McKinnie Asks For Patience, Return Still Possible
It may not happen right away, but Bryant McKinnie believes he could still sign a contract with the Baltimore Ravens.
The Ravens' Super Bowl left tackle said his agent spoke with General Manager Ozzie Newsome recently and McKinnie is optimistic the two sides could strike a deal.
"Raven Fans my agent spoke 2 Ozzie the other day, so we still have a chance 2 get something done," McKinnie tweeted yesterday. He then added: "#bepatient."
A source told The Baltimore Sun's Aaron Wilson that nothing is imminent, and the two sides are having "general discussions."
The patience will come in handy while the tackle market continues to move at a slow pace, and there are still others who are expected to be signed before teams would consider finalizing a deal with McKinnie.
According to ESPN's free agent tracker, three tackles on the market have higher grades than the 6-foot-8, 360-pounder, including former Raven Jared Gaither (cut by Chargers), Andre Smith (unrestricted, Bengals) and Eric Winston (cut by Chiefs).
McKinnie, who turns 34 in September, didn't start any regular-season games for the Ravens last season after struggling to get into shape at the start of the year. But he solidified the offensive line in the postseason and was considered a major factor behind quarterback Joe Flacco's success in the team's Super Bowl run.
After the Ravens signed Flacco to an NFL record-breaking contract, McKinnie told the NFL Network: "They bought a Maserati, so they better pay for insurance."
But he was adamant that his services be paid for adequately.
"They already got me at the discount last season," McKinnie said, who agreed to a revised deal during the season that reportedly cut his $3.2 million base salary to $2.2 million.
Cody Underwent Hip Surgery
Nose tackle Terrence Cody admits he hasn't played up to his own standards, but he hasn't used an injured hip as an excuse.
Apparently the 6-foot-4, 349-pounder recently underwent hip surgery, according to Wilson, and is expected to be sidelined for the team's offseason activities.
"[T]he former second-round draft pick is expected to make a full recovery by training camp," Wilson reported, adding that Cody also dealt with an elbow injury last season.
Perhaps these injuries played a part in Cody's rough 2012 season, in which he lost his starting job to Ma'ake Kemoeatu after three games. Cody's production dropped to 25 tackles last year, without notching any sacks or fumbles. Pro Football Focus gave Cody the lowest mark among the Ravens' defensive linemen with a minus-6.5 grade.
The Ravens have added two defensive linemen, Marcus Spears and Chris Canty, to help bolster the line in hopes of improving their run defense, which finished the season ranked 20th in the NFL.
Sports Science Examines Tackle Prospect Fluker
Alabama offensive tackle D.J. Fluker, who reportedly (team doesn't announce visits) conducted an official visit with the Ravens, is a BEAST.
The right tackle prospect is projected to be taken in the first round of April's draft, and his brute strength is one of his many assets.
ESPN Sport Science examines the force Fluker generates coming out of his three-point stance. In just 5 yards, Fluker accelerates to 13 miles per hour in 2.1 seconds. With just four steps, he can deliver a blow with more than 1,800 pounds of force.
Those measurables are comparable to Patriots offensive tackle Nate Solder.
After demolishing a practice dummy, Sport Science guy John Brenkus got a little crazy and stood defenseless as he allowed Fluker to deliver a crushing block that sent him flying through the air.
Releasing Ayanbadejo Continues Youthful Trend
With linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo tweeting that he is on his way out, the Ravens are showing a trend of getting younger on defense.
Once B.A.'s release is made official, the team will have let go of eight of its nine oldest players from the Super Bowl team. Ayanbadejo turns 37 in September, and is leaving behind just two veterans above the age of 30: fullback Vonta Leach and cornerback Chris Johnson.
"It became evident late last season that Ayanbadejo's role with the Ravens was diminishing with the defense no longer turning to him to play linebacker in passing situations and electing to go with younger linebackers such as Josh Bynes and even Albert McClellan while [Ray] Lewis, Dannell Ellerbe, and Jameel McClain were sidelined with injuries," wrote WNST's Luke Jones.
Moore, Cherrington Visited Ravens
The Ravens continue to do their homework on college prospects.
Two more have visited* *with the team, per the Baltimore Sun, in Texas A&M defensive end/outside linebacker Damontre Moore and Mississippi State interior defensive lineman DeWayne Cherrington.
At 6-foot-4, 250 pounds, Moore is considered a dangerous pass rusher and notched 85 tackles, 21 for loss and 12.5 sacks last season.
"The pass rusher his teammates call DaMonster looked like a potential star even while he backed up 2010 Butkus Award winner and No. 2 overall pick in the 2011 draft, Von Miller," wrote NFL.com. "After one season as the Aggies' top rush linebacker, he moved to defensive end for new Head Coach Kevin Sumlin, developing into one of the most destructive defensive players in the country. He lacks edge athleticism, but Moore wins with a great motor and has flashed hand use to disengage."
Cherrington hails from Mississippi State, where the Ravens have successfully found a defensive lineman in the past with defensive end Pernell McPhee. The 6-foot-3, 345-pounder notched 24 tackles last season.
"Cherrington provides a massive interior presence," wrote Wilson. "A native of Gwinnett, Ga., who transferred from Holmes Community College in Mississippi, Cherrington is known for occupying blockers to allow linebackers to get to the football.
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