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Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson are more similar than you might think

Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson are more similar than you might think

On the field, Lamar Jackson and Patrick Mahomes play different styles of football. 

Jackson is more inclined to run for a first down than Mahomes, while Mahomes makes throws off-platform instead of scrambling for first downs. 

Mahomes leads an offense that is one of the most effective passing offenses in league history, while Jackson just finished his season at the controls of the league’s best rushing team of all time. 

Stylistically, there’s not much of a match. But on their various career paths, there’s more in-common than their playing styles would suggest. And it’s on Mahomes’ mind. 

Just after he and the Chiefs beat the 49ers in the Super Bowl, he was asked about his prominence as the potential face of the league.

"There's several guys that can be the face of the NFL," Mahomes replied. "With the NFL and how good the play is, the quarterback play, guys can come out there year in and year out and play great football. Lamar was the unanimous MVP last night and he just had one of the best seasons of all time at quarterback."

In the 2019 season, Mahomes and Jackson took the league by storm in a campaign dubbed ‘The Year of the Black Quarterback,’ especially considering Russell Wilson and Deshaun Watson’s continued success. 

But two in particular, Mahomes and Jackson, have some career similarities that bode well for Jackson’s future in the league. 

After becoming a full-time starter in their second years in the league, both won league’s Most Valuable Player leading the league’s best offense to the playoffs. Both teams lost at home, although Mahomes won a playoff game against the Colts.

Mahomes, a year older than Jackson, has now won a Super Bowl. He’s just 24-years-old and has an MVP, and now a Super Bowl ring, to his name. 

Jackson, at just 23 years old, has an MVP award and is 19-3 as a starting quarterback in the regular season. 

And with both quarterback’s popularity growing, there’s a strong chance Jackson will grace the cover of Madden 21 in August — a year after Mahomes was on the cover. 

As for curses, or any thoughts of curses, Mahomes just left Florida with a Super Bowl and a career filled with seemingly endless possibilities. 

Jackson’s hope is that he can do exactly that.

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Ravens reportedly sign defensive lineman Derek Wolfe

Ravens reportedly sign defensive lineman Derek Wolfe

The Ravens, just a day after Michael Brockers’ signing fell through, have reportedly found their replacement. 

According to a report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Ravens have signed defensive lineman Derek Wolfe to a one-year deal worth $6 million.

The 30-year-old defensive lineman had a career-high seven sacks last season in just 12 games. But the biggest knock on Wolfe is his health, as he’s played just 16 games three times in his career and just once in the last five seasons.

Wolfe figures to slot in alongside Calais Campbell and Brandon Williams on the Ravens’ starting defensive front. He’ll be backed up by Jihad Ward and Justin Ellis, too. 

Over his career, Wolfe has totaled 299 career tackles with a career-high 51 in 2016. Last season, 12 quarterback hits to go along with his seven sacks. 

A second-round pick by the Broncos in 2012, Wolfe was productive for the Broncos and helped them win a Super Bowl in 2016 over the Panthers. 

If Wolfe can stay healthy, the Ravens seem to have filled out their defensive line rather nicely after the blow of losing Brockers. 

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The Ravens didn’t sign Michael Brockers — now what?

The Ravens didn’t sign Michael Brockers — now what?

Earlier this week, the Ravens touted their defensive line as the most improved position group through the first wave of free agency. They even felt comfortable enough to trade rotational piece Chris Wormley to the Steelers. 

Now, the defensive line has more questions than answers. 

The team confirmed early Friday morning, as Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic originally reported, they were unable to come to a deal with defensive lineman Michael Brockers over concerns because of a physical. More specifically, there were concerns over the status of Brockers’ left ankle.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Ravens team doctors were unable to examine Brockers themselves and instead had to rely on the work of independent doctors. 

During a conference call with reporters Thursday, new acquisition Calais Campbell said he had to go to the Mayo Clinic to receive his physical. He called the process tricky. 

Brockers quickly signed a very similar deal to the one he signed with Baltimore to stay in Los Angeles with the Rams just hours after the Ravens deal fell through. His new deal is a three-year deal worth $31.5 million. 

So now, the Ravens are left with the difficult reality that a handful of potential targets are no longer viable options due to the first wave of defensive linemen having signed elsewhere. They also shipped off Wormley and a 2021 seventh-round pick for a 2021 fifth-round pick, further depleting the defensive line. 

Michael Pierce, a talented run-stopping defender, left during free agency to sign with the Vikings, too. 

Baltimore now has Campbell, Brandon Williams, Justin Ellis, Jihad Ward and Daylon Mack on the depth chart at defensive line. Not only do the Ravens need more depth at the position, they also need another starter. 

While the Ravens have the 28th pick in the draft, including seven picks in the first four rounds, the front seven’s needs now have been thrust into the spotlight. Before, an argument could’ve been made that the Ravens should devote resources elsewhere: inside linebacker, interior offensive line, wide receiver, or perhaps an edge rusher. 

Now, the defensive line, and front seven as a whole, is once again the team’s biggest need. While it’s not necessary to address in the first round specifically, the Ravens are now almost guaranteed to make a handful of picks in the front seven for next month’s draft. 

The Ravens could dip their toes into the free agent market once again with their newfound cap space and make a run at a few veterans still left on the market. They could also go after an edge player, or an inside linebacker instead, to help cover up an additional need before the draft. 

The Ravens had a plan entering free agency, and quite simply, it went as well as they expected. 

Now, though, the Ravens are left with a questionable physical and a handful of questions to answer about the future of the defensive line.

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