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Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Ozzie Newsome stepping down as GM factor in Terrell Suggs' departure

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Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Ozzie Newsome stepping down as GM factor in Terrell Suggs' departure

While you've been hard at working drawing up the perfect March Madness bracket, here's the latest Baltimore Ravens news you need to know.

Team Notes:

Former Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs spoke on his decision to leave Baltimore after 16 seasons and sign with the Arizona Cardinals on Skip and Shannon: Undisputed  Wednesday. While his decision last week came as a surprise to the Ravens front office, it was something Suggs had been contemplating for quite some time. 

"It was probably hands down the most difficult decision I ever had to make it my life," Suggs said.

"Through and through I'm an Ozzie Newsome guy. Once I knew Ozzie was going to step down as GM, you know, I kind of had to question my future in a Ravens uniform." 

Suggs mentioned in his interview that the departure of other veterans helped him make his decision. With the Ravens' focus shifting to young guys stepping up to the plate, Suggs felt that he was the last piece standing in their way. While the departure was "mutual," the 36-year-old said he probably would have finished out his career in purple and black had Newsome remained GM. 

Cornerback Marlon Humphrey wasn't going to initially give up his No. 29 uniform for cheap. According to the Ravens' website, he asked for $100,000 from Earl Thomas in exchange. Thomas shot that offer down and Humphrey eventually offered up his number for free. However, it seems like the Humphrey family will get a little something in return. 

"His mom has a track team, so I might throw a little bread that way," Thomas said.

Throughout the offseason, new general manager Eric DeCosta has preached that the Ravens are interested in containing the young talent on their roster now before it's too late. So far he has accomplished that as the team currently has 48 players under the age of 26

Looking Ahead: 

March 24-27: Annual League Meeting in Phoenix, Az.

April 15: Voluntary OTA's may begin

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

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Marshal Yanda returns to Ravens practice as offensive line picture slowly takes shape

Marshal Yanda returns to Ravens practice as offensive line picture slowly takes shape

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Ravens offensive line is finally beginning to take shape. 

Right guard Marshal Yanda returned to the practice field Saturday, 15 days before the team’s regular season opener in Miami. He missed the last two weeks of practice. Left tackle Ronnie Stanley also returned from a left ankle injury.

Now, it’s a matter of getting the starting unit together.

“They’ve been practicing all along,” coach John Harbaugh said. “Marshal’s missed the last week or so, but he’s the one guy that can afford it. That was an opportunity to give those other guys a lot of reps. They’ve filled right in today. It’s time to go.”

With Yanda and Stanley on the offensive line, fourth-fifths of the starting unit was present at practice Saturday. The lone holdout was Jermaine Eluemunor, the presumed starter at left guard, who missed practice.

That leaves some inside spots open for competition, where Ben Powers and Bradley Bozeman have been looking to shore up the depth. 

“It’s good, every game, every Thursday you go out there and you get things you’re happy with that you’ve corrected over the course of the week, and you get things you need to address the next week,” Powers said. “Going into it every week, it’s just football.”

Powers, who mostly played left guard at Oklahoma, spent the majority of his snaps Thursday in Philadelphia at right guard. He took a few game reps, however, so the position isn’t completely foreign to him. 

Bozeman has also played reps at center and guard, so the interior offensive line has some versatility. Paired with Patrick Mekari and Patrick Vahe as well, the Ravens offensive line has depth up the middle.

“The inside did really well,” Harbaugh said. “The three young guys that you’re referring to I thought played very well. They all put themselves in contention, we’ve just got to figure out what we’re going to do.”

Aside from the offensive line, which should see some significant reps next Thursday in Washington, none of the Ravens starters will play. Harbuagh will decide how much key depth players like quarterback Trace McSorley will play on Monday.

And with roster cut downs a week from Saturday at 4 p.m., any playing time for depth players is crucial to earning their spot on the 53-man roster — in Baltimore or elsewhere. 

On the injury front, there was a noticeable lack of defensive backs present. Five missed practice, though there isn’t a cause for concern.

There were 12 players missing from practice Saturday morning: Randin Crecelius, Greg Senat, Jermaine Eluemunor, Brandon Carr, Tavon Young, Maruice Canady, Earl Thomas, Iman Marshall, Jaylon Ferguson, Nicholas Grigsby, Paul Worrilow and Gerald Willis.

It was later announced by Ian Rappoport that Worrilow, one day after signing with the Ravens, decided to retire at age 29.

According to ESPN’s Jamison Hensley, he left the Ravens stay at home with his wife, who is eight months pregnant. He’ll re-evaluate his NFL future at a later time.

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What Trace McSorley’s shining performance vs. Philadelphia means for the Ravens roster battle

What Trace McSorley’s shining performance vs. Philadelphia means for the Ravens roster battle

PHILADELPHIA — Trace McSorley knew something was brewing when he saw he had missed two phone calls: One from his quarterback's coach, James Urban, and the other from his head coach, John Harbaugh. 

McSorley received word early Thursday morning that he would make his NFL starting debut later in the evening against the Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field with starter Lamar Jackson not suited up.

And with the biggest opportunity he’s had all preseason, McSorley delivered his best performance as a Raven. He finished 19-of-28 with 203 yards through the air, two passing touchdowns and a rushing touchdown to lead the Ravens to a 26-15, lightning-shortened win. 

It was McSorley’s first performance where he didn’t come off the bench this preseason.

“You’re really coming into it, if you’re not starting you kind of come in and you know when you’re going to be up so you’re getting the juices flowing, getting yourself ready,” McSorley said. “Tonight, as a team, we were able to come in and play really good offensively.”

His best performance of his pro career might have clinched him a spot on the 53-man roster, too. At the very least, it moved him closer to earning a spot when the rosters shrink on Aug. 31.

“I thought he played really well,” Harbaugh said. “I thought he was really poised, he made a lot of plays on the move, extended some plays and made them. He played really well.”

With normal backup quarterback Robert Griffin III sidelined with a right thumb injury, McSorley has been the team’s backup all preseason long. 

In that role, he’s gotten reps he typically wouldn’t have seen otherwise. Thursday, he showed it’s paying off.

“Just being able to get in and really see things, really be there live, it’s a big difference than watching the film or sitting back and getting the mental reps,” McSorley said. “Once you get in there, see it live, it’s different. It’s been extremely beneficial getting all these reps.”

Aided by the return of Marquise Brown, the Ravens offense scored 23 points in the second quarter — with three touchdowns from McSorley — to pull ahead for a 26-0 lead.

McSorley’s best play came when he rainbowed the left sideline and found Michael Floyd in the end zone for a 28-yard touchdown pass that found the wide receiver right on the money. That followed his toughest effort of the night, a four-yard scramble where he found a way to get his right arm, and the football, over the goal line for a touchdown.

His other touchdown came on a seven-yard fade route to Jaleel Scott to put the Ravens up four possessions.

Still, despite his strong performance, he deflected individual praise and was more focused on how the offense ran as a whole. 

“I think so far, I think this is probably… we made some progress from the first couple games,” McSorley said. “That’s just kind of been the goal from week one to week two, from week two to week three. I think that’s something that coach Harbaugh talks about, I think we were able to do that as an offense again tonight.”

With Jackson and Griffin not expected to play next week in Washington for the team’s fourth and final preseason game, the spotlight will once again be on McSorley, as he’ll make his final case to be on the roster. 

Even though he looks like a safe bet to make the team now, especially with the special teams reps he’s received in practice, nothing is confirmed for the former Penn State quarterback.

But Thursday’s performance, one where he played the best football of his professional career, will go a long way toward ensuring he’s on the 53-man roster when the regular season begins.

“He did amazing,” running back Justice Hill said. “He got, what, three touchdowns? That’s crazy. And he only played a half.”

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