We're rewarding you for getting through another workweek with the latest Baltimore Ravens news.
1. The Ravens and Marshal Yanda agreed in principle to a one-year extension Thursday, keeping the guard in Baltimore through the 2020 season. Drafted by the Ravens in the third round of the 2007 NFL Draft, the seven-time Pro Bowler started every game during the 2018-19 season after suffering a season-ending ankle injury in 2017. According to Pro Football Focus, Yanda hasn't given up a sack since 2015 and was the second-best run blocker in the NFL last season.
2. Running back Ty Montgomery signed a one-year deal with the New York Jets Thursday. The unrestricted free agent was traded to the Ravens from the Green Bay Packers back in October. In six games with Baltimore, Montgomery rushed 15 times for 83 yards in addition to 10 receptions for 65 yards. He will join former Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell in the backfield.
3. Sports Illustrated's Conor Orr re-drafted the first-round of the 2018 NFL Draft and has quarterback Lamar Jackson going much higher than No. 32. In his re-draft, Orr has the Jets selecting Jackson with the third-overall pick.
"Hear me out: You’re Todd Bowles, Sam Darnold is off the board, you have a platoon of capable running backs, a coaching staff who likes to run the football and a good defense," Orr said. "Installing something similar to what the Ravens did for Jackson a year ago would have made this team fascinating. Three of the Jets’ four wins this past season came when they put up 100 or more yards on the ground. And… it’s not all about the running game with Jackson. He’s a big-game quarterback who got better every week last year. He can create moments with his arm that other players in the league simply can’t."
En route to leading the Ravens to the postseason for the first time in three seasons, Jackson posted 695 rushing yards, the most by all NFL quarterbacks in 2018. It also ranks 11th most by a quarterback in NFL single-season-history and third by a rookie quarterback behind Robert Griffin III (815) and Cam Newton (706).
April 15: Voluntary OTAs may begin
April 19: Deadline for restricted free agents to sign offer sheets
April 25-27: 2019 NFL Draft in Nashville, Tn.
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Kick off your Friday with the latest Baltimore Ravens news including how quarterback Lamar Jackson has fared during OTAs.
1. Following a January surgery on his left ankle, safety Tony Jefferson remains sidelined after the first week of OTAs. Originally, Jefferson was expected to return 4-6 weeks after surgery. However, now that it's 5 months later, his return timetable is becoming more and more concerning.
2. Quarterback Lamar Jackson spoke with Ravens media Thursday about his progress not only learning the new offense implemented by Offensive Coordinator, Greg Roman, but learning the names of his new teammates as well. After another day of OTAs, Jackson was his biggest critic despite a solid day of running plays namely passing drills. “I’d say my first day, I sucked,” Jackson said to Ravens media. “Second day, I did better. Today was alright, but it could have been better. I always try to be perfect in practice. It was alright for the first week.”
July 15: 4 p.m. deadline to get a long-term deal done with designated franchise tag players.
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.
Credit: Rotoworld and Baltimore Ravens for news points.
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Former Carolina Panthers' star receiver Steve Smith spoke in front of a crowd of over 400 people at the fifth annual Wake up for Wellness breakfast that was sponsored by Mental Health America of Central Carolinas.
The 16-year veteran and current NFL Network analyst touched on the importance of seeking help for bouts with depression and spoke of battles that he has faced with the disease.
“On the outside you’ll see a tough exterior. But on the inside, I’m just broken or I believe even more broken than the average man. ... Because when the stadium goes dark and the cheers stop, you’re still looking for that pat on the back,” Smith said. “Throughout my whole career, I struggled with that.”
Smith discussed that in the beginning, he was so concerned about the stigma regarding mental health, that he opted for the professional to meet him for housecalls, and as time passed he realized the importance of speaking up.
“I started to realize that I’m not broken,” he said. “I’m not being sent back to the manufacturer ... I get up every morning and figure it out.”
Smith's comments on the issue came to light just a day after the NFL and NFLPA announced new legislation that focuses on mental well being.
The newly formed Comprehensive Mental Health and Wellness Committee will develop programs for members of the NFL in addition to collaborating with local and national mental health and suicide prevention organizations. Each team will be mandated to retain a Behavioral Health Team Clinician for assistance that will be required to be available to players at the individual team facilities for at least 8-12 hours per week and must conduct mandatory mental health education sessions for players and coaching staff.
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