Williams Will Consider Hometown Discount, But Asks 'Where Is The Love?'
Leave it to Brandon Williams to express his free-agency hopes through song.
The Ravens nose tackle heard Assistant General Manager Eric DeCosta say last week that the team must try to retain Williams because he is an 'A' player and the rock of the interior defensive line.
Williams said hearing those comments made him feel good, and then he literally sang a hit song from the Black Eyed Peas to respond.
"Where is the love, the love, the love?" Williams sang while on radio row at the Super Bowl with WNST's Nestor Aparicio and Luke Jones.
Williams, 27, is a pending free agent and the Ravens would love to lock him up before other teams get a crack at him in March. But for everything to come together, the two sides have to agree on a price tag.
Pundits expect the Ravens to make a "competitive offer," but it's unclear what that means. Some have pointed to the neighborhood of what Damon "Snacks" Harrison got when he signed a reported five-year, $46.25 million contract with the New York Giants last offseason.
Aparicio told Williams that a high-ranking Ravens official told him the team would offer Williams "a lot of money."
"That'd be great. I'd love it. But, we'll see," Williams said. "The whole time these four years it's just keep my nose to the grindstone, do my job the best that I can to make it to this point. I'm at this point and we'll see what happens."
Williams was asked about giving the Ravens a potential "hometown discount," which was defined as a "slightly lower" offer than perhaps another team's. Could he envision a scenario where he'd pick the Ravens even if it's not the highest offer on the table?
"Yeah, if it's close then … it's like coming from a known to an unknown. When you're in Baltimore, you know what you're getting. You know who you're getting, you know who you're dealing with, you know who your teammates are, you know who your coaches are. Going to a new team, new scheme, new plays, new playbooks, not knowing really what to expect over here. If it's close enough to where I have to make that decision, where it comes down to that decision, I'm staying in Baltimore," Williams said.
"[That's] because I like Baltimore, my family is in Baltimore, my son is going to school and stuff like that. I would pick that, if it's close. So, if that's the factor that makes or breaks the decision, then I'll stay in Baltimore if it's close."
In 2011, the Ravens made a long-term commitment to Williams' predecessor, Haloti Ngata. Baltimore made Ngata one of the highest-paid defensive linemen at the time with a reported five-year deal worth $61 million.
Williams has drawn many comparisons to Ngata as a run-stuffing rock in the middle of the defense with a similar skillset, and Williams was one of the reasons Baltimore felt comfortable trading Ngata to the Detroit Lions in 2015.
The four-year veteran is encouraged by a strong commitment made to a player at the same position and of similar caliber in the past, but he's not banking on the same deal happening for him.
"Yeah, you'd hope. But, you never know until it happens and I'm not going to get excited or show emotion or disgust to a team that I've been playing for and love," Williams said. "I don't have hatred, no nothing towards my team. I love them, but whatever happens, happens. Right now, I'm a Baltimore Raven and I'll be a Baltimore Raven until further notice.
"I'm not going to get excited or down that nothing has happened yet. I understand that [the team has] stuff going on. You've got the Pro Bowl, you've got the Super Bowl, you got new guys, you got Senior Bowl going on, and all that stuff, coaches got stuff, vacation, a lot of moving parts. Whatever happens, happens. When it happens, it happens. The best thing I know is that it is going to happen. So I'm just chilling with my family and making the most of my time."
Gillmore Admits To Broken Back And Two Hamstring Tears
Daaang, Crockett Gillmore.
It sounds like the Ravens tight end had some serious injuries to work through recently.
Gillmore told Alex Marvez while a guest on SiriusXM Radio that he suffered a broken back, and tore his hamstring in two places last season, but hopes for better health in 2017.
Gillmore was on the injury report with a thigh injury from Weeks 9-15, and was inactive for the final eight games of the season. His absence from the field continued a trend from the 2015 season. He was placed on injured reserved late in the season after suffering a back injury in a Week 14 loss to the Seattle Seahawks.
"The durability of [Gillmore] remains a question mark for the Ravens as they evaluate their roster," wrote CSNMidAtlantic.com's Clifton Brown.
The Ravens have a lot of tight ends on their roster, but most have injury questions. In addition to Gillmore's ailments, Maxx Williams (knee) and Benjamin Watson (Achilles) landed on injured reserve in 2016, and Dennis Pitta will always have injury concerns because of two serious hip surgeries. Nick Boyle and Darren Waller are the team's other tight ends.
"Gillmore, who is signed through next season, may be the Ravens' best blocking tight end, and he is tough to bring down after catching the football," wrote Brown. "However, his physical playing style has taken a toll on his body. For Gillmore to have a long-term future in Baltimore, getting healthy and staying healthy will be major priorities for him in 2017."
Goodell Says League Considering Less Commercials
It sounds like NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and Ravens Owner Steve Bisciotti may be on the same page.
In order to speed up the game for a better fan experience, Goodell told reporters at the Super Bowl festivities yesterday that he is considering several options, including reducing the number of commercials.
Sign Bisciotti up for that.
"It doesn't take a genius to figure out that nobody wants to see two minutes of commercials, come back, kick the ball and then go to a minute-and-a-half of commercials," Bisciotti said at last month's season-review press conference. "I've thought that was absurd since I was 20 years old. We've got to figure that out.
"Everything is on the table, and if we have to go to ABC and NBC and say that we've got to cut some commercials out and give some money back and half of that money doesn't go into the player pool, maybe that's what we're going to have to do. But our expenses would be adjusted accordingly too. So, I'd like to see some things cleaned up."
Which measures actually get implemented would be developed by the NFL competition committee and considered by owners this spring or summer, but ESPN's Kevin Seifert wrote that Goodell's suggestions are usually approved.