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Late For Work 5/15: Jerry Rice Jr. Out To Prove Himself To Ravens


Jerry Rice Jr. Out To Prove Himself To Ravens

The Ravens could add some Hall of Fame DNA to their roster.

Jerry Rice Jr., the son of the legendary San Francisco 49ers receiver, is scheduled to participate in a tryout with the Ravens as part of this weekend's rookie minicamp, according to The Baltimore Sun.

Rice Jr. will arrive in Baltimore Thursday, and he's out to show the coaching staff he's deserving of a spot on the 90-man roster.

"My emotions are anxious, excited, all of that," Rice Jr. told The Sun. "Once I get there, I have to prove myself and show those coaches what I can do and contribute. That's the main focus. I'm going to enjoy the moment, but it's a business trip."

Rice Jr. will have some stiff competition for a spot, as he's trying out for one of the team's deepest positions. The Ravens currently have 12 wide receivers, and Rice Jr. would likely have to outperform recently signed undrafted rookie Jace Davis from Northern Colorado.  

"[General Manager Ozzie Newsome] is giving me an opportunity and I'm going to do my best to make sure they're making a right choice to bring me in," he said. "I'm coming in and treating it like an interview process. I've got to make sure I play to the best of my abilities and submit a good resume. Hopefully, they like what they see. I want to make it very hard for them not to sign me."

Rice Jr. is a product of UNLV, and he's coming off his only season with the Rebels where he caught 11 passes for 86 yards. Rice Jr. was initially a walk-on at UCLA before transferring to Las Vegas.

He has grown up in the shadow of his dad, who is a 13-time Pro Bowler and the NFL's all-time leader in catches, yards and touchdowns.

"It's definitely unique. It's a combination of a blessing and a curse. The blessing is I do have the DNA. The potential and capabilities are definitely in my DNA and I work hard," Rice Jr. said.

"It can also be a curse because people super critique every little thing you do. They see the final product, but it's a process. I'm working to bring the most out of my ability to get better and refine my game and my craft and make sure it's perfect."

Roster Bonuses For Undrafted Rookies

Contracts for undrafted rookies aren't guaranteed.

NFL players don't get the big money until they make the 53-man roster and start getting the weekly game checks. Until then, the only part of their contract guaranteed is the signing bonus.

That makes the signing bonus a valuable recruiting tool when teams are trying to bring the undrafted players to town.

The highest signing bonus given out by the Ravens was $10,000 to Virginia Tech defensive tackle Derrick Hopkins, according to Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun. Hopkins, 6-foot-1 and 321 pounds, had 13 career sacks for the Hokies and was a second-team All-ACC selection last year. 

The amounts doled out by the Ravens could provide some insight into which players have the best shot at ultimately making the team, but that's only a small piece of the equation.  

"The bonus isn't necessarily a predictor of future success," Wilson wrote. "After all, former Ravens starting linebacker Bart Scott got a $500 signing bonus in 2002, future Kansas City Chiefs Pro Bowl running back Priest Holmes got a $2,000 signing bonus when he signed with the Ravens in 1997 and Pro Bowl kicker Justin Tucker had no signing bonus two years ago."

After Hopkins, the top signing bonuses went to North Carolina offensive tackle James Hurst ($9,000), Oklahoma State offensive tackle Parker Graham ($9,000) and Middle Tennessee State cornerback Sammy Seamster ($8,000).

Sabol's Office Reveals Insight Into Ray Lewis, NFL

Steve Sabol spent his life collecting and sharing the history of the NFL. The former president of NFL Films was instrumental in telling the story of the league through his work, and he is regarded as one of the pivotal people in preserving the game's history.

Sabol died of a brain tumor in 2012, but his office at NFL Films remains virtually the same since his last day there. The MMQB decided to look through Sabol's office as the first piece of a 10-week series examining 95 artifacts that tell the history of the NFL. 

"Despite his absence, his life's work pulsates inside these four tan walls, filling the 21-by-22-foot room with a creative energy that spills into the hallways of NFL Films," wrote Emily Kaplan for The MMQB. "Because everything is just as he left it, this office is not so much an artifact as a museum unto itself."

Inside that office, Sabol had files for a number of iconic players over the years. One of the files was dedicated to legendary Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis, and the card inside that file read as follows:

"Greatness does not mean perfection. Many great men were flawed. Jefferson owned slaves. Churchill drank too much. Kennedy was a liar and an unfaithful husband."

Quick Hits

  • The Ravens traded three picks last year to build their offensive line. They traded a fourth and fifth-round pick to Jacksonville to get left tackle Eugene Monroe, and they dealt a seventh-rounder to Indianapolis for center A.Q. Shipley. Hensley recaps how those teams ended up using the picks on draft weekend. []
  • Offensive lineman Ryan Jensen is really adapting to Baltimore… @sinjen66 I cannot get enough of old bay wings [Twitter]
  • @HalotiNgata92 defensive tackle for the Ravens joins #KYMCO for the start of Rally on the Rocks - Fins N Things. [Twitter]
  •'s Bucky Brooks praised Ozzie Newsome’s moves in the draft. "He rarely reaches for players, yet consistently lands top talents by displaying patience and savvy on draft day. The wizard knocked it out of the park again last week with the selections of Mosley, DT Timmy Jernigan and FS Terrence Brooks within the draft's first 80 picks," Brooks wrote. []
  • is counting down the top 100 plays of the 2014 season, and Tandon Doss' punt return for touchdowns against the Texans in Week 3 comes in at No. 83. []
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