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In a change of heart, Ravens re-sign veteran DB Lardarius Webb

In a change of heart, Ravens re-sign veteran DB Lardarius Webb

BY TYLER BYRUM, @theTylerByrum

When free agency began this offseason, general manager Ozzie Newsome and the Baltimore Ravens made their goal clear: improve their defensive secondary. At first it appeared that Lardarius Webb was not going to be a factor for the team to achieve that goal, but even NFL teams can change their mind. 

Immediately the team signed safety Tony Jefferson when the free agency period began. Being the odd man out, the Ravens then waived the eight-year veteran Webb who had been with the team his entire tenure in the NFL.

But in a change of heart, just over a month following his release, Webb re-signed with the Ravens for a three-year deal, reportedly worth $10.5 million.

Drafted from by the Ravens in the third round back in 2009, the natural cornerback got moved to the team's full safety position after seven seasons at that position last year. Helping the defense rank No. 1 in the NFL in interceptions, Webb had one of his most productive seasons, stats-wise, and appeared to be adjusting to the position. In eight years, he has amassed 13 interceptions and 374 tackles for the team. 

The 31-year-old also has seen time on the special teams unit, returning both kick-offs and punts. Devin Hester though took over the return duties last year. 

Due to his age, and slight loss of speed, it appeared the team was comfortable letting him go back on March 10.

It would not at all be surprising if this was a move made to renegotiate Webb's contract that was expected to last at least two more seasons and take a cap-hit at $5.5 million this year. Although, normally that is a move made within a day or two of the player's release, not a month like the case for the Ravens. Fortunately for the team, he was not picked up by another team in free agency.

Since his release, the team has also brought in veteran Cowboys corner, Brandon Carr to go alongside Jimmy Smith. With a heavy defensive back roster in the 2017 NFL draft, this move all but eliminates an early round pickup at that position, but Newsome has made clear he can change his mind.

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Ravens agree to terms with first-round pick Hayden Hurst

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USA TODAY Sports

Ravens agree to terms with first-round pick Hayden Hurst

The Ravens have their entire 2018 draft class locked up.

The team agreed to terms with first-round pick Hayden Hurst, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.

Hurst's rookie contract - like all first-round picks - is a four-year deal with a team option of a fifth year. According to the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the 25th overall pick is due $11.1 million. 

The 24-year old, who was a walk on at South Carolina at 21-years old after being drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2012, finished his three-year career with 100 receptions, 1,281 yards and three touchdowns.

Standing at 6-foot-3, Hurst will be a nice addition to the TE corps with Nick Boyle and third-round draft pick Mark Andrews. 

Fellow first-round pick Lamar Jackson signed his rookie contract on June 5th.

Training camp kicks off for the Ravens July 19th. 

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Ravens experimenting with getting Joe Flacco and Lamar Jackson on field at same time

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Ravens experimenting with getting Joe Flacco and Lamar Jackson on field at same time

Since drafting Lamar Jackson, the Ravens have made it clear that Joe Flacco is their starter. That doesn't mean they're not experimenting with having them both on the field at the same time, however. 

During this week's minicamp, the team has been lining Jackson up at multiple positions. 

"Gosh, I sure like him out there helping us," coach John Harbaugh said of Jackson during Tuesday's minicamp, via ESPN.com.

"If you put two quarterbacks on the field at once, what options does it create for our offense? That's what we're trying to figure out."

While at Louisville, Jackson rushed for 4,132 yards and 50 touchdowns in three seasons. That's more rushing yards than No. 2 overall pick Saquon Barkley. That unique skill set could be the creative options the Ravens are looking for. 

While at the NFL Combine, however, Jackson refused to workout at any other position than QB. 

"I have a lot of fun seeing what they come up with and what they're going to come up with next," Jackson said. "We'll see where it goes. You have to use your good players."

The Ravens are already viewing Jackson as one of those 'good players.' 

"Once he gets out of the pocket, it's like watching a young Michael Vick," LB C.J. Mosley said after minicamp practice. "It's amazing to watch. When you're defending him, you just have to act like you're tagging off -- you don't want to be on the highlight reel."

Harbaugh has alluded to the fact that the rookie will be active on game days, just exactly how they get the most out of him is what's in play.

"There's a lot of considerations that go into that," Harbaugh said of using two QBs at the once. "Everybody has an opinion. I've read a few. You want to find a way to get the most out of all your guys."

While Flacco isn't the fasted QB in the league, he has shown glimpses of running ability in the past. Figuring out how to utilize Flacco when Jackson is under center is where things will get interesting.

Interesting - as long as it works - is what Ravens fans have been searching for over the last several seasons. 

"Joe has to be able to do other things if [Jackson is] throwing the ball," Harbaugh said. "It gets the creative juices flowing for our offensive coaches, and they've worked hard on that."

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