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No hard feelings for Jarret Johnson


No hard feelings for Jarret Johnson

After nine years with the Ravens, linebacker Jarret Johnson knew it was time.

To go, that is.

Johnson, a noted run-stopper who has been sorely missed in this struggling defense, signed with the San Diego Chargers as a free agent after nine seasons in Baltimore.

The Ravens were changing, the salary cap didn't leave much wiggle room and a younger linebacker in Paul Kruger was emerging.

"I wanted to finish my career there," Johnson said of Baltimore. "But I kind of knew the writing was on the wall going into the year (with) the way Kruger was coming on, the way things were kind of working out, other guys' contracts. You can't pay everybody. ... They made it pretty clear pretty early that it wasn't going to work out."

The feeling will be odd for Ravens coach John Harbaugh. Johnson isn’t the only former player he’ll see in San Diego.

"It’ll be very strange. They’ve got a number of ex-Ravens there. A lot of guys. Chris Carr is there now, Jared Gaither, Antwan Barnes, Le’Ron McClain – all guys that have been integral parts of our program and we consider Ravens," Harbaugh said. “It will be a great for a while before the game, but after the game starts they’re Chargers."

Johnson already reached out to Ravens running back Ray Rice for some pregame trash-talk.

"Jarret Johnson is one of my good buddies, and it was tough to see him go because he epitomized what it was to be a Raven," Rice said. "I actually got a funny text from him. He sad, ‘Guys, you better bring your game faces.’ But that’s Double J. He was a no-nonsense kind of guy here.

"So I’m sure between the lines everything will be physical, but after the game it will be great to shake hands, take a picture with him and let him know that we still love him."

Linebacker Terrell Suggs formed an elite tandem with Johnson as the Ravens had the NFL’s No. 2-ranked defense last season. They’ve slipped to 23rd without him and Suggs, who only recently returned from an Achilles tear.

"You’re talking about my brother," Suggs said. "I’m definitely going to give him a hug. Me and Jarret, we came in the same class together (in 2003) and it was nine years me and him. It’s definitely going to be a little emotional to see him wearing a different color and playing for a different team."


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Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Ravens place Marquise Brown, Jaylon Ferguson on reserve/NFI list

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Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Ravens place Marquise Brown, Jaylon Ferguson on reserve/NFI list

With training camp just six days away, here is the latest news surrounding the Baltimore Ravens.

1. Ian Rapoport reported that the Ravens have placed Marquise Brown, Jaylon Ferguson and two others on the reserve/NFI list. He later added that Brown is still recovering from Lisfranc surgery but is "progressing well" and Ferguson is dealing with a "minor hamstring" injury.

2. The entire Baltimore Ravens class is officially under contract after the signing of wide receiver Miles Boykin. Boykin was a third-round pick out of Notre Dame.

3. Michael Vick joined The Sports Junkies on 106.7 The Fan Friday morning and when asked which young quarterbacks in the NFL most emulate his style, he answered: "Lamar Jackson" along with Kyler Murray and Cam Newton.

Looking Ahead:

July 24: Ravens training camp begins. Rookies are set to report a week earlier on Wednesday, July 17. 

The 2019 NFL schedule is set! See the Baltimore Ravens defend the AFC North at M&T Bank Stadium this season. Get your tickets now at www.BaltimoreRavens.com/tickets.

Credit: Rotoworld and Baltimore Ravens for news points.


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A big Year 2 ahead, Lamar Jackson isn’t worried about Madden ratings

A big Year 2 ahead, Lamar Jackson isn’t worried about Madden ratings

The number eight is sports royalty in the city of Baltimore thanks to Cal Ripken Jr.

If Lamar Jackson has the career many are hoping for, he’ll be another reason for that one day down the road.

For now, he’s a young, athletic quarterback entering his second season in Charm City. But his successful rookie year hasn’t been reflected in Madden NFL 20’s newest ratings.

Jackson came in with an overall rating of 76, tied for 24th among all quarterbacks. Unsurprisingly, his athleticism is highly-regarded, as he leads all signal-callers in speed, acceleration, agility, and elusiveness.

Questions abound about his throwing abilities, leading to the low rating. But that’s not a concern for Jackson himself.

“I can’t feel no way,” the quarterback told media members prior to throwing out the first pitch at the Orioles-Nationals game Wednesday night. “You know, I don’t make Madden. That’s them. But I feel like our team, we’re going to show ‘em this season.”

Jackson continued to praise the Ravens roster. When asked about the high ratings for teammates like Marquise “Hollywood” Brown and Earl Thomas, Jackson put his thoughts quite succinctly: “We look stacked!”

Of course, with speed and acceleration ratings like Jackson has, it’s fun to imagine how he might fit in on a baseball diamond as well.

“Whew, somewhere in the middle, to make a play,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde decided when asked where the Ravens quarterback might play on his roster.

“I’m looking forward to meeting him. I’m a big football fan, so watched him play a lot. And if he wanted to play center field or up the middle, it’d be great,” Hyde continued.

The speedy quarterback agreed, though it came with a caveat.

“Probably,” Jackson quickly answered when asked about his best fit being center field. “But you know, I’m the Ravens QB right now, so I’m good.”

He doesn’t know what his walk-up song would be if he played baseball, but Jackson was definitive about one thing at least: his hot dog preferences.

“I don’t really eat mustard,” he emphasized. “So I just put ketchup, relish...I just go from there. Pretty standard.”

When he’s not eating hot dogs, Jackson is working hard to build chemistry with his new receiving corps, and he seemed optimistic about the results it will bring on the field.

“Looking pretty good,” he described. “You’ll have to see for yourself.”

Knowing how many dual Orioles and Ravens fans there are in Baltimore, Jackson was also happy to provide a little hope as the city’s attention starts to shift from baseball to football. He gave a message to O’s fans who have sat through months of losing baseball and are looking to the Ravens to bring winning back to the city.

“Look forward to us coming out and balling,” he said. “Can’t say too much right now, [the] season’s not here!”

The Ravens season will be here soon enough, and when it is, Jackson will be ready to go out and show both local and national fans what he can do, regardless of what his Madden rating says.