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Who needed deal more?


Who needed deal more?

Who needed Mondays deal more, the Ravens or running back Ray Rice?

One could certainly make the case that Rice was facing a pretty daunting scenario before he struck the five-year, 40 million deal that made him the NFLs third-highest-paid running back.

If the deadline had passed without a deal, Rice would have played in 2012 on a one-year contract. His 7.7 million salary was anything but chump change, but the one-year deal left him vulnerable to an injury possibly ruining the market for his longterm services. And of course, the Ravens had the option of putting the franchise tag on him yet again in 2013.

Put simply, he was on the verge of possibly steaming through his prime earning years on a succession of short-term deals, without a safety net or the guarantees that other stars at his position had obtained.

Yes, Rice needed to make that deal Monday.

But the Ravens needed Rice more.

Rices agent, Todd France, told the Carroll County Times Monday that Rice would have skipped at least part of training camp and possibly even some regular season games if hed had to play under the franchise tag in 2012 after not getting the longterm deal he wanted. Needless to say, that could have caused major problems.

The Ravens had offensive consistency issues as it was in 2011, even with Rice leading the league in yards from scrimmage. The passing game was up and down. There were a few clunker performances.

Quite simply, the Ravens offense couldnt be counted on to deliver from week to week. There just werent enough consistent playmakers.

Taking the units one consistent playmaker out of that equation in 2012 could have been disastrous, especially with Terrell Suggs out indefinitely and the rest of the defense dealing issues such as age, contracts and changing personnel putting more pressure on the offense to step up.

The Ravens havent really added anyone to their offensive mix other than No. 3 receiver Jacoby Jones and rookie running back Bernard Pierce, neither of whom is a difference maker.

They couldnt afford to get into the business of subtracting talent as well.

I have little doubt Rice eventually would have ended his holdout, showed up and played, possibly at his usual high level. Whatever the agent says might have happened, Rice, a total pro and legitimate team guy, would have felt terribly about letting down his teammates and tried to make up for it.

The fact that it never came to that obviously is a relief for all involved. Both sides needed each other in this tense negotiation that went down to the final minutes, and make no mistake, it took two willing parties to make the deal.

But while Rice really needed it, the Ravens needed their star running back even more.

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Ravens lower concession prices at M&T Bank Stadium ahead of 2018 season


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!

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Vegas odds against Lamar Jackson starting for Ravens in 2018

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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.