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Ravens wide receiver Miles Boykin heading to Florida to work out with Lamar

Ravens wide receiver Miles Boykin heading to Florida to work out with Lamar

The importance of Miles Boykin’s second season as a Raven cannot be overstated. 

After a strong offseason last year, one that included a standout training camp, Boykin went under the radar in his 2019 campaign. He posted just 13 catches for 198 yards in 16 games and caught three touchdown passes. He was targeted only 22 times all season. 

He was the team’s eighth leading receiver, in terms of catches and yards, and was fourth in targets at the receiver position.

Now, with two more rookies in the wide receiver room, the urgency Boykin is facing is palpable. 

“I just feel like I’m getting better as an all-around player,” Boykin said Tuesday on a conference call with reporters. “I’m capable of a lot more, I’ll be able to play faster this year and have more chemistry with Lamar and just be able to go out there and play the game the way I want to play.”

He’ll travel to Florida next week to throw with Lamar Jackson, wide receiver Marquise Brown and a host of other Ravens, in place of offseason workouts that have been canceled. In the meantime, he’s trained with fellow second-year player in quarterback Trace McSorley, who is closer to home for Boykin -- meaning workouts are less of an ordeal to make happen. 

Chemistry for Boykin will be important, as the Ravens shipped tight end Hayden Hurst to the Falcons in the offseason and have said they could look to become more of a passing team in the future. 

But the Ravens also drafted wideouts Devin Duvernay and James Proche in April’s draft, which muddies the water as to where the increased targets can come from. 

That’s where Boykin thinks he can step in with his experience in the wide receiver group.

“When you’re younger, you worry about, ‘What do I have to do?’” Boykin said. “When you’re older, you know, ‘Why am I doing this?’ Like, 'this makes sense.' Everything starts to roll off of it. Now I’m worried about how to do things right, I’m not worried about what I need to do right. That’s part of film study that you don’t have time for during the season.”

Boykin added he won’t be shy about helping those rookie wide receivers, though, as now he’ll be one of the veterans in the room just a year removed from his rooke season.

“I would say film is going to be huge, especially during July,” Boykin said. “Even though I wasn’t participating in OTAs, I was still involved in meetings, I was doing everything else. I just couldn’t practice because I was injured. Even then, for rookies, it gets hard and stressful because you’re trying to pick up a whole new playbook. In July, you have a chance to relax a little bit, and I don’t think it’s going to be like that this year, especially for rookies.”

Despite everything, from Boykin’s confidence to knowledge of the offense, the threat of coronavirus has dampened expectations for everyone across the league in terms of what can be expected. 

That’s not Boykin’s concern, however. Whenever the 2020 season comes, if it does, he knows he’ll be ready. 

“At the end of the day, I’m still playing football -- if we have a season, obviously,” Boykin said. “It doesn’t matter where I’m playing it, who I’m playing it against, football is football. There’s going to be 11 people on each side of the ball and I just have to go out there and do my job. It doesn’t affect me as much.”

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Ravens' Matt Judon jokingly asks 'how's the real estate' in Kansas City after seeing Chris Jones' lucrative deal

Ravens' Matt Judon jokingly asks 'how's the real estate' in Kansas City after seeing Chris Jones' lucrative deal

Over the past two weeks, the Kansas City Chiefs have carved out two lucrative contracts. Last week, QB Patrick Mahomes signed a record $503 million deal, and on Tuesday, defensive end Chris Jones agreed to an extension with a maximum value of $85 million.

As Kansas City has taken care of its stars with nice paydays, Ravens linebacker Matthew Judon has taken notice. After seeing reports of Jones' deal, Judon sent Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu a tweet, jokingly asking "how's the real estate" in Kansas City.

Mathieu, who Kansas City signed to a three-year, $42 million deal last offseason, responded saying it's a "nice bang for ya buck."

The tweet, for all intents and purposes, was likely a joke, but there was some hidden meaning behind it. Judon, who will play the 2020 season for Baltimore under the franchise tag unless the two sides are able to agree to a long-term deal by Wednesday, has stated multiple times he believes he's earned a lucrative pay-day.

Additionally, Baltimore tagged Judon as an outside linebacker rather than a defensive end, despite him playing the majority of his snaps at DE. With this distinction, Judon was expected to earn nearly $2 million less in 2020 than had he been designated as a defensive end.

But, after hearing Judon's concerns, Baltimore decided to ante up and pay the 28-year-old a salary of $16.8 million, a number right in the middle of the two positions' franchise tender salaries.

In a Zoom conference in June, Judon said he's "blessed" to be playing under the tag.

“I’m blessed, regardless,” Judon said. “If I play under the franchise tag, or if we come to a long-term deal, I’m going to be happy regardless."

RELATED: HOW EFFECTIVE OF A SEASON CAN JUDON HAVE?

Plus, Baltimore fans shouldn't worry. Even if Judon wanted to play in Kansas City, it's unlikely the team would be able to afford him.

In addition to Jones' lucrative deal, Kansas City just signed Frank Clark to a five-year, $104 million deal last offseason. Add in Mahomes' record deal, as well as likely future extensions for stars Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill, the Chiefs likely don't have the money to pay Judon what he feels he deserves.

If Judon builds off his solid 2019 campaign, he'll have plenty of leverage with Baltimore come contract negotiations next spring.

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Lamar Jackson reacts to Madden 21 rating: ‘I wish it was better’

Lamar Jackson reacts to Madden 21 rating: ‘I wish it was better’

Madden 21 released a few ratings of top players in this year’s game, and to no one’s surprise, Lamar Jackson is perhaps the game’s most fun player.

Jackson is the game’s fastest quarterback with a 96 speed rating, paired with a 95 overall throw on the run rating, as well as a 94 rating for throwing under pressure. His throw power is 10th in the game at 92 overall.

RELATED: WHERE DOES LAMAR JACKSON RANK IN MADDEN 21 QB RATINGS?

But Jackson did take a little exception to his overall rating, which is a 94 -- good for the third best quarterback in the game behind Patrick Mahomes and Russell Wilson.

“I wish it was better,” Jackson said Monday evening on SportsCenter. “But hey, it’s better than it was last year. I guess we can roll with it till the season starts.”

Jackson, the cover athlete for this year’s game, started last year’s game at just a 76 overall.

Jackson wishes his rating was a little better this year due to his improvement from his rookie season to his second year in the league.

“I just think I did better than last year,” Jackson said. “I did a lot more than people expected, and our team did.”

As for what Jackson guessed his rating would be before the big reveal?

“At least 96, 97 probably,” Jackson had said.

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