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Kaare Vedvik, Baltimore’s best story of the preseason thus far, traded to Minnesota

Kaare Vedvik, Baltimore’s best story of the preseason thus far, traded to Minnesota

The best story from the Ravens first preseason game has already been traded away. 

Kaare Vedvik, the Ravens back-up kicker and punter, was traded Sunday afternoon to the Minnesota Vikings

Adam Schefter of ESPN reported the trade first, and that the compensation is a fifth-round pick. The team announced the deal was for an undisclosed pick

“Really fired up for Kaare,” special teams coach Chris Horton said. “He was right where we needed him to be. Coach (Randy) Brown, myself, we did a great job getting him ready for this opportunity. He went out Thursday night and he had an awesome night. Really happy for Kaare, he deserves it after everything he’s been through. What an opportunity for him.”

Vedvik and the rest of the team found out about the trade at Sunday’s practice, as Vedvik said his goodbyes and left the facility. 

“He was fired up, we were all fired up for him,” Horton said. “We all gave him big hugs, wished him the best.”

The move came as little surprise, as the Ravens have committed to kicker Justin Tucker (by way of a four-year deal this offseason) and have had Sam Koch, one of the league’s best punters, since 2006.

And after a 4-for-4 performance on field goals from 55, 45, 29 and 26 yards last Thursday, including punts that went 58 and 53 yards, Vedvik made himself one of the league’s most coveted specialists ahead of roster cut-downs. 

Vedvik’s story was so unique, however, as he spent last season on the Non-Football Injury list after a brutal assault in Baltimore right before 53-man roster cut-down date. He was unable to remember the assault and no arrests have been made in the case. 

But Vedvik recovered and was able to play himself onto another roster.

“He’s like every other position, if you have value, people are going to want you,” Horton said. “He came out, he executed, he did the things he was supposed to do. He upped his stock, he got better this offseason. Again, wish him the best.”

Vedvik will join a Vikings franchise that has seemingly been haunted by kickers. Currently, the Vikings have kicker Dan Bailey and punter Matt Wile on special teams, but Vedvik has shown an ability to do both punting and kicking, should the team ask. 

Vedvik was the first kicker to be traded for more than a sixth-round pick since August of 1996, when Pete Stoyanovich was traded from the Dolphins to the Chiefs for a fifth-round pick. 

As for the Ravens, they now have their own picks in the first through sixth rounds, in addition to Minnesota’s fifth. After trading for Ty Montgomery last season, they recouped a seventh-round pick from the Jets in the Alex Lewis trade in July. 

Also, Baltimore is projected to have three compensatory picks (one in the third and fourth rounds, each) after the free-agent losses of C.J. Mosely, Za’Darius Smith and Terrell Suggs. Meaning, the team could enter the 2020 NFL Draft, as it stands now, with nearly 10 picks.

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According to an advanced metric, the Ravens have been the NFL’s best team since Week 7

According to an advanced metric, the Ravens have been the NFL’s best team since Week 7

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Currently riding on a six-game win streak, the Ravens are the hottest team in the NFL right now.

And not only do they look good on the surface, but a deeper dive indicates they’ve been the NFL’s best team in recent weeks. 

According to Football Outsiders, the Ravens have the NFL’s No. 1 defense and offense by DVOA since Week 7.

DVOA is a statistic used to calculate the efficiency of a team’s offense or defense by breaking down how successful a particular play is. The formula takes into account strength of opponent and whether or not plays constituted a first down, amongst other variables.

For the first six weeks of the season, with the Dolphins opening week blowout as an outlier, the Ravens’ defense struggled to get off the field and didn’t show much improvement from Arizona in Week 2 to Cincinnati in Week 6. 

Then, the team traded for Marcus Peters, and with a few other savvy defensive acquisitions, the Ravens defense took off. They’ve only gotten better since the Seahawks game, too.

In the four games since the Peters acquisition, the Ravens have allowed just 56 total points and scored three touchdowns of their own. 

Analytically, the defense has been stout, but paired with the offense, the Ravens have made themselves perhaps the most complete team in the NFL.

Through the last four games, they’ve scored 157 points, though three touchdowns were defensive scores. 

With the Ravens surging headed into the home stretch of the season, there’s ample evidence to believe that as of Week 12, they’re the most complete team in the NFL.

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Former Ravens Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg denies wanting to move Lamar Jackson to wide receiver

Former Ravens Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg denies wanting to move Lamar Jackson to wide receiver

According to a report from former NFL general manager Michael Lombardi, former Ravens offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg wanted to move Lamar Jackson to wide receiver. 

Mornhinweg, and the Ravens, claim that’s not true. 

Tuesday morning, Mornhinweg and the Ravens released a statement that claims the conversation Lombardi reported never happened. 

“That didn’t happen,” Mornhinweg responded, according to the release. “Never said that. My thoughts before the draft, and even more when we started working with Lamar, was that this young man was going to be a special quarterback. Very early we saw that along with all of his throwing and escape abilities, he reads the field as well as any young quarterback I ever worked with.”

Mornhinweg, who was the Ravens’ offensive coordinator for three years and with the organization for four, left the organization after last season ended.

The original report from Lombardi, which was on the GM Shuffle podcasts that he hosts, stated that Mornhinweg wanted to move Jackson to wide receiver. 

“Here’s what happened,” Lombardi began. “The first time he (Lamar Jackson) comes in, Marty Mornhinweg — remember, we’re building the team around him — Marty says to the coaches, this is fact, ‘When are we gonna move him to receiver?’”

Lombardi was a scout for the 49ers and Browns before working for the Eagles, Raiders, Browns (for a second time) and the Patriots. He was the general manager and VP of the Browns in 2013-14. He currently works for The Athletic.

“Organizationally, we were on the same page with Lamar, and I thought Ozzie (Newsome) and Eric (DeCosta) did a great job to take him where we did,” coach John Harbaugh added in the release. “Marty was excited from the beginning to coach Lamar and was instrumental in helping him progress through his rookie season.”

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