Various thoughts on various things, all in 50 words or less:
Tavon Young has flown way under the radar for almost a year, but he's prominent among the veteran players I want to see on the field in training camp. The Ravens are counting on the slot cornerback making a full recovery from the neck injury that sidelined him last season.
Other veterans I'm anxious to see on the field include center Matt Skura, who is also coming back from a major injury; wide receiver Miles Boykin, from whom the team expects bigger things; and outside linebackers Jaylon Ferguson and Tyus Bowser, who need to step up in the pass rush.
Please note that I'm referring to veteran players in the above two paragraphs, because I'm certainly anxious to see the 2020 rookie class on the field after so many months of virtual practicing. And I'm guessing my interest in seeing them is exceeded by the organization's interest in seeing them.
The Ravens' offense lit up the NFL in 2019, and their salary cap ledger illustrates their determination to help their defense reach the same level or very nearly in 2020. According to Spotrac, defensive players are responsible for Baltimore's four highest cap hits and six of the top seven.
Of those six well-paid defensive players, five (Matthew Judon, Marcus Peters, Earl Thomas, Calais Campbell, Young) had their 2020 salaries established by deals signed in the past 17 months. The exception is Brandon Williams, who is still playing on the deal he signed in 2017.
Remember, Judon's time in Baltimore isn't necessarily on life support just because he'll play under the franchise tag in 2020 after not reaching a long-term deal. With one exception (Wally Williams), every player the Ravens have ever tagged ended up staying with the team on a long-term deal.
It's part of the business, but the Ravens are taking a hit for releasing Tony Jefferson, trading Hayden Hurst and watching Marshal Yanda retire. All three of those moves generated "dead money," according to Spotrac, and combined, it's enough to eat up approximately six percent of the Ravens' cap allotment.
You have to love that former Ravens receiver Derrick Mason was publicly salty about not making the franchise's all-time team. It was an understandable reaction to what clearly was a mistake in fan voting, but the response revived memories of the deep pride that helped make him so valuable.
Most predictions understandably have the Ravens and Chiefs at the top of AFC in 2020 with the Bills ascending and Patriots a wild card if Cam Newton is healthy. Interesting how that leaves out the Titans, who reached the conference title game last season and just locked up Derrick Henry.
Even though rookies Patrick Queen and Devin Duvernay remain unsigned, there's zero chance they'll miss training camp. Rookie holdouts used to be a big deal, but today's collectively-bargained slot system pretty much determines what draft picks receive in their deals. Negotiations with rookies have become a drama-free zone.