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Is McKinnie's roster spot in danger?

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Is McKinnie's roster spot in danger?

When Ravens offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie received a 500,000 roster bonus in March, it seemed to indicate that the Ravens were willing to go another season with their returning left tackle.

Then McKinnie was held out of minicamp for conditioning purposes, leading to widespread speculation that the offensive tackle was having trouble getting his weight down. That was a major reason McKinnie was released by the Vikings last August, which ultimately led to his job with the Ravens.

The speculation continues, with NFL.coms Brian McIntyre saying McKinnie could be a salary cap casualty.

The Ravens have options at the position, McIntyre writes, and if the soon-to-be 33-year-old looks more like a planet than a left tackle when he reports to training camp, his 3.2 million base salary could make him expendable.

Ravens coach John Harbaugh was vague on the subject when asked about during minicamp.

Thats something that is an in-house type of thing right now, he said. Bryant McKinnie has done a good job, hes worked hard. Its not as simple as some of you guys want to make it. Its just a situation where we are going to do what is best for the team, what is best for Bryant. We want him here; theres no reason he wouldnt be here.

There was speculation that McKinnie, listed at 6-foot-8 and 360 pounds on the Ravens roster, was pushing 400 pounds. McKinnie denied that in an interview on WNST Radio in June, saying he left Owings Mills last month weighing 354 and was hoping to play at about 345 this season.

The Ravens do have a few options, but are they better than a 10-year veteran? For all the talk about McKinnies conditioning, he has started all 16 games in eight of the past nine years. The only games he missed in that span were while serving a four-game suspension in 2008 for violating the leagues personal conduct policy.

Assuming for a moment McKinnie is out of the picture, does Michael Oher move back to left tackle? If so, who takes over at right tackle? Jah Reid? Rookie Kelechi Osemele?
The Ravens could also look to the waiver wire after training camps begin and veterans are cut. That, after all, is how McKinnie ended up with the Ravens last season.

It is true that, especially if the Ravens dont work out new deals with Ray Rice or Joe Flacco, they have very little cap room. To make any moves, they would need to create space. Translation: Someone would need to go.

Until McKinnie takes the field and shows hes capable of running with the offense, the speculation that could be McKinnie is likely to continue.

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A must-win? Looking at the Ravens' playoff picture

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A must-win? Looking at the Ravens' playoff picture

The Baltimore Ravens come into Week 15 hanging on to the final playoff spot in the AFC by the slimmest of margins.

Baltimore, Indianapolis, Tennessee and Miami all sit at 7-6 with three games remaining. The Ravens hold the tiebreaker by virtue of win percentage in common and conference games. With the resurgent Cleveland Browns lurking just a game behind at 6-7-1, the Ravens can’t afford a let up today against the struggling Tampa Bay Buccaneers. 

Rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson gets the start once again Sunday with Joe Flacco slated as the backup.

Having won three out of four and a play or two away from a win last week in Kansas City, the Ravens are counting on riding the momentum Jackson has sparked to earn a very important win today at M&T Bank Stadium to stay in the drivers seat for a playoff berth. And with division leader Pittsburgh all of a sudden hitting a bump in the road of their season, and facing the New England Patriots later today, the Ravens have a chance to take the lead in the division, something that was unthinkable a few weeks ago. 

None of these scenarios will matter if business is not taken care of today against Tampa Bay. The coaching staff has put their trust in Jackson, and now he must respond by leading the team to victory in must-win games. 

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Where will Joe Flacco end up in 2019? Ravens reportedly set to move on from longtime QB

Where will Joe Flacco end up in 2019? Ravens reportedly set to move on from longtime QB

A new era kicks off in Baltimore, Md.,  Sunday when Lamar Jackson leads the Ravens as QB1 with Super Bowl champion Joe Flacco as the healthy backup.

Now that the "who's going to be the team's starter?" question is answered, for now, the next big question is what does Flacco's future hold?

According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, the Ravens are expected to move on from Flacco in the offseason.

This news shouldn't come as that much of a surprise. Even before Jackson took over the reins, questions on whether or not Flacco would be with the team in 2019 were being tossed around. Flacco is set to make $18.5 million next year and the team would incur $16 million of dead money moving on from him. 

When asked on whether or not he's contemplated his future now that he's their No. 2 QB, Flacco had this to say,

“There’s plenty of time for that. Obviously, I think it’s only natural for people to talk to you about that and all that stuff. There’s plenty of time for that. There are plenty of months in the NFL offseason to think about what it’s going to mean and all that. But for now, like I said, I’m excited about what I can do and how I can help this group out.”

A lot could change for Flacco over the next three weeks as the Ravens chase January football.

Rapoport is also reporting that trading Flacco to a team of his choice is a possibility after leading the team for 11 seasons and a Super Bowl win. Whether his future is in Baltimore or not, plenty of NFL team's would kill to have a veteran quarterback of his caliber. 

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