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NFL Free Agency 2018: Offensive playmakers Ravens should be targeting

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USA Today Sports

NFL Free Agency 2018: Offensive playmakers Ravens should be targeting

It's been a sad couple of days for football fans with the 2017 season in the rear view mirror.

But with that comes the excitement of free agency.

33 days from now, organizations can begin shopping around for new playmakers, something the Ravens will most definitely be participating in.

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During his "State of the Ravens" press conference, owner Steve Bisciotti even validated the future shopping spree by saying, "I think that there is a really good chance that we won’t be drafting a defensive tackle in the first round. We will be exploring all options in free agency and in the draft for targets for Joe [Flacco]."

Everyone in Baltimore just breathed a sigh of relief.

Besides resigning Mike Wallace, what kind of free agent targets are out there for Flacco?

Jarvis Landry (WR)

The 25-year old is one of the top receivers hitting free agency. In 2017, he had 112 receptions for 987 yards and nine touchdowns. While he's mentioned a desire to stay in Miami, the team may not be able to dish out the amount of money a top receiver deserves.

Landry's $868,728 salary will take a big jump as Spotrac has his calculated market value at five-years, $69 million.

It will be costly, but if the Ravens can snag him up, the return on investment could be huge.

Allen Robinson (WR)

The 24-year old tore his ACL during Week 1 of the Jaguars season, but is expected to make a full recovery.

Standing at 6-3, Robinson had a huge 2015 season with 1,400 yards and 14 touchdowns. His market value is listed at five-years, $68 million and if the Ravens want him, they'll will need to act fast as the Jaguars have the money to blow on him.

Jimmy Graham (TE)

Ending the 2017 season with 10 touchdowns looks pretty good to potential employers. While his total yards and reception numbers were down, Graham is still proving efficient at 31-years old.

His projected market value currently stands at three-years, $21 million, but the Ravens are sparse at the TE position. Benjamin Watson is considering retirement and Nick Boyle has a history of missing time with injuries.

Flacco also has recorded success with his former tight ends like Dennis Pitta and Todd Heap, so shooting for Graham could worthwhile.

Sammy Watkins (WR)

After having only one 1,000-yard season between 2014 and 2016, Watkins showed potential with the Los Angeles Rams in 2017.

While he only earned 39 receptions, 593 yards and eight touchdowns, Watkins could be a long-term solution at the tender age of 24-years old.

Spotrac has his projected market value at three-years, $18 million, but Watkins has expressed interest in staying with the Rams after the Bills surprisingly traded him for E.J. Gaines and a second-round pick last August.

Paul Richardson (WR)

2017 was a career-best for 25 year-old Richardson, racking up 44 receptions for 703 yards and six touchdowns. 

However, the Seahawks won't go over $5.5 million a year to resign their No. 2 wide receiver, per ESPN's John ClaytonSpotrac has his market value listed at four-years, $25.4 million, slightly above what the Seahawks are willing to offer.

Richardson brings speed to the table and still has a lot of room for growth. If picked up, he could cause a splash over time.

RELATED: RAY LEWIS NAMED FIRST-BALLOT HALL OF FAMER

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Ravens lower concession prices at M&T Bank Stadium ahead of 2018 season

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USA TODAY Sports

Ravens lower concession prices at M&T Bank Stadium ahead of 2018 season

Enjoying a game at M&T Bank Stadium just became a little more affordable.

On Thursday, the Ravens introduced their new "Flock Friendly Fare," reducing the price of 21 of their most popular food and beverage items.  

The change comes as the organization focuses on revamping the fan experience in 2018. Fans will see an average of 33 percent in total savings and up to 53 percent savings on a single item.  

"As a lot of you probably know, after every game we survey fans to see how we're doing; what have we done well and what have we not done well. Over the years, one of the biggest criticisms we received was for the gameday concessions prices," Ravens President Dick Cass said on the team's website

Alcoholic beverages were all reduced by $1 with the addition of domestic 12 ounce beer for $5.

Chicken tenders with fries went from $11 to $7, while a slice of pizza went from $8.50 to $6. No single item will cost above $9.

On average, you will now be able to feed a family of four for $44 compared to $66.75 in years past. To see all of the reductions, click the arrow in the post below. 

In 2017, the Atlanta Falcons reduced their concession prices upon opening their brand new Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The Ravens, however, are expecting to lose $1.5 million in concession revenue due to the change. 

Introducing our new Flock Friendly Fare!

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Vegas odds against Lamar Jackson starting for Ravens in 2018

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Vegas odds against Lamar Jackson starting for Ravens in 2018

Vegas has spoken and they are not optimistic about rookie Lamar Jackson starting under center for the Ravens in 2018.

Bovado, an online gambling site, has set the odds on how the top 2018 rookies will perform and they have Jackson getting 0.5 starts this season.

That number will come as a surprise considering the popular narrative that Lamar Jackson will be the Ravens' starter in no time. The team made it clear they are planning for life after Flacco when they traded back into the first-round of the 2018 draft to select the quarterback out of Louisville at No. 32

Flacco - who is entering his 11th season with the organization - is experiencing a decline in his performance of late, one that can not be put entirely on his shoulders as the team has failed in finding him valuable weapons to throw to. Nonetheless, Flacco's projected 2018 season is very much up in the air and it appears Vegas is betting on the one-time Super Bowl MVP to bounce back. 

However, the Ravens have failed to make the playoffs four of the last five seasons, and if that trend continues into 2018, the rookie could get his shot at flipping the script.

If you're a betting man, it could payoff to bet the over on Jackson. Low risk, seemingly high reward. 

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