Should Ravens Show Interest In Pro Bowler Donte Whitner?
There's a three-time Pro Bowl safety who's been sitting on the open market for nearly two weeks, and fans are wondering whether the Ravens should show interest.
Donte Whitner, 30, was released by the AFC North rival Cleveland Browns on April 2. He's had one reported free-agent visit with the Los Angeles Rams since his release, but wasn't immediately signed.
The No. 8 overall pick in the 2006 NFL Draft has produced a solid 10-year career, and is predicting another big year with whichever team that eventually signs him.
While Whitner brings plenty to the table, including a reputation for being a hard-hitting, intimidating strong safety that excels while playing in the box, ESPN's Jamison Hensley doesn’t see a fit in Baltimore.
"The Ravens have long been fans of Donte Whitner, dating to the 2006 draft when they were eyeing him in the middle of the first round," he wrote. "But the Ravens have been effusive in their support of [Lardarius] Webb making the move from cornerback to safety."
At this point, Webb is expected to start next to recently signed safety Eric Weddle, who will become the leader and quarterback on the backend of the defense. Had the Ravens not signed Weddle, Hensley says the chances of signing Whitner would have been higher.
The Ravens have safety depth on the roster, including last year's starter Kendrick Lewis, 2013 first-round pick Matt Elam, Terrence Brooks and Anthony Levine. Not to mention, plenty of money has been invested in the position too, especially with Webb's reported $9.5 million cap hit. That's the NFL's fourth-highest figure among safeties.
"[I]t might not make sense financially to cut Webb and add Whitner," wrote Hensley. "Baltimore would have to carry $6 million in dead money if it parts ways with Webb, and then give about $3 million to Whitner."
NFL Announced It Was Almost Ready To Announce Schedule Announcement This tweet from NFL PR guy Brian McCarthy made journalists around the web chuckle.
This is where we are in coverage of the NFL today. The league announcing it was almost ready to announce the schedule announcement.
At last, the NFL did announce that the schedule will be unveiled tonight at 8 p.m. We will have all the details and analysis for you here.
I've already taken an early look at the Ravens' 16-game slate, including all home and away opponents. We also know that, on paper, the schedule should be easier than last year's because there will be a lot less traveling outside of the Eastern time zone. Last year, the team flew out west four times in the first two months of the season.
But there are still plenty of questions to be answered.
"It will be interesting to see how many primetime games that the Ravens will get after they struggled so mightily last year," wrote The Baltimore Sun's Jeff Zrebiec. "Will the Ravens get a much coveted Monday night home game? Will the Ravens finally close the regular season against a team other than the Bengals?"
Eugene Monroe's Wife Gives Birth To Baby Girl
Congratulations to the Monroe family!
Eugene Monroe and his wife, Nureya, welcomed their third baby to the family in the wee hours of the morning.
With this being the third delivery, it looks like Monroe was preparing himself for a long stay at the hospital by bringing his PS4 to keep him company while they awaited the arrival of the newest bundle of joy.
I can't hate on that. It can be a loooong wait before things get exciting. And, my husband brought a bag of popcorn to the birth of our third child and said he was ready for the show.
Vegas Not Sold On Ravens Yet
Hey, even General Manager Ozzie Newsome is being cautious about predicting whether the Ravens will advance to the playoffs in 2016. So you can't really blame Las Vegas for not giving Baltimore overwhelming Super Bowl odds.
Vegasinsider.com gave the Ravens 35-1 odds to win Super Bowl 51, which is tied with the Oakland Raiders for 15th best in the NFL.
The Ravens are coming off their worst record (5-11) during the John Harbaugh era, but are working and expecting to bounce back quickly.
"It's reasonable to expect the Ravens to be healthier next season, and that alone could make them better," wrote CSNMidatlantic.com's Clifton Brown. "But jumping from 5-11 back into the playoffs? They need a strong draft to improve the odds of that happening."