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Offseason outlook: Predicting Ravens salary cap casualties

Offseason outlook: Predicting Ravens salary cap casualties

The Ravens could have a lengthy list of salary cap casualties this offseason, coming off an 8-8 season and looking to get younger and faster. Here are nine veterans under contract who are in danger of being cut, and a prediction on whether they will stay, or go:

Kyle Arrington, CB

Prediction: He’s gone.

Arrington spent 2016 on injured reserve (concussion), and took a pay cut last year to avoid being cut. The Ravens need to upgrade their cornerback unit, and Arrington isn’t in those plans.

Elvis Dumervil, LB

Prediction: He’s gone.

Dumervil’s production has tailed off the past two seasons, he turned 33 years old last month, and the Ravens could save $6 million in cap space by releasing him.

Kendrick Lewis, S

Prediction: He’s gone.

Lewis only played six games last season before being sent to injured reserve. After playing 10 games without Lewis, the Ravens can adjust to playing 16 games without him.

Dennis Pitta, TE

Prediction: He stays.

This is a tough decision, because the Ravens have younger tight ends and could save $3.3 million by cutting Pitta. However, Pitta is coming off a productive season, and he’s a favorite target of Joe Flacco. Pitta may have to take a pay cut, but I think the odds favor him staying.

Mike Wallace, WR

Prediction: He stays.

Why would the Ravens consider parting with Wallace, coming off a 1,000-yard season? Cutting Wallace would save the Ravens $5.5 million in cap space, and they might sign a less expensive veteran wide receiver in free agency. This is another tough call, but with their need for speed, and the retirement of Steve Smith Sr., I think the Ravens decide to keep Wallace.

Ben Watson, TE

Prediction: He’s gone.

Watson missed the entire 2016 season with an Achilles injury and he is 36 years old. Don’t think the Ravens will keep both Watson and Pitta. I think Watson will be the one who goes.

Lardarius Webb, S

Prediction: He stays.

Webb proved he could make the transition from corner to safety. Keeping Webb gives the Ravens one less need to fill.

Shareece Wright, CB

Prediction: He’s gone.

Wright has given up far too many big plays, and the Ravens could take a corner in the first round.

Jeremy Zuttah, C

Prediction: He’s gone.

This could go either way, but cutting Zuttah would save the Ravens almost $2.4 million. They are looking for a bigger, more physical center, and the Ravens are not afraid to play young offensive linemen. Either through the draft, free agency, or trade, I think the Ravens will make a move for a new starting center.

MORE RAVENS: Steve Smith lands shiny new TV gig

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Ravens not counting on having LB C.J. Mosley vs. Broncos on Sunday

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Ravens not counting on having LB C.J. Mosley vs. Broncos on Sunday

BALTIMORE -- Coming off a long weekend following their first loss of the season, the Baltimore Ravens have implemented a contingency plan for moving forward without three-time Pro Bowl linebacker C.J. Mosley.

Mosley bruised his left knee Thursday night in a 34-23 defeat at Cincinnati. Although the fifth-year standout receives a few extra days to recover, it's unlikely he will ready for Sunday's game against unbeaten Denver.

"It isn't a structural issue. That's good news," coach John Harbaugh said Monday. "We'll just see how that thing comes along and keep our fingers crossed."

Rookie linebacker Kenny Young and Patrick Onwuasor played the position after Mosley left in the first quarter. Though the Ravens tightened up defensively in the second half, they yielded touchdowns on four straight series after Mosley's departure.

"It definitely seemed like things were a little bit scrambled when you lose a guy like that," cornerback Marlon Humphrey said. "Just him being out there makes everything smoother."

To help fill the void, the Ravens on Monday signed Albert McClellan , who played six years for Baltimore before being cut on Sept. 1.

McClellan missed all of last year with a knee injury but has 90 games of NFL experience, all with the Ravens.

"Albert is a very good football player. He knows everything we do," Harbaugh said. "He gives us a lot on special teams and can play middle linebacker. I would say he kind of solidifies in there a little bit, having so many young players in the group."

To make room for McClellan, the Ravens placed cornerback Maurice Canady on injured reserve with a thigh injury. Harbaugh said it's not a season-ending injury, and it's possible that Canady could return later in the season.

Mosley led the Ravens last year with a career-high 132 tackles and is in charge of calling the plays on defense. That role has been handed to safety Eric Weddle.

Young appears in position to make his first NFL start. Selected out of UCLA in the fourth round of the NFL draft, the 23-year-old Young made a favorable impression before his making seven tackles last week in Cincinnati.

"He's going a great job. We're real happy with him," Harbaugh said. "He's very smart, very studious, very conscientious. I think his learning curb is steep."

After beating Buffalo 47-3 in the opener, the Ravens (1-1) took a huge step back last week. The Bengals led 28-7 in the second quarter and cruised to the finish.

Following a short week, the Ravens enjoyed a rare weekend that did not involve playing football.

"Yeah, that's valuable to have that, as far as recovery and things like that, and study," Harbaugh said.

It also provided the team some extra time to get over the Cincinnati game.

"You just can't beat yourself up too much because if you do, that just takes you in a downward path," Harbaugh said. "What it's going to boil down to in the end is, who's mentally tougher over the long haul? You've got to keep grinding."

There are plenty of unbeaten teams remaining, including the Broncos, but Harbaugh believes it's way too early to start identifying the best clubs in the league.

"Nobody in the NFL is a good football team yet," he said. "It remains to be seen who the good football teams are, and that's what we've got to try to become."

Harbaugh said tight end Hayden Hurst (foot) and defensive tackle Willie Henry (abdomen) won't practice this week.


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Ravens Week 2 Player of the Game: WR John Brown


Ravens Week 2 Player of the Game: WR John Brown

Coming off a strong Week 1 performance, the Ravens marched into Cincinnati for Week 2 and put up a dud.

The defense struggled immediately without C.J. Mosley, and Joe Flacco and the offense saw their share of unfortunate turnovers. 

While there was much to be concerned about in their 34-23 loss, one Raven that brought a high to a mainly low night was offseason addition John Brown.

Brown's night was highlighted by an insane 21-yard touchdown that put the Ravens within five in the fourth quarter. Prior to that, Flacco connected with the wide receiver for a 45-yard completion on third down. 'Smoke' also drew a 30-yard penalty that helped set up a touchdown, finishing his night with four catches for 92 yards.

The connection between Flacco and Brown was apparent throughout training camp, and in two games, the 28-year-old has become a trusted target. He currently leads the Ravens with 136 yards and two touchdowns and his 19.43-yard average is well above his fellow receivers. The speed he possess makes it difficult for defenses to keep up, and if Brown can stay healthy, he could be the consistent deep-threat the team's been looking for for years. 

 “I’m satisfied, and I did pretty good," Brown said after the Ravens' Week 1 win. "But it doesn’t stop right here.”