Elam, Draft Pick's Deals May Look Like This …
The process of signing draft picks has become much easier.
Under the new collective bargaining agreement, the standardized rookie wage scale has alleviated negotiation headaches, decreased the number of holdouts and put limitations on signing bonuses. That leaves guaranteed money, workout bonuses and escalators as areas left to negotiate.
Over half of the NFL draft picks were signed by the middle of May last year, according to ESPN's Jamison Hensley. By contrast, only 58 players signed in the month of May from 2007 to 2011.
The Ravens got off to one the quickest starts this year, already signing six of their 10 draft picks last week.
Per The Baltimore Sun's Aaron Wilson, those deals looked like this: Kyle Juszczyk ($2.46 M, $300,584 bonus), Rick Wagner ($2.304 M, $144,560 bonus), Kapron Lewis-Moore ($2.248 M, $88,232 bonus), Ryan Jensen ($2.238 M, $78,680 bonus), Aaron Mellette ($2.205 M, $45,896 bonus) and Marc Anthony ($2.205 M, $45,896 bonus).
The Ravens have their top-four draft picks still to sign, but we can already project what those deals will look like based off what corresponding picks from the 2012 draft reportedly received.
Matt Elam, Arthur Brown, Brandon Williams and John Simon, you can expect your contracts to resemble these (only with a little bit more money because rookie salaries slightly increase each year):
No. 32: Safety Matt Elam
Corresponding 2012 pick: Giants running back David Wilson
Wilson's contract: Four years, $6.7 million ($5.4 million guaranteed, $3.3 million signing bonus)
No. 56: Linebacker Arthur Brown
Corresponding 2012 pick: Steelers offensive tackle Mike Adams
Adams' contract: Four years, $3.5 million ($1.4 million guaranteed, $1.01 million signing bonus)
No. 94: Defensive tackle Brandon Williams
Corresponding 2012 pick: Giants cornerback Jayron Hosley
Hosley's contract: Four years, $2.6 million ($515,000 guaranteed, $515,000 signing bonus)
No. 129: Outside linebacker John SimonCorresponding 2012 pick: Raiders outside linebacker Miles Burris
Burris' contract: Four years, $2.4 million ($300,584 signing bonus)
Thoughts On Ed Reed's Surgery
It's only been a little over a month since signing a $15 million deal with the Houston Texans, and Ed Reed has already undergone surgery that will force him to miss the rest of the offseason, including organized team actives and a three-day minicamp.
He had arthroscopic surgery less than two weeks ago to repair a labral tear in his hip, according to The Houston Chronicle, and should be fine for training camp.
The Ravens understand what that process is like. Reed underwent surgery in 2010 to repair a torn labrum and started that season on the physically unable to perform list. As such, he missed the first six games, but hasn't missed a game since.
Might the Texans be experiencing a case of buyer's remorse?
Nah, it's not considered a big deal. That said, the surgery may also indicate why Baltimore didn't offer more money to keep the 34-year-old veteran, says ProFootballTalk.com.
"If the prognosis is correct, it shouldn't be a huge issue for the Texans, who can use the reps to get rookie safety D.J. Swearinger ready for the season," wrote Darin Gantt.
"But it might also explain why the Ravens didn't seem eager to get into a bidding war for him, or bring him back at all."
Ravens Overrated In 'Top 100'?
Ravens fans have long complained about their team not getting enough respect from around the league and national media.
And once Baltimore finally does get some respect, the "overrated" card is being played.
NFL.com's Gregg Rosenthal says it is "ridiculous" to already see so many Ravens players in the NFL Network's "Top 100 Players of 2013," which is compiled from NFL active player voting.
Last year's Ravens to already make the list (only 81-100 has been revealed over two episodes): tight end Dennis Pitta (100), wide receivers Anquan Boldin (93) and Jacoby Jones (88) and safety Bernard Pollard (87).
"The first episode … indicated a possible Baltimore Ravens bias in the voting. The second episode confirms it," Rosenthal wrote. "We know that players get extra attention after winning the Super Bowl, but this is ridiculous."
Rosenthal specifically picked on Pollard, pointing to the Ravens releasing him – despite a reasonable salary – as proof that he isn't a top 100 player. The NFL blogger also thinks Jones was rated too high, and said Seattle Seahawks receiver Percy Harvin (90) should have been ahead of Jones.
"Perhaps the Ravens' inflation will end with this episode," Rosenthal wrote. "But at this rate, we're going to be crowning Jameel McClain as the No. 1 player of 2013."
ProFootballTalk.com suggested a new process for the Top 100 voting, which the league sends to all 32 teams and asks players to write down their top 20 players in the league, not top 100. The No. 1 player gets 20 points, No. 2 gets 19, etc. and the points are tallied to get the top 100. The voting period extended from late November to early April, with only 481 votes being turned in, or 28.3 percent of all active players.
"[F]or the list to be more credible in the future, the process needs to improve," wrote Mike Florio. "Preferably, the league would come up with a computer-based ballot that makes it easy — and fun — for players to drag and drop names into their own list of one through not 20 players but 100 players."
King: Spagnuolo Can Rehab Reputation In Good Spot
Steve Spagnuolo had a number of job opportunities to choose from throughout NFL.
But he chose to become the senior defensive assistant for the Baltimore Ravens.
SI.com's Peter King believes Spagnuolo chose right, saying he "gets to rehab his reputation in a good spot."
Becoming one of the hottest coaches in the league after leading the Giants' Super-Bowl-winning defense in 2007, Spagnuolo compiled a 10-38 record as the head coach of the Rams (2009-11) and his Saints defense ranked last in the NFL last year.
"Great decision by Spagnuolo to join the Ravens," King added. "He'll help them, and they'll help him."
Spagnuolo has coached the 4-3 defense in his 14 years in the NFL, and now he'll benefit from getting a good look at the 3-4 defense the Ravens run. Meanwhile, he's expected to help the Ravens' pass rush after famously thwarting Tom Brady in Super Bowl XLII, sacking him five times.
"His role will be amorphous: advising Pees and Harbaugh (who he's known for years; they were on Eagles' staffs together), and likely looking for ways to incorporate some pass-rush schemes into what the Ravens do," King wrote. "Remember: It was Spagnuolo's Giants' defense and ever-changing pass-rush that frustrated the Patriots and helped the Giants win the Super Bowl against the 18-0 Patriots five years ago. Good move for both sides."
Torrey Smith's description of his new tattoos in the picture to the right … @TorreySmithWR: Destruction to Serenity...money/crabs in a bucket...degree Lombardi!! [Twitter] * @OJBrigance: A huge thank you to the #Baltimore @Ravens @RavensCommunity & Coach Harbaugh 4 their support of the @BriganceBrigade [Twitter] * @JamesIhedigbo: Spent the Morning w/ @linganoresga High School Taking a Stand against Bullying ....Take Your Stand and pledge [Twitter] * "Nice way to debut," wrote King. "I'm betting safety Matt Elam and linebacker Arthur Brown each will play a good 70 percent of the defensive snaps in Baltimore's opener ... against Peyton Manning." [SI.com] * How will the Ravens do in trying to develop Ole Miss basketball standout Murphy Holloway? They've been successful before … @RavensInsider: Ravens once signed former college basketball player Joe Reitz and made him an offensive lineman. He's now a Colts starter [Twitter] * @untouchablejay4 (with purple Hulk pic): PERFECTION IS THE GOAL!!! and we're heading for the pylon! [Twitter] *