options does it create for our offense? That's what we're trying to figure out."

While at Louisville, Jackson rushed for 4,132 yards and 50 touchdowns in three seasons. That's more rushing yards than No. 2 overall pick Saquon Barkley. That unique skill set could be the creative options the Ravens are looking for. 

While at the NFL Combine, however, Jackson refused to workout at any other position than QB. 

"I have a lot of fun seeing what they come up with and what they're going to come up with next," Jackson said. "We'll see where it goes. You have to use your good players."

The Ravens are already viewing Jackson as one of those 'good players.' 

"Once he gets out of the pocket, it's like watching a young Michael Vick," LB C.J. Mosley said after minicamp practice. "It's amazing to watch. When you're defending him, you just have to act like you're tagging off -- you don't want to be on the highlight reel."

Harbaugh has alluded to the fact that the rookie will be active on game days, just exactly how they get the most out of him is what's in play.

"There's a lot of considerations that go into that," Harbaugh said of using two QBs at the once. "Everybody has an opinion. I've read a few. You want to find a way to get the most out of all your guys."

While Flacco isn't the fasted QB in the league, he has shown glimpses of running ability in the past. Figuring out how to utilize Flacco when Jackson is under center is where things will get interesting.

Interesting - as long as it works - is what Ravens fans have been searching for over the last several seasons. 

"Joe has to be able to do other things if [Jackson is] throwing the ball," Harbaugh said. "It gets the creative juices flowing for our offensive coaches, and they've worked hard on that."

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