SAN JOSE, Calif. – It will be interesting to see what the signing of Jason Babin means for Ravens rookie linebacker Za’Darius Smith.
Smith (inactive) did not dress for Sunday’s loss to the Broncos, and now the 35-year-old Babin has been added at outside linebacker to bolster the Ravens’ pass rush. With Terrell Suggs (Achilles injury) lost for the season, the Ravens decided they needed to add another pass rusher, rather than to count on Smith having an impact year as a rookie.
There’s still plenty of time for Smith, a fourth-round pick, to make meaningful plays this season. But he’ll have to earn his playing time, because it clearly will not be handed to him, even with Suggs gone.
“We’re excited about Za’Darius,” said Ravens coach John Harbaugh on Monday, before the Ravens signed Babin on Tuesday. “He didn’t dress (Sunday), but he practiced really well. He’s going to have to continue to improve. Sometimes you get thrown into the fire and guys respond.”
Adding Babin, a high-motor player even at age 35, will keep the competition high at outside linebacker. Elvis Dumervil remains the team’s premier pass rusher, but Babin, Courtney Upshaw, Albert McClellan, and Smith will all be vying for reps in passing situations
The first challenge for Smith is to practice well enough this week in San Jose, Calif., to prove he should be activated for Sunday’s game against the Raiders. Without Suggs, the Ravens will take all the pass-rushing help they can get.
MORE RAVENS: Ravens sign Babin to help bolster pass rush without Suggs
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.
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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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