Late For Work 11/20: Major Rule Change Opens Things Up For Ravens' Ozzie Newsome

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Major Rule Change Could Open Things Up For Ozzie

The NFL is expected to allow teams to trade compensatory draft picks for the first time ever this offseason, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

How does Ravens General Manager Ozzie Newsome, the master of comp picks, feel about the potential rule change?

While the new rule still needs to be officially signed off on by owners at the next league meetings in Dallas this December, Schefter says that part is just a formality.

In previous years, teams were prohibited from trading picks that were awarded to compensate for net losses in free agency, essentially freezing any movement at the end of rounds 3-7. With more freedom, more draft-weekend trades are expected.

Newsome has never been shy about moving up and down the board on draft weekend. The last time Newsome didn't make a draft trade was 2001, a whopping 15 years ago.

This new rule would open things up for him even more, offering more flexibility and possibilities.

"Ravens General Manager Ozzie Newsome's phone just blew up, and he doesn't know why," wrote ProFootballTalk.com's Darin Gantt. "No team has played the compensatory pick game better than the Ravens, who rarely dip into unrestricted free agency, and consistently develop players that other teams want to sign."

Newsome seems to have figured out the complex comp pick formula, and has by far benefited the most from the system. The Ravens have been awarded a league-high 44 picks since it was first launched in 1994. The closest teams are the Green Bay Packers (35) and Dallas Cowboys (33).

The Ravens are expected to receive at least three compensatory picks for the 2016 NFL Draft.

Brian McFarland of Russell Street Report predicts they'll get two in the fourth round and one in the sixth after losing Owen Daniels, Pernell McPhee, Torrey Smith, Darian Stewart and Tyrod Taylor in free agency (all starters with their new teams).

"With the idea that the Ravens can begin to wheel and deal these picks in favor of moving up or down in the draft, the Ravens should be able to excel even more than they have in prior years," wrote Baltimore Beatdown's Matthew Stevens.

Ravens Sign CB Rolle To P-Squad; Did They Misjudge Charles James?

The Ravens and Houston Texans keep switching cornerbacks.

Here's the timeline:

  • Before the season started, the Texans cut cornerback Charles James in favor of Jumal Rolle.
  • The Ravens signed James to their practice squad and later promoted him to the 53-man roster, only to cut him on Oct. 17.
  • The Texans re-signed James to their active roster a few days later.
  • On Wednesday, the Texans cut Rolle and opted to keep James.
  • On Thursday, the Ravens signed Rolle to their practice squad, according to Aaron Wilson of The Houston Chronicle.

Rolle, standing in at 6-foot-0 and 188 pounds, played in seven games for the Texans this season, recording two tackles and no interceptions or pass deflections.

Meanwhile, James, who is well-known for his colorful socks and likable personality, played a career-high 48 snaps in the Texans' upset win over the Cincinnati Bengals last week and finished with a career-high six tackles. With James on the field for the majority of the game, the high-scoring Bengals were held to a season-low six points.

"For the Ravens being one of the worst secondaries in the league, you'd think a guy like that would have stuck on the roster," wrote Stevens. "The Ravens' loss is obviously the Texans' gain."

West Asked Ray Rice's Permission To Wear No. 27

Newly-acquired running back Terrance West was originally given a No. 42 jersey when he was added to the Ravens practice squad, but when he moved to the 53-man roster, he wanted a change.

He originally wanted No. 28, the number he wore at Towson University and with the Cleveland Browns, but that was already taken by safety Brynden Trawick.

So West went for the next closest number, No. 27, but not before he called and requested permission from former Ravens running back Ray Rice, according to ESPN's Jamison Hensley. Rice wore No. 27 during his six-year stay in Baltimore.

The two are friends as West is a Baltimore native, who came up the high school and college ranks while Rice was with the Ravens.

"I asked him about it, and he was cool with it," West told Hensley. "He's helped me a lot in my career."

Steve Smith Shows Off Gnarly Scar

Ooofff. That is one gnarly post-surgery scar.

Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith Sr. showed it off in a social media post last night, along with an emoticon of a monkey covering its eyes and noting he needs a pedicure.

I concur. A pedicure would be nice (not that many professional athletes can brag about good-looking feet), but I approve of the colors he chose for his cast.

Road to recovery!!! couple more weeks and pedicure is much needed  #ravens #st... https://t.co/vAvTVH5Xlm pic.twitter.com/Y4bspdEMTt — Steve Smith Sr (@89SteveSmith) November 19, 2015

Three Reasons Flacco's On Pace For 20 Turnovers

After turning the ball over three times Sunday against the Jaguars (two interceptions, one fumble) quarterback Joe Flacco now has 12 turnovers on the season. He's on pace for 21, which would be the second most of his career.

Flacco has taken accountability for his miscues, but Offensive Coordinator Marc Trestman told reporters yesterday that the turnovers are not a Flacco issue, but a team issue.

In addition to Flacco making bad decisions here and there, ESPN's Jamison Hensley gives three other reasons for Flacco's turnovers:

1)      Lack of weapons around him

2)      No help from the defense

3)      A disappearing running game

Ed Reed To Be Introduced Out Of Tunnel With Defense

Get ready for things to get loud Sunday.

You will hear legendary Ed REEEEEEEEEEEEEEEED's name called after the defense is introduced out of the tunnel at M&T Bank Stadium. He will be the last one announced to the ruckus crowd.

It's just one of the ways Reed will be celebrated as he is inducted into the Ravens Smyth Jewelers Ring of Honor at halftime.

The Picks Are In: Rams vs. Ravens

Analysts are not giving up on the Ravens despite their 2-7 record. At least, not against the visiting St. Louis Rams.

Of the 58 experts below, 37 pick the Ravens to pull off their third victory of the year.

Baltimore Sun
: 4 of 7 panelists pick Rams
"A defense that was dissected by the now-benched Josh McCown and Colin Kaepernick is perfectly capable of struggling against a Case Keenum-led offense. Even their normally significant homefield advantage hasn't saved the mistake-prone Ravens this year." -- Jeff Zrebiec

ESPN: 8 of 14 panelists pick Ravens
"I'm going with the Ravens simply because they still don't lose at home. I know they lost at home last week, but it was on a call that was not made and should have been made. " – Brian Dawkins

CBS Sports: 6 of 8 panelists pick Ravens
"The Rams are turning to Case Keenum as the starter, replacing Nick Foles. They had to do something. The Ravens are 2-7 and the season is over, but this is a spot where they can get a victory. And with a good day from Joe Flacco they will." -- Pete Prisco 

Fox Sports: 4 of 7 panelists pick Rams
"Well, guess what? Entering the game 0-8 as a starter, Keenum went out and beat playoff-bound Baltimore, outplaying Joe Flacco in the process. Keenum's been with the Rams all year, and is not being thrust into an unfamiliar situation this time around. Todd Gurley's been contained the past two weeks. He'll get his groove back on Sunday against a struggling Ravens D." -- Peter Schrager

NFL.com: 3 of 6 panelists pick Ravens
"By most logic, St. Louis should win this game. The Rams are healthier. They have more talent. They haven't lost practically every close game this season. But what about The Case Keenum Effect, which sounds a bullhorn – if not a ram horn – to go the other way?" -- Elliot Harrison 

ProFootballTalk.com: 2 of 2 panelists pick Ravens
"A quarterback who never will be elite takes on the one who used to be. The Rams are playing for a shot at the postseason; the Ravens are playing for respect. While the Rams remain more talented, it feels like they're in the midst of their annual underachievement period." -- Mike Florio

Bleacher Report: 5 of 8 panelists pick Ravens
"Any chance the NFL could reverse Baltimore's season? Because it's been a never-ending litany of luck just like that. That luck has to turn around sometime, right? Right?" -- Gary Davenport

SB Nation: 5 of 6 panelists pick Ravens

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