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Money to spare

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Money to spare

The Ravens ranked last in the NFL in available salary cap space until earlier this week, when they signed Ray Rice to a five-year deal that lowered his 2012 cap number by 2.7 million.

Now they reportedly have some 3.3 million of room under the cap, more than a handful of teams.

How will they spend it?

Theres no clear-cut answer as the organizational clock ticks toward the start of training camp next week in Owings Mills. The Ravens depth chart is pretty well stocked with the players theyre expecting to contribute this season. In other words, there is no immediate, glaring need.

Against that backdrop, the 3.3 million is more of a luxury, essentially an emergency fund. If a glaring need develops between now and the start of the season because of an injury or performance issues during camp, the Ravens have the wherewithal to address it.

Theres no telling where such a need could develop, but here are some possibilities:

Backup running back -- When the Ravens invested a 2012 third-round draft pick in Bernard Pierce, they obviously hoped he could step in for Ricky Williams, who rushed for more than 400 yards in 2011. But can a rookie handle the load and produce at the level the Ravens want? If they decide Pierce needs a year of seasoning, their only other options are a seventh-round pick (Anthony Allen) and an undrafted free agent (Damien Berry) from 2011. Meanwhile, Cedric Benson, who rushed for more than a thousand yards for the Bengals in 2011, is just sitting on the open market.

Linebackerpass rush With Terrell Suggs out indefinitely, building and sustaining a quality pass rush is the Ravens biggest issue on defense. Between Suggs and other players no longer on the team, the Ravens are missing almost half of their sacks (23 of 48) from 2011. If they feel they arent going to get enough pressure from those on hand, they could bring in a designated pass rusher to play on third downs.

No. 3 receiver The Ravens hope they addressed this need with the addition of Jacoby Jones, and they have a handful of other possibilities such as LaQuan Williams and Tandon Doss. But Jones dropped a few balls in the spring and the others have done little in their brief pro careers, and the Ravens want dangerous targets for Joe Flacco. Theyve passed on a slew of veterans so far, but who knows?

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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!

A post shared by Baltimore Ravens (@ravens) on

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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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