Patrick Ricard says John Harbaugh and Justin Tucker Helped Him Re-Sign
Last week, the Ravens and fullback Patrick Ricard put pen to paper, linking the two together for three more years. But how the deal finalized included Ricard asking for advice from teammate Justin Tucker and "getting involved" by calling Head Coach John Harbaugh, which Ricard mentioned on the upcoming episode #361 of "The Lounge" podcast.
The idea for Ricard to pick up the phone to call Harbaugh was given to him by Tucker.
Ricard expressed his desire to be back in Baltimore and his coach wanted him to return.
That might be why Harbaugh was front and center when video was released of Ricard re-signing, with Harbaugh saying, "It's the way it's supposed to be."
NFL.com's Chad Reuter Sees Ravens Landing Top Prospect After Trade Down and Gaining a First-Round Pick
Entering the offseason, the Ravens' needs were focused on the offensive line. A week into free agency, they became more solidified with the addition of offensive tackle Morgan Moses. Now, a mock draft from NFL.com's Chad Reuter finds the Ravens adding the final piece of their blocking puzzle and gaining a first-round pick in the process.
In Reuter's mock draft, the Ravens trade down from their current No. 14 overall pick with the Tennessee Titans, who in return trade their 2022 first-round pick, No. 26 overall, and a 2023 first-round selection. With the No. 26 overall pick, the Ravens land Iowa Center Tyler Linderbaum.
"Baltimore allowed Bradley Bozeman to depart via free agency, so Linderbaum's pro-ready game seems an excellent fit," Reuter wrote. "I can imagine former Raven (and Iowa Hawkeye) Marshal Yanda gave the team's administration and coaches a glowing endorsement."
Linderbaum has been heavily linked to the Ravens at No. 14, including the latest mock draft by ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr.
"The Ravens would likely be thrilled with this scenario," Kiper Jr. wrote. "They just let Bradley Bozeman, who started at center in 2021 and left guard in 2019 and 2020, walk in free agency, and they don't have a replacement on the roster. Linderbaum would be an improvement, not just an instant replacement. As I've said a couple times, he's one of the best center prospects of the past decade."
If the Ravens could still draft Linderbaum 12 picks later and gain a first-round pick, it would be a home run for General Manager Eric DeCosta and the Ravens.
Four Free Agents the Ravens Could Still Target
The Ravens don't appear finished in bringing aboard more talent. Last week, the Ravens reportedly held visits for pass rushers Arden Key and Rasheem Green, along with inside linebacker Bobby Wagner. Both Key and Wagner are being labeled as 'perfect targets for the Ravens' by Ebony Bird's Justin Fried.
"Key turned his career around with an excellent season that saw him finish with 6.5 sacks despite entering the year with just 3.0 career sacks in 37 games. Key wouldn't solve the Ravens' pass-rush woes entirely, but at just 25-years-old, he's an ascending young talent coming off a career year. At the right price, he would be a very savvy pickup."
"Bobby Wagner should be a top priority for the organization right now. The Ravens went into this offseason with a number of needs, but perhaps the most underrated need was at the linebacker position. Patrick Queen showed signs of improvement in 2021, but the state of the position around him remains a complete question mark… Even at 31-years-old, Wagner is still playing at a very, very high level. He's fresh off his eighth consecutive Pro Bowl appearance and has been named first-team All-Pro in six of the last eight seasons. As arguably the best linebacker of his generation, there's no telling the impact Wagner could have on the Ravens' defense."
Fried listed defensive end Calais Campbell and center JC Tretter as the other two free agents the team could pursue.
"Even at 35-years-old, Campbell is still playing at a very high level and, given the lack of depth currently on the Ravens' defensive line, they really need him back. Will it happen? That much remains to be seen. But the Ravens are without a doubt interested."
"The loss of Bradley Bozeman leaves a pretty noticeable hole at center. Patrick Mekari is a good player, but it would seem a little misleading to preach upgrading the offensive line only to downgrade at the center position… Tretter would be a massive upgrade to a Ravens' offensive line that desperately needs one. The 31-year-old veteran was released by the Cleveland Browns in a somewhat surprising move earlier this offseason. He remains a free agent and is likely just biding his time and evaluating his options. Even at his age, he's sure to have plenty of suitors. Tretter remains one of the better centers in football and has graded out as a top-10 center by Pro Football Focus in all but one year since 2015. Simply put, you don't find too many players of his [caliber] just floating around on the open market."
- Peyton Manning said recently that Ray Lewis was the best player on defense he faced. He also said the day Lewis retired was "the best day of my life."