Denver Post: Ravens, Dumervil Negotiating
It appears the Ravens have gone from being seriously interested in Elvis Dumervil to actually negotiating with his agent Tom Condon.
A league source informed Denver Post's Mike Klis of Baltimore’s negotiations with the elite pass rusher, but the Broncos haven't given up on getting Dumervil back after a fax fiasco forced the team to cut him from the roster Friday and take a $4.9 million cap hit in dead money.
Even though initial reports indicated that other teams – New England, San Diego, Pittsburgh and Houston – showed early interest, "the Broncos and Ravens seem to be the frontrunners," Klis reported.
Dumervil would like to patch things up with Denver after his former agent, Marty Magid, missed the deadline by six minutes to turn in an agreement for a pay reduction from $12 million to $8 million in 2013. The league denied Dumervil's appeal to honor the agreement.
While Dumervil wants to make things work, the Broncos may be too upset about the situation to invite him back and may not have enough money.
"At this point, a tie in financial offers] with another playoff contender in the pursuit of Dumervil [probably wouldn't go to the Broncos," Klis wrote. "The wounds from the entire pay-cut process remain a bit raw with Dumervil."
What are the chances Baltimore lands Dumervil?
Sports Illustrated's Peter King tweeted the odds, courtesy of his fictitious "Kingbook:"
New Orleans: 15-1
Ravens' Contingency Plan At Safety: Huff
While Ravens Owner Steve Bisciotti would be “thrilled” to have All-Pro safety Ed Reed back in Baltimore, he would understand if Reed decided to go elsewhere.
And as we know, General Manager Ozzie Newsome always has plan just in case.
Former Oakland Raiders safety Michael Huff may be the Ravens' contingency plan, says The Baltimore Sun's Aaron Wilson. Wilson is reporting Baltimore is interested in Huff, who was released by the Raiders prior to the start of free agency.
The 30-year-old veteran recorded 56 tackles, two interceptions and 13 pass deflections last season. He was drafted with the seventh-overall pick in the 2006 NFL draft from Texas.
"Wouldn't surprise me if #Ravens signed #Raiders free-agent safety Michael Huff," tweeted ESPN's Jamison Hensley. "Ozzie really liked him in 2006 draft."
Reed left Houston without a deal after a two-day visit with the Texans last week. And while that is often an indicator that a deal won't be struck, Wilson reports the Texans are “still in it.”
Who Should Budge In Scheduling Conflict? Two Very Different Opinions
The Ravens and Orioles haven't been able to resolve a Sept. 5 scheduling conflict (details here), which could result in the Ravens having to open their season on the road despite a 10-year NFL tradition of the Super Bowl-winning team celebrating their championship with their city on Thursday night.
NFL Commissioner Rodger Goodell, who has talked to MLB Commissioner Bud Selig twice, says if a solution can't be found, the Ravens will have to open on the road.
"C]heck their away schedule, people,” wrote CBSSports.com’s Clark Judge. “The most logical location is Denver, with Pittsburgh the runner-up. [That's not enticing to anyone, except maybe the Baltimore Orioles."
The Ravens and NFL have proposed that the Orioles game be moved to an earlier time (possibly to 3:05 p.m. says Judge) and the Ravens back to 9 p.m.
"But that takes us to another problem: Orioles owner Peter Angelos," wrote Judge. "One source told me Major League Baseball is willing to take the hit on this one, though it's Angelos who is unmoved."
WNST's Drew Forrester says you can't fault the Orioles for not wanting to change their schedule.
"Tell me again how it’s the Orioles responsibility to fix this mess?" Forrester asked. "[I]n no way, shape or form should the Orioles be forced to move their Thursday night game against the White Sox. The manager, for certain, would tell you that scheduling in the baseball season is always a by-product of the weather gods and what not, but in September, with only a handful of games remaining on the schedule, any smart baseball executive would want the schedule to go along as smoothly as possible, particularly if the team is involved in the pennant race. Asking the Orioles to play a doubleheader or an 11:30 a.m. game after a night game just to help the football team play a game on a Thursday night is unreasonable and shouldn't be accepted by Buck Showalter and the folks at Camden Yards."
Yahoo! Sports' Michael Silver has a completely different outlook, suggesting the NFL should give an ultimatum.
"Yo, Bud – is it really that hard to overcome these logistical challenges?" Silver asked. "Pretend that there was a rainout, or (as [Baltimore] fans can surely appreciate) a sudden, inexplicable power outage. Shift some dates around or, even easier, do as Goodell suggests and play the game in the afternoon. The Orioles and White Sox are big boys – they can handle the turnaround.
"If I were Goodell, I'd make another generous offer to compensate Selig, the Orioles and the White Sox for their trouble – and it would be my final offer. If the MLB commissioner didn't accept it, I'd schedule that Sept. 5 home opener for the Ravens and let nature take its course."
Owner Steve Bisciotti is taking a softer approach.
"In fairness to Major League Baseball and the Angeloses, we're trying to dump a pretty big problem on them and we're asking them to make a lot of concessions that will benefit us and potentially harm them though it doesn't necessarily harm them," Bisciotti told The Baltimore Sun.
He added to BaltimoreRavens.com: "I would hope that the NFL has built up enough goodwill to make Major League Baseball sees that if they inconvenience themselves a little bit that we, the NFL and specifically the Ravens, owe the Orioles and Major League Baseball a favor in the future."
Harbaugh: 'Worst Mistake' Is Trying To Hold Team Together
The Ravens have lost eight players that started at least one time last season. And that number could grow.
But Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh is taking the changes in stride.
"The worst mistake you can make is trying to hold a team together," Harbaugh told the NFL Network from the NFL's owners meetings in Phoenix. "It's impossible." He added, "if you try to stay the same you end up getting worse."
The folks at PTI agree. Keeping a team together rarely results in a repeat.
Harrison 'Coldest Name' On Market
James Harrison's agent says he's been in contact with Newsome, but admits no negotiations have been broached.
Apparently Harrison hasn't crossed that road with any of the other 31NFL teams either.
"I think this is the coldest name of them all here at the NFL Meetings: James Harrison," wrote King. "Cannot find anyone admitting to being interested in the former Steeler. It seems if he wants to play this year, he'll have to do it for less than half of what he was supposed to make for the Steelers. He should have taken the cut the Steelers were offering."
ESPN's Jamison Hensley says in the video below that the Ravens could eventually nab Harrison, and the longer he sits on the market, the cheaper his price becomes.
- @RavensInsider: Jacoby Jones' knee surgery mentioned on the program was a minor cleanup [Twitter]
- @GerrySandusky: The Ravens four compensatory picks added today gives them 12 for this year's draft. Positions them well to trade up on draft day. [Twitter]
- "I think the cutest thing I saw on the weekend before the NFL Meetings began here at the Arizona Biltmore hotel is the Harbaugh brothers, and families, playing with kids in the hotel pool," wrote King. "Number two: The Harbaugh brothers, out for a 6 a.m. walk together on the jogging path outside the hotel." [Sports Illustrated]
- @LWebb21: Nobody believed me about @ellerbe59 now go follow the next beast at LB kleenstandout. #nextmanup [Twitter]
- @jeffzrebiecsun: One thing I forgot to mention earlier: The Ravens donated two motorcycles to the Baltimore Police Dept as they did for the New Orleans PD. [Twitter]
@mspear96 Defensive lineman Marcus Spears]: It's official!! Signed sealed delivered!! [Physical and contract done!!! [Twitter]
- @Ravens: Steve Bisciotti and Kevin Byrne just played a little Cornhole at the NFL owners meetings. Ha! [Twitter]