Late for Work 4/2: Ravens Try Out Two Receivers; Smokey Willing to Visit Flacco's House to Work Out

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Ravens Brought in WRs Michael Floyd and Willie Snead (Again)

In a continuing effort to rebuild the wide receiver corps, the Ravens reportedly worked out two receivers Friday.

Minnesota Vikings free-agent wide receiver Michael Floyd and New Orleans Saints restricted free-agent wide receiver Willie Snead both tried out for the Ravens at the Under Armour Performance Center, according to ESPN’s Field Yates. This marks the second reported visit for Snead in as many weeks.

Floyd, 28, was the Arizona Cardinals’ first-round pick (No. 13 overall) in 2012 out of Notre Dame. Standing in at 6-foot-3, 220 pounds, he possesses the tools to be a No. 1 receiver and showed promise in his first four years in the league.

He amassed more than 800 receiving yards three times in Arizona, including one 1,000-yard season. The team picked up the fifth-year option on Floyd’s rookie contract, but released him after 13 games because he was arrested on drinking and driving charges in 2016. He was found by police unconscious behind the wheel of his SUV, and he pled guilty to a DUI. He was sentenced to 120 days in jail, part of which was served in home confinement.

New England picked Floyd up off waivers that year, and he played two games for the Patriots. They did not re-sign him after the season.

Floyd signed a one-year, $1.4 million deal with the Vikings last offseason, but was suspended for the first four games of 2017 for violating the NFL Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse. He only caught 10 passes for 78 yards and no touchdowns in 11 games.

Floyd’s tryout with the Ravens was the first reported interest in the receiver since free agency opened in mid-March.

“General Manager Ozzie Newsome is truly ‘leaving no stones unturned’ in his search for new receivers to bring to Baltimore,” wrote Baltimore Beatdown’s Dustin Cox. “Does Michael Floyd still have any gas left in the tank at 28 years old? Could he even be trusted at this point? That’s for Newsome and the Ravens to decide.”

“He is a big target and figures to come relatively cheap, but at this point, Floyd wouldn’t be much more than a flier,” added The Baltimore Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec.

Meanwhile, the second visit for Snead indicates real interest from the Ravens, but they’d have to figure out a contract that the Saints wouldn’t match. The original-round tender they placed on Snead means they weren’t willing to pay the $2.9 million price tag for a second-round tender.

Snead was also suspended last year due to a DUI, and injury further hampered his production. He caught eight passes for 92 yards in seven starts. He previously tallied a solid 141 receptions for 1,879 yards and seven touchdowns in 2015-16.

At 5-foot-11, 195 pounds, Snead could fill the slot position in Baltimore.

“The Ravens have met with the restricted free agent from the New Orleans Saints, but there’s been no agreement on a contract tender,” wrote Zrebiec. “It’s always a challenge to structure a contract that a restricted free agent’s current team won’t match, but the Saints do have only about $9 million of salary-cap space.”

What’s the Word on WR Cameron Meredith After His Visit?

One receiver not reported to participate in Friday’s tryout was Chicago Bears restricted free agent Cameron Meredith.

Some Ravens fans are curious about his status after his initial reported visit about two weeks ago.

It’s not clear where things stand, but the Ravens had definite interest in Meredith, who missed the entire 2017 season with a knee injury,” wrote Zrebiec. “What’s also unclear is how the Ravens would put together a contract that the Bears wouldn’t match. Chicago has approximately $27 million of salary-cap space, so the Ravens would have to get quite creative to get him.”

ESPN believes Meredith is the best option for the team at this point, and suggests the Ravens offer a later-round draft pick for him so they don’t have sign him to a big deal the Bears wouldn’t want to match.

Smokey Brown Is Willing to Visit Joe Flacco’s House to Work Out Together

Ravens receiver Smokey Brown saw Friday’s edition of “Late for Work” in which Head Coach John Harbaugh said it’s “critically important” that quarterback Joe Flacco and his new pass-catchers develop chemistry quickly.

“[The reps are] the most important thing of all,” Harbaugh said. “You have to practice. It’s a practice sport. You have to get good. You can’t just roll the ball out there and be great, especially in the passing game. … But with those guys getting the reps and getting really good at what they do, and even beyond that, let’s go to work outside of practice and build that rapport.”

Smokey is all for getting together with Flacco outside of practice, and even offered to travel wherever Flacco is to get it done.

According to Harbaugh, Flacco is staying in his home state New Jersey. They’ve been texting, and Flacco says he’s been staying in shape and working out.

During each offseason with the Arizona Cardinals, Brown would stay at quarterback Carson Palmer’s home in Southern California to take extra reps together outside of team activities. In 2016, he stayed for an entire month, according to Arizona Central Sports.

Like Flacco, Palmer has a large family with four kids. Brown stayed in a guest room in Palmer’s house that was like an apartment to itself. Brown has a young daughter of his own, so he’s used to youthful energy, and got along well with Palmer’s children. They called him “Cookie Monster.”

While staying at Palmer’s house, Brown would wake up at 6:30 a.m., eat breakfast and then run routes. Palmer would throw to him daily and they’d lift weights together.

“He’s just so focused on football,” Palmer told Paola Boivin. “He loves to come out. He doesn’t do anything. He doesn’t come out to San Diego to sight-see. He’s not coming out to go out with friends. He’s coming out to train, work. That’s what I’m there for. He’s a great houseguest.”

Ravens’ Free-Agency Grade So Far? B-Minus

ESPN is handing out free-agency grades to all 32 NFL teams so far this offseason and the website gave Baltimore a B-minus.

General Manger Ozzie Newsome has signed defensive end Brent Urban, offensive lineman James Hurst and wide receivers Michael Crabtree and Brown.

The team has lost or parted ways with center Ryan Jensen, running back Danny Woodhead, defensive back Lardarius Webb, wide receivers Mike Wallace and Jeremy Maclin, right tackle Austin Howard and tight end Benjamin Watson.

Why the B-minus?

“Newsome wanted to revamp the wide receiver position, and that's exactly what he did,” the website wrote. “Whether he upgraded it as much as some anticipated is open for debate. … Limited cap space caused the Ravens to fall short of that ‘splash.’ Baltimore got priced out of wide receiver Allen Robinson and tight end Jimmy Graham.”

Most significant loss? Jensen, who signed the richest contract for a center with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Most undervalued loss? Howard, whose 2018 option wasn’t picked up. He still remains a free agent.
Player they should’ve signed? Eric Ebron, who was affordable (two years, $11 million), but didn’t want the incentive-laden deal the Ravens offered.
What’s next?Adding more receivers (via free agency and the draft), and selecting a pass-catching tight end and backup quarterback through the draft.

Quick Hits

  • The next step in the controversial lowering-the-helmet-ban rule is a month away,” wrote Peter King. “It’s now going to be a penalty for an NFL player to lower his head to initiate helmet-to-opponent contact, and the devil will be in the details on this one. The NFL has seven weeks to write the rule the right way; the league wants it done by the NFL spring meetings beginning 49 days from today, May 21-23 in Atlanta. About three weeks before then, the NFL will invite some eight or 10 people to New York for a summit meeting—four to six coaches, a couple owners or top club officials, and a two or three players—to get the language of the rule right.” [Sports Illustrated]
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