Ravens Quarterback Search Is Underway With Ryan Nassib Workout
The Ravens’ offseason mission to find a backup quarterback is well underway, as the team held a workout Wednesday for five-year veteran Ryan Nassib, according to ESPN's Field Yates.
Nassib, 27, has been around the league since being drafted by the New York Giants in the fourth round in 2013, but has little game experience. He’s appeared in five games in as many years, with no starts and just 10 passes thrown.
The news comes after the Ravens reportedly worked out another five-year veteran in Matt McGloin earlier this month. McGloin has a little more experience, playing in 13 games, starting seven, and completing 161-of-277 career passes for 1,868 yards, 11 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.
Current Ravens backup quarterback Ryan Mallett is a pending unrestricted free agent, so the Ravens need to explore their options. The team hasn’t been shy about its intent to draft a quarterback in April, so some are wondering why Baltimore is also looking at veterans.
“It’s typically unwise to look too much into workouts, but the Ravens clearly need to add a veteran quarterback at some point,” wrote The Baltimore Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec.
“They’ll still need a veteran behind Flacco if the rookie is not ready to play immediately. And the top veteran backups won’t come cheap. That’s why journeymen such as Nassib and McGloin make sense.”
In addition to working out quarterbacks, the Ravens are also exploring wide receiver options. Baltimore brought receivers Walter Powell and Diontae Spencer in for workouts as well, according to Yates.
Powell has bounced around with three teams during his four-year career, notching just 14 career receptions. He was suspended four games in 2017 for violating the NFL's performance-enhancing drug policy and was subsequently cut by the Buffalo Bills. Spencer brings return ability and also caught 71 passes for 922 yards and six touchdowns for the CFL's Ottawa Redblacks last season.
Did the Ravens’ Chances of Drafting a First-Round QB Increase?
Ramifications are still being thought through after the Kansas City Chiefs traded quarterback Alex Smith to the Washington Redskins for a third-round pick and cornerback Kendall Fuller.
One of those ramifications could affect Baltimore, says NFL Network analyst and former Ravens scout Daniel Jeremiah.
The Ravens have already been linked to Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen, who some thought could fall to No. 16 before *the *Washington trade. Now, there’s potential for another quarterback or more to slide with the Redskins no longer needing to draft a quarterback.
Russell Street Report’s Tony Lombardi likes the idea of the Ravens grabbing a young signal-caller in the first round, even though he likely wouldn’t play in 2018. Lombardi would like to see Head Coach John Harbaugh follow the blueprint just established by his former Philadelphia mentor, Andy Reid.
“The entire trade was enabled by Reid’s move on Draft Day 2017 when he jumped up to the 10th overall pick to select Patrick Mahomes,” wrote Lombardi. “The NFL has often been labeled a copy-cat league. Might the Ravens follow suit in the 2018 NFL Draft if the right quarterback falls to them? Trading Joe Flacco in 2019 would trigger a cap savings of $10.5M.”
Mahomes will now likely become the starting quarterback in K.C., and the team created $17 million in cap savings, got a third-round pick in 2018 (instead of waiting for one in 2020 after Smith potentially signed elsewhere in 2019), and got a cornerback to add to the roster right now.
The problem with Lombardi’s scenario in Baltimore is that if the Ravens wanted to trade Flacco after next season – and there’s zero indication of that – it would create $16 million in dead money. The dead money is there whether you trade or cut a player. The Chiefs only had $3.6 million in dead money, according to Overthecap.com.
Others may argue to get a first-round quarterback anyway, and develop him for further down the road. Zrebiec has a hard time seeing that happening.
“Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen is already being connected to the Ravens, and I suspect that they’ll take a quarterback at some point in the draft,” Zrebiec wrote. “However, Allen would be a tough sell to the number of Ravens coaches and executives whose jobs will probably be on the line in 2018. Not sure how Allen, who does have some impressive tools, would help the Ravens win right away.”
Will Ravens Be Selected to Play in Hall of Fame Game? Big Offseason for Tyus Bowser
We’re going to find out Saturday night whether Ravens retired linebacker Ray Lewis will be a first-ballot Hall of Famer. Frankly, it’d be the shock of the century if he wasn’t.
Lewis would be the Ravens’ second home-grown Hall of Fame player, as left tackle Jonathan Ogden was inducted in 2012, the same year Lewis and the Ravens got their second Lombardi Trophy. Ogden was selected 22 spots ahead of Lewis in the 1996 NFL Draft.
With Lewis expected to be the headliner of this year’s Hall of Fame class, the Ravens are likely to be among the candidates for the Hall of Fame Game. Zrebiec says it “wouldn’t be surprising if the Ravens were selected to play.”
“That would mean they’d play five preseason games, which would excite no one except the back-end roster guys who covet every opportunity to make the team,” he wrote.
Zrebiec had several other thoughts in his latest news, notes and opinions column, including the two below:
- “This is a huge offseason for Ravens outside linebacker Tyus Bowser. The 2017 second-round pick seemed to hit the rookie wall both mentally and physically at around the midpoint of the year. Team officials are still extremely high on him, but he needs to bust through those challenges next season.”
- “It’s interesting to hear both Harbaugh and Martindale call recently promoted linebackers coach Mike Macdonald a future coaching star. Teams typically don’t bring much attention to young position coaches because it could get them onto the radar of other teams. Macdonald is just 30 years old, and he’ll enter his fourth season as an NFL assistant.”
Lewis Says It’d Be Surreal to be Elected to Hall of Fame During Super Bowl 52
Lewis is trying to wrap his mind around becoming a Hall of Famer.
The greatest linebacker of all-time (according to me) donned No. 52 his entire college and professional career, and he said it’d feel like fate if he were to be inducted during this specific weekend.
"You cannot draw this stuff up," Lewis told the B-More Opinionated podcast. "My entire career I wore No. 52. I'm walking into Super Bowl 52. It's like this surreal moment.
"After I get done training and done with business, I grab a cigar and I sit back and I'm like, 'Are you freaking kidding me?'* *We are headed to Minnesota for Super Bowl 52, and God willing your name is called and you go before Super Bowl 52. It just does not get any better. It's really hard to explain what that feeling really feels like."
League Is ‘Starting Over’ With the Catch Rule This Offseason
Let’s be honest, nobody other than Flacco really knows what constitutes a catch in the NFL. (Remember Flacco correctly called the non-catch in the Patriots-Steelers game while watching it on the plane ride in Week 15?)
It’s a massive mystery to everyone else, and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell recognizes that something needs to change. He doesn’t just want to tweak the rule; he wants to start from scratch.
"From our standpoint, I would like to start back, instead of adding to the rule, subtracting the rule. Start over again and look at the rule fundamentally from the start," Goodell said during his annual Super Bowl Week presser. "Because I think when you add or subtract things you can still lead to confusion. These rules are very complex -- you have to look at what the unintended consequences are of making a change, which is what the Competition Committee, in my view, does so well and with so much thought."
Goodell added that he recently met with five Hall of Fame receivers and a handful of coaches to get their take on what constitutes a catch.
"When we went through these 150 plays just a couple of weeks ago, we had Hall of Famers in there and when you say it makes sense, there are a lot of people who have different perspectives on that. There's a lot of disagreement in the room on what a catch was and wasn't," Goodell said. "People with great football experience can disagree on that."