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Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti still holding out 'hope' Smith Sr. returns next year

Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti still holding out 'hope' Smith Sr. returns next year

Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti was smiling when he said it, but he sounded very open to finding a place for Steve Smith Sr. on the 2017 Ravens if he changed his mind about retirement.

“I have not given up hope that Steve Smith is going to come walking in here in September,” Bisciotti said during his “State of the Ravens” press conference. “He is probably not coming in August. We will see about that character. I would not count him out.”

Could Smith have a change of heart when fall draws closer, and the itch to play becomes harder to ignore? Yes, it could happen. But should the Ravens expect that to happen? No way.

Smith already knows he’s going to get the itch, but he doesn’t sound inclined to scratch. He has already filed his retirement papers in typical Smith style.

Also, check out his Tweet from Jan. 8

https://twitter.com/89SteveSmith/status/818200281297092608

So for the next few months, the bigger question isn’t whether Smith will return, but whether the Ravens can build an effective wide receiving corps without him. Breshad Perriman needs to improve his route running and become more sure-handed.

General manager Ozzie Newsome said finding a “complimentary” receiver as one of the Ravens’ biggest needs. The Ravens have the option of picking up Mike Wallace’s $4.75 million contract for next season, but will they, especially if they acquire several receivers during the draft and free agency?

Smith had a great 16-year career, and at age 37, he doesn’t have to worry about the Ravens’ offseason issues. Smith’s offseason can last the rest of his life. But if Smith changes his mind, Bisciotti sounds willing to write Smith another check.

MORE RAVENS: Flacco had major role in keeping Mornhinweg; is that a problem?

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Ravens Mock Draft Roundup: A wide receiver, defensive end favorites at 22

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Ravens Mock Draft Roundup: A wide receiver, defensive end favorites at 22

This is not a drill. We are one week away from the 2019 NFL Draft.

Will the Ravens get Lamar Jackson help at wide receiver or will they focus on filling their holes on defense?

We will have answers to those questions in no time, but in the time being let's take a look at who experts are predicting they take with the 22nd overall pick.

NBC Sports Washington's Ben Standig and NFL.com's Daniel Jeremiah: DE Clelin Ferrell, Clemson

Ferrell had 38 tackles for loss and 21 sacks over the last two seasons. A young threat would fit in quite nicely for the new-looking Ravens defense. 

Bleacher ReportNFL.com's Charles Davis and Sporting News: WR Marquise Brown, Oklahoma

Brown, who posted 1,318 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns during the 2018 season, reportedly made a visit to the Ravens this week

It's no secret that the Ravens need help at WR with only two guys on their current roster who have caught a pass in the NFL. 

SB NationSports Illustrated and CBS Sports: WR D.K. Metcalf, Ole Miss

After an impressive combine performance and a picture surfacing of him looking insanely jacked at the gym, Metcalf is definitely the most talked about receiver in this year's draft.

Despite missing part of the 2018 season with a neck injury, Metcalf's draft profile describes him having "projectable upside to become a home-run threat as a WR1." Just what the Ravens need.

ESPN's Mel Kiper and Todd McShay: C/G Erik McCoy, Texas A&M

The center position is not seen as a sexy pick in the draft, but Bradbury's skillset is enough to get you excited.

He has three years of experience while at Texas A&M and was only called for five penalties in 2,811 snaps over his college career.

The 2019 NFL schedule is set!  See the Baltimore Ravens defend the AFC North at M&T Bank Stadium this season. Get your tickets now at www.BaltimoreRavens.com/tickets.

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Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Way too early season win totals predictions after 2019 schedule release

Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Way too early season win totals predictions after 2019 schedule release

The NFL released the Baltimore Ravens' full 2019 schedule Wednesday and we're officially one week away from the 2019 NFL Draft.

Here's the latest Baltimore Ravens news.

Player/Team Notes: 

1. The Ravens' 2019 schedule perfectly alternates between home and away games each week, which has only happened three other times since the 16-game schedule was implemented in 1978, according to ESPN Stats and Info. Among other notable tidbits, the Ravens will play four 2018 playoff teams over a five game span starting in Week 7. Their three home games in the month of December could prove crucial with them wrapping up the season at home for the third-consecutive year vs. the Steelers. The Ravens have three scheduled primetime games, none of which are against the Steelers marking the first time since 2006 fans won't be able to watch the rivals on a national stage. 

2. There's nothing quite like way too early season win totals predilections after the release of the full season schedule. Bleacher Report's Gary Davenport took his shot at it and have the Ravens finishing the 2019 season at 9-7.

"In addition to a pair of games against the rival Steelers and upstart Browns, the Ravens will play five teams that made the playoffs in 2018, including the reigning NFC champion Los Angeles Rams on the road," Davenport said. "The Ravens will play host to the New England Patriots (Week 9) and Houston Texans (Week 11) and travel to face the Kansas City Chiefs (Week 3), Seattle Seahawks (Week 7) and Rams (Week 12). It's a fairly daunting slate."

Davenport has the Browns finishing 2019 atop the AFC at 10-6, the Bengals at 6-10 and the Steelers at 8-8. For perspective, the Ravens finished their 2018 season at 10-6. 

Looking Ahead:

April 19: Deadline for restricted free agents to sign offer sheets

April 25-27: 2019 NFL Draft in Nashville, Tn.

May 3-6 or May 10-13: Potential three-day rookie mini camp

The 2019 NFL schedule is set!  See the Baltimore Ravens defend the AFC North at M&T Bank Stadium this season. Get your tickets now at www.BaltimoreRavens.com/tickets.

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