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Steve Smith offers advice to Odell Beckham Jr. after Miami boat trip

Steve Smith offers advice to Odell Beckham Jr. after Miami boat trip


Former Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith offered some clear and concise advice to Giants wideout Odell Beckham Jr. during a television appearance Tuesday.

Speaking on Fox Sports 1’s “Undisputed,” Smith said Beckham needs to “make more mature and professional decisions” moving forward in his career.

“You have to think less about your brand … and more about the company,” Smith said. “The company which pays you and gives you that opportunity to do all the things that you get to do. You cannot allow your extracurricular activities to supersede and become more important than your current job — the W2, that allows you to get K1s and 1099s. You have to make sure you take care of that first.”

Beckham, along with fellow Giants receivers Victor Cruz, Sterling Shepard and Roger Lewis, all traveled to Miami on their day off a day after beating the Redskins 19-10 in their regular-season finale on Jan. 1.

Last Sunday, one week after the game, the Giants then went on to lose 38-13 on the road against the Packers in the NFC Wild Card round.

Statistically, Beckham and the other receivers on the trip did not have their best games. Beckham had just four catches for 28 yards, which included some drops.

 “So like what I tell my son, 19 years old in college, he plays sports,” Smith said. “I tell him, ‘Academics first, athletics second.’ Academics means you’ve got to think, which his dad didn’t always do, so I’m speaking from experience. So he’s going to have some growing pains, but I don’t think growing pains, I don’t thinking growing up is the thing.

“He has to mature, he has to understand what he has to do and how the spotlight is on him. We’re in a day and age now where social media and attention, TMZ, all these things are putting us in the forefront and make us think and feel and act. Like we are more important. ‘The league cannot do anything without me.’”

Smith, 37, who officially retired from the NFL after 16 seasons last Friday, was known for his brash style of play throughout his career.

“The league has and will continue to be existing beyond you and after you and before you,” Smith said. “There was a number, there was somebody – I don’t know who – somebody was in (No.) 13 before you. And you know what? Unless you calm down what you’re doing and continue to play well, you have the possibility of making sure no one will wear that number after you.”


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Ravens' options in a potential Matthew Judon trade

Ravens' options in a potential Matthew Judon trade

According to a report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Ravens have expressed interest in moving on from Matthew Judon through a trade this offseason. 

Judon, who isn’t under contract for next season, was tied for 19th in the league in sacks with 9.5 — a team-high. He was also the team-leader in quarterback hits with 33. The next best pass-rusher was Tyus Bowser, who registered 10. 

Lined up for a big payday, and with a high-priced franchise tag an option, the Ravens could lose their second pass-rusher in as many years on the free agent market should they elect to not pay Judon the elite pass-rusher money he’ll likely command.

Which brings the Ravens to the report from Schefter that indicated the team could move on from Judon, 27, through the sign-and-trade route. 

Should Judon, or the Ravens, walk away from the negotiating table in free agency, two options exist: The Ravens could either let him walk freely to another team and likely receive a 2021 third-round pick as compensation, or place the franchise tag on Judon. 

With the franchise tag option, the Ravens could keep him for a season and essentially kick the can down the road for a year, or trade him for a return that would likely be greater than the compensatory third, and more importantly, the help would be immediate. 

A few weeks ago, coach John Harbaugh said re-signing Judon would be, “pretty hard,” but that the team was going to try.  

But if the Ravens aren’t able, or are unwilling, to sign Judon, a potential blueprint for a future trade might have been laid out last year by the Chiefs. 

Last season, the Chiefs traded Dee Ford to the 49ers for a second-round pick just a month before they sent first and third-round picks to the Seahawks for Frank Clark and a third-round pick.

Ford had 13 sacks in 2018 and 29 quarterback hits while Clark had 13 as well and 27 quarterback hits. They both immediately signed long-term, expensive contracts with their new teams. 

Baltimore could make a move similar to that with Judon and get better, and more immediate, compensation for him and later add a pass-rusher with the draft capital than the team added.

The Ravens have just under 29 million dollars in cap space, meaning they’ve got the space to sign Judon to a long-term deal or keep him on the franchise tag, but they’d need to make some moves to be able to field a full roster. And that full roster, if Judon isn’t in Baltimore in 2020, needs pass-rushing help. 

Baltimore had 37 sacks as a team, and just over a quarter of them came from Judon. It also had 111 total quarterback hits, and 29.7 percent came from Judon. 

So the report that the Ravens could move Judon could play out, perhaps the most interesting aspect of a Judon trade would be the replacement the Ravens would need to have lined up.

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With big decision looming, Ravens guard Marshal Yanda mum on retirement plans

With big decision looming, Ravens guard Marshal Yanda mum on retirement plans

Ravens guard Marshal Yanda has a decision to make on his playing future, but he's in no rush to make it.

The 35-year-old is under contract with the Ravens through the 2020 season, but will take the next month or so to decide if he wants to continue playing or hang up the cleats.

"I'm going to take my time now," Yanda told Ravens.com regarding his future. "Done playing for the year, just take some time over the next month and basically just go with my heart and see how I feel."

The eight-time Pro Bowler was a vital piece in the NFL's best rushing attack in 2019. Yanda, the leader of the offensive line, started and played in 15 games this season for Baltimore, missing the regular-season finale as the Ravens rested multiple starters with the No. 1 seed already clinched.

Following Baltimore's upset divisional playoff loss to the Titans, a visibly disappointed Yanda refused to address his future, but he was definitely thinking about it then.

But if Sunday's Pro Bowl was the last time Yanda put on the pads, he didn't treat the game or experience any differently.

"Not necessarily," Yanda said if he cherished Sunday's Pro Bowl differently. "You're not in that frame of mind. I definitely didn't think about [my retirement decision] too much today, just because it was the Pro Bowl. It's more of a relaxed game, not like a really intense game.

"I didn't have those feelings as much as the Tennessee game," he continued." Yeah, it's a possibility. But those feelings were more in the Tennessee game."

Even at age 35, Yanda remains one of the best guards in the game. He's made the NFL's second-team All-Pro squad the past two seasons and has been a Pro Bowler every season since 2011, minus the 2017 season where he played just two games due to a season-ending ankle injury.

There's no debate: Baltimore would greatly benefit from Yanda returning.

"You want people that want you back," Yanda said. "You want to be playing very well when you end. Nobody wants to fade out; you want to go out strong."

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