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In first year of eligibility, Ed Reed officially a finalist for 2019 Hall of Fame class

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In first year of eligibility, Ed Reed officially a finalist for 2019 Hall of Fame class

Iconic Ravens safety Ed Reed, in his first year of eligibility, has been named as one of the 15 modern-era finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame's class of 2019.

Reed, who spent 11 seasons with the Ravens before splitting a season with the Texans and Jets, retired at the end of the 2013 season.  he joins fellow first-time eligibles Tony Gonzalez, Ed Reed, and Champ Bailey, along with Steve Atwater, Tony Boselli, Isaac Bruce, Don Coryell, Alan Faneca, Tom Flores, Steve Hutchinson, Edgerrin James, Ty Law, John Lynch, Kevin Mawae, and Richard Seymour.

Although previously eligible, Flores -- who coached two Raiders teams to Super Bowl titles -- and longtime defensive lineman Seymour are finalists for the first time.

Also being considered for induction are senior committee nominee Johnny Robinson, a star safety for Dallas/Kansas City from 1960-71, and contributors finalists Gil Brandt, former personnel director for the Cowboys and now the NFL's top draft consultant, and Broncos owner Pat Bowlen.

A maximum of eight new members can be elected, five from the modern-era group. Inductions are Aug. 3 in Canton, Ohio.

He's one of two players to lead the NFL in interceptions three times (2-4, 2008, 2010) and was the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2004. Reed helped lead the Ravens to a Super Bowl title in his final season and played in all but 16 regular-season games in his 11-year career with the Ravens.

In all there, are three safeties, two cornerbacks, two offensive tackles, two coaches, one guard, one center, one tight end, one running back, one wide receiver and one defensive lineman as finalists.

The balloting for the 2019 class opens on Feb. 2.

NBC Sports Washington's Troy Machir contributed to this story.

 

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Report: Ravens extend defensive coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale to three-year extension

Report: Ravens extend defensive coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale to three-year extension

According to a report from Ian Rapoport, the Ravens have made another move to keep their defense intact long-term. 

Defensive coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale has reportedly signed a three-year contract extension that will make Martindale the highest paid defensive coordinator in the NFL. But as for the future, the team expects him to be a head coaching candidate after the 2020 season. 

Martindale, 56, has been in Baltimore since 2012 where he started as the team’s linebackers coach. He held that position through 2017 and was promoted to defensive coordinator in 2018. 

In 2018, his first season as coordinator, he led the Ravens defense to a league best 292.9 yards allowed per game and was runner-up for Associated Press Assistant Coach of the Year.

The Ravens lost some significant pieces after 2018 season and were without Terrell Suggs, C.J. Mosley, Eric Weddle and Za’Darius Smith in 2019. After struggling in three of the first four weeks of the season, the revamped defense eventually took shape. 

Baltimore allowed just 15.1 points per game after the Week 4 loss to Cleveland, where it allowed 40 points — their most all season. 

Through the whole season, the Ravens allowed 300.2 yards per game, which ranked fourth in the league. They also ranked third in total points with 17.6 points allowed per game. 

The unit took shape with some key mid-season acquisitions — most notably Marcus Peters, Jihad Ward and Josh Bynes — and lifted the unit to one of the best in the league along with its NFL-best offense.

In a season of new contracts for the Ravens defense, they’ve now extended cornerback Tavon Young, linebacker L.J. Fort, defensive lineman and linebacker Patrick Ricard, Peters and, most recently, safety Chuck Clark in the last year.

Now, the man leading the defense will be in the fold for a few more years, too. 

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Ravens' left guard Bradley Bozeman dominates 72-ounce steak challenge

Ravens' left guard Bradley Bozeman dominates 72-ounce steak challenge

Baltimore Ravens’ starting left guard Bradley Bozeman showed off one of his many talents earlier this week as he dominated a 72-ounce steak dinner. 

Bozeman accomplished this feat at The Big Texan Steak Ranch while traveling with his wife. The restaurant is famous for this eating challenge, which involves eating over 4 pounds of steak, shrimp cocktail, baked potato, salad topped off with a butter roll in under an hour. 

Although Bozeman is an absolute unit of a person, this was still no small feat. Bozeman strategized during the meal in order to ensure success as he switched from steak sauce to honey. Yet, Bozeman still questioned his ability to successfully finish with just 2 ounces of steak left. He even instructed his wife who was filming in the audience to shut the camera off in fear of getting sick on camera.

“I knew it was going to be tough, but I didn’t think it was going to be that tough,” Bozeman told ESPN. “The last bite was rough.”

Bozeman pushed on and not only finished the steak, but even had a little carrot cake for dessert. His prize? Free dinner, a t-shirt, and most likely a massive stomach ache. 

Despite his claim that this was “the toughest food thing” he’s ever done, Bozeman flashed a big smile holding the prized shirt which read “I ate it all!”

Bozeman is now one of only approximately 10,000 people who have successfully finished the meal, with over 110,000 people having tried. 

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