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With Rice signed, what's next for the Ravens?

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With Rice signed, what's next for the Ravens?

Now that the Ravens have locked up running back Ray Rice to a five-year deal, what moves to the top of their agenda?

Thats easy. Theyll turn their focus to retaining two of their other core players, quarterback Joe Flacco and safety Ed Reed.

Both players are entering the final year of their contract in 2012, and both have made it plain that they would like new deals, preferably sooner rather than later.

Flacco, 27, has flat-out stated he would like a new deal in place before the 2012 season begins, as opposed to waiting until after the season, when his contract signed as a rookie runs out.

Reed, 33, has not made such a straightforward statement, instead offering a stream of alternately vague and ominous comments about possibly retiring or being cut all of which make it clear that he wants another contract.

The Ravens have made more noise about re-upping with Flacco, who is line for his first major payday, as opposed to Reed, who signed a six-year, 44 million deal in 2006. Even though Reed is one of the franchises all-time greats, destined for the Hall of Fame, it would seem that getting Flacco locked up is the more immediate priority. Franchise quarterbacks are difficult to find, almost impossible to replace, and while Flacco has had his ups and downs, he has won a lot of games and the Ravens believe he is on the verge of becoming an upper-level performer.

But negotiations between the team and Flaccos agent havent been fast-paced, and of course, theres the major issue of determining just how much he is worth. It certainly didn't hurt Flacco's cause when New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees signed a 100 million deal last week, seemingly pushing up the scale for all quarterbacks.

The insertion of a deadline into the Ray Rice situations succeeded in forcing a conclusion, but no such deadline exists in Flaccos situation, at least in the near future. The Ravens could put the franchise tag on Flacco in 2013 now that Rice is locked up, meaning that they know he could wear their uniform for at least another two years without landing a new deal.

Having said that, they want to satisfy their quarterback, would like the deal to get done, and probably will try to do so fairly soon.

Reeds situation is murkier. The Ravens also want to make him happy if anything so he will pipe down but they arent going to pay too much for a player who would be 35 when his new deal begins and has talked about holding out. It remains to be seen how they will handle this increasingly delicate situation.

But one way or another, thats where their attention now turns.

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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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