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Do-it-all specialist Patrick Ricard humbled by Ravens' two-year contract extension

Do-it-all specialist Patrick Ricard humbled by Ravens' two-year contract extension

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — A year ago, Patrick Ricard wasn’t sure how involved he was in the Ravens’ future plans. 

An undrafted free agent in 2017 out of Maine, he made the team as the only fullback on the roster. But after playing in 16 games in his rookie year, the number dipped to just 10 in 2018.

Ricard entered 2019 with something to prove, and throughout the season he’s proved time and time again to be an incredibly valuable and versatile player for the Ravens. 

His impact paid off Tuesday, when he inked a two-year contract extension to stay in Baltimore through the 2021 season.

“If you look from last year at this point, I was inactive,” Ricard said. “In the offseason, there was talks of me not even making the team. Now, the season I’ve had, and this team has had and everything that’s happened, it’s just a 360-180 and I’m just very humbled and grateful and very appreciative of it.” 

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that the deal was worth 7.3 million dollars.

“It didn’t really hit me at first, until I got that signing bonus,” Ricard said. “Then I was like, ‘OK, this is actually happening.’ My fiancee was there, it was a great moment and something we’re definitely going to cherish for years to come.”

Ricard said the negotiations had been ongoing since the preseason, a deal that he’d been waiting on for a long time.

This year, he’s got nine tackles, one sack and a forced fumble on defense. Offensively, he’s played more than 15 snaps every week since Week 6. He’s got eight receptions for 47 yards and a touchdown. His impact is mostly felt in the ground game, where he’s a lead blocker for the league’s best rushing attack.

“Guys work hard, and Pat, he does a great job,” Lamar Jackson said. “He’s playing all phases of football — special teams, offense and defense. So that guy should’ve had another contract extension a long time ago, to me. But yes, we have a young team, fast team. We have a difficult system we’re running and the guys who are here, we’re running it smoothly.”

The Ravens now have just a handful of offensive players left to extend at the end of the season, including Seth Roberts, Matt Skura and Gus Edwards.

But now, one of the most versatile players on the roster is now locked up for the next two years.

“I’m very grateful and very appreciative for the opportunity they’re giving me,” Ricard said. “Me coming here as an undrafted rookie out of Maine and giving me the opportunity to play fullback and D-line, and now, an opportunity to extend me and keep playing. I’m just very grateful and very excited to move forward.”

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Lamar Jackson shows off accuracy by hitting a crossbar from 50 yards away

Lamar Jackson shows off accuracy by hitting a crossbar from 50 yards away

Lamar Jackson isn't letting the end of the Ravens' season impact his ability to wow us on the football field. 

Ahead of the Pro Bowl Skills Challenge set for Thursday night, Jackson showed off incredible arm talent by hitting the crossbar from 50 yards away. 

Not bad for a running back. 

This season didn't go as planned for the Raves. They won 12 straight games to finish the regular season 14-2 and Jackson had an MVP season. Everything pointed to at least a trip to the AFC title game until the Titans came into Baltimore and pulled off a shocking upset in the Divisional Round. 

Jackson later explained how he didn't leave his room after the loss, and who can blame him? He's now 0-2 in the playoffs and their latest failure came against a team that had to switch quarterbacks midseason. 

The future is still bright in Baltimore, and while the sting of the playoffs may still be there for Ravens fans, they can still watch their quarterback dazzle in the Skills Challenge and the actual Pro Bowl game on Sunday. 

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‘Depressed’ Lamar Jackson didn’t leave his room after Ravens’ playoff loss

‘Depressed’ Lamar Jackson didn’t leave his room after Ravens’ playoff loss

It wasn’t supposed to end like this.

The Ravens had the No. 1 seed in the AFC locked up. Their quarterback was the presumptive MVP and they boasted a 12-game winning streak that was the longest in the NFL. It wasn’t a question of whether they’d beat the Titans in the divisional round, but how deep into the playoffs they could go.

Except that’s not what happened. The Titans stunned the Ravens on their home turf and won handily by the score of 28-12. After throwing just one interception over his previous 10 games, Lamar Jackson through two passes that ended up in the hands of Tennessee.

“I didn’t leave my room, to be honest,” Jackson told The Athletic during the Pro Bowl festivities in Miami. “I wasn’t frustrated. I was hurt. I was depressed. It was like, ‘I don’t even want to go outside right now. I’m not happy right now.’ There was nothing to celebrate.”

The loss marked the second-straight season in which Baltimore stumbled in its first playoff game. But this wasn’t the Ravens team of yesteryear. The 2018 Ravens went 10-6 with Jackson’s future at the quarterback position still being questioned by pundits. The 2019 Ravens went 14-2 while Jackson looked like one of the best athletes in the sport.

“I need to get better myself,” Jackson added. “I don’t put nothing on my teammates. We all just have to do our part. My job was to help my team, get my team in the red zone and score points. I didn’t do my job. We just got to move on. All season we were doing that. We’d drive down into the red zone and we’d put up points. For that game, we didn’t. We can’t put that on the defense. [Tennessee] only scored like 28 points. We should score more points than that.”

Surrounded by the fanfare that is Pro Bowl week, Jackson is all smiles as he hangs out in warm weather among some of the league’s biggest stars. But the young quarterback will have a lot to prove in 2020, as he’ll look to show that this Ravens was team was no fluke. And that he can lead Baltimore over the hump once the playoffs begin.

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