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Eric Weddle's future is simple: Ravens or retire

Eric Weddle's future is simple: Ravens or retire

It's Ravens or bust for safety Eric Weddle.

With one year remaining on his contract and set to make $6.5 million, the Ravens could cut him in the offseason and free up $7.5 million in cap space. If the organization decides to go that route, Weddle is planning to call it a career. 

“If they want to go in a different direction, I’m not going to play for another team," Weddle said Monday. "That’s not where I’m at in my career. It’s either play my last year here, and that’ll be it and enjoy it, or this has been it. It’s pretty simple. I’m a simple kind of guy.”

A second-round pick in 2007 by the then San Diego Chargers, Weddle spent his first nine seasons with the organization before a bad breakup sent him into free agency and eventually with the Ravens on a four-year, $26 million deal. 

In three seasons, the 34-year-old has 220 combined tackles, 69 assist, 24 passes defended and 10 interceptions. In 2018, Weddle finished third in tackles (68) and earned his third straight Pro Bowl with the Ravens while helping lead the leagues top-ranked defense. 

“It definitely would be a big loss," cornerback Marlon Humphrey said on the possibility of being without Weddle next season. "But, he’s not just a player. I think I’ve said before, he’s like having another coach back there. Losing a leader like that and a guy that can really lead a secondary without even really having to say anything, just doing his job, would definitely be a big loss.”

Weddle has undoubtedly been a big piece in the Ravens' defense puzzle, one that could look very different in 2019 with Terrell Suggs, C.J. Mosley, Brent Urban and Za'Darius Smith all becoming unrestricted free agents. 

"I’m going to go speak to Eric [DeCosta] and see what he sees with myself and the team," Weddle added. "If he wants me back, I’m here. If not, then it’s all good. I understand it, and I’ll just ride off into the sunset. I’m good. I still have a desire to play, and I feel that I can still affect the game in dominant games. But either way, I’m good with whatever." 

If the Ravens do move on from the veteran, they still have Tony Jefferson, Anthony Levine Sr., Chuck Clark and rookie DeShon Elliott at their disposal. A free agent veteran with the same type of leadership skills could also be an option for the team. 

After potentially playing his final game in a 23-17 Wild Card loss to his former team Sunday, the veteran reflected on what's been the happiest span of his career. 

"It’s a special, special place to play football," Weddle said on his time in Baltimore.

"It’s the happiest I’ve ever been in my career, coming to work every day for this organization, so to be able to put on this jersey and represent this organization and the city that welcomed me with open arms three years ago has always been on my mind to try and make them proud. I always felt I was meant to be a Raven, and hopefully the people understand that I tried to live that out, for sure.”

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4 prospects Baltimore Ravens fans should be keeping an eye on in 2019 NFL Draft

4 prospects Baltimore Ravens fans should be keeping an eye on in 2019 NFL Draft

The Baltimore Ravens will add to their historic franchise this weekend during the 2019 NFL Draft. All eyes will be set on who they take with their first pick, whether that's at No. 22 or beyond. 

With a handful of needs, which prospects should you be aware of? Here are four players projected to possibly land with the Ravens Thursday night.

WR D.K. Metcalf, Mississippi

Metcalf grabbed the attention of the football world during the NFL Combine, running a 4.33 40-yard dash and posting a 40.5 vertical jump. The jury is still out, however, on how he'll pan out in the NFL. Metcalf missed part of the 2018 season with a neck injury and a foot injury derailed his 2016 season after just two games. Metcalf admitted that his history of injuries was brought up often when meeting with NFL teams, and his apparent 1.9% body fat simply isn't healthy, according to a combine trainer. Nonetheless, draft experts have the receiver as a top option for the Ravens. 

DE Clelin Ferrell, Clemson

The Ravens are going to need some help on defense after losing Terrell Suggs, C.J. Mosley and Za'Darius Smith in free agency. Ferrell had 38 tackles for loss and 21 sacks over the last two seasons with the National Champions. Standing at 6'4", 264 pounds, the defensive end's combine profile describes him as having "prototypical size, length and strength to offer early help against both the run and pass."

C/G Erik McCoy, Texas A&M

The Ravens could be looking for their center of the future. McCoy earned a starting role with the Aggies during the 2016 season, starting all 16 games after redshirting his freshman season. In his sophomore season, McCoy helped Texas A&M average 406.8 yards per game. From 2016-19, the center helped his team rush for over 2,000 yards. A talent like that could be extremely helpful with Lamar Jackson under center. 

WR Marquise Brown, Oklahoma

Another wide receiver in the mix, Brown averaged more than 18 yards per reception over two years at Oklahoma, racking up 1,300 yards with 10 touchdowns on 75 receptions in 2018 alone. Nicknamed "Hollywood," the 21-year-old's speed and ability to threaten deep "gives him a chance to become the most impactful wideout in this draft."

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 and kicker Justin Tucker agree to four-year contract extension

Baltimore Ravens and kicker Justin Tucker agree to four-year contract extension

The most accurate kicker in NFL history is staying in Baltimore.

The Ravens announced Wednesday that they have agreed to a contract extension with kicker Justin Tucker. The four-year extension will keep him in Baltimore through the 2023 season. The extension is reportedly worth $23.05 million, including $12.5 million fully guaranteed in the first two years and an $8 million signing bonus.

Tucker, who was entering the final year of his second contract, is a two-time Pro Bowler who has made 90.1 percent of his field goal attempts through his seven-year career. In 2018, Tucker converted 35-of-39 field goal attempts and 36 of the Ravens' 27 extra points. He was also named AFC Special Teams Player of the Week twice last season and has a franchise-record nine nominations.

An undrafted free agent in 2012, the 29-year-old owns an NFL-record seven-career games with multiple 50-plus-yard field goals and became the only kicker in league history to kick field goals from the 20-, 30-, 40-, 50- and 60-yard ranges in a single game. 

Keeping Tucker in Baltimore is a major win for the Ravens this offseason. The team will hold a press conference at 2:30 p.m. to officially announce his extension. 

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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