Ravens Players Point Out Disrespect and Myths of NFL Top 100 Players List
The NFL Network concluded its Top 100 Players list last night, and some Ravens players weren't very happy with the final results.
Only one Raven cracked the list, barely. It was three-time Pro Bowl linebacker C.J. Mosley, and he was No. 98. Safety Tony Jefferson took the most umbrage, pointing out that outside linebacker Terrell Suggs and fellow safety Eric Weddle both played all 16 games and were voted to the Pro Bowl, yet didn't crack the Top 100.
A 16-year veteran, Suggs received his seventh career Pro Bowl invite last season after producing a team-high 11 sacks. His 2017 campaign marked Suggs' seventh year registering double-digit sack totals, while also adding 49 tackles, four forced fumbles (all strip-sacks) and four passes defensed.
Meanwhile, Weddle went to his fifth Pro Bowl after notching the third-most interceptions in the league with six, including a 45-yard touchdown return. He helped lead the Ravens defense to a No. 1 standing in the league in both turnovers forced (34) and interceptions (22). Weddle added 63 tackles, eight passes defensed and two forced fumbles.
Rankings are often branded as irrelevant and meaningless, but what sets the NFL Network's list apart is that it's supposed to be voted on by the players instead of media. However, Weddle and former Ravens linebacker Zachary Orr dispute that claim.
It's rare to have only one player make the Top 100, as the Ravens, Miami Dolphins (Cameron Wake, No. 74) and Washington Redskins (Trent Williams, No. 57) are the only three teams to have a single representative. There are four teams that had zero. The Los Angeles Rams and Minnesota Vikings led all teams with seven players each on the list.
Where Are They Now? A Look at Where Ravens Free Agents Have Landed
While the Ravens have been busy building their 90-man roster this offseason, they also said goodbye to some former players.
The Baltimore Sun looked at 15 Ravens free agents and where they've landed since leaving. Some have found new homes, while others are still looking for work.
OL Luke Bowanko: Signed one-year deal with New England Patriots in April; played in 16 games for Baltimore last year after the team traded for him at the start of the season
CB Brandon Boykin: Unsigned; spent last season on injured reserve
WR Michael Campanaro: Signed one-year deal with Tennessee Titans in April; played in 24 games over four seasons after being drafted by the Ravens in the seventh round of 2014
TE/OL Crockett Gillmore: Unsigned; spent last season on injured reserve
OT Austin Howard: Signed one-year deal with Indianapolis Colts in May (about two months after Baltimore declined his contract option); started all 16 games for the Ravens in 2017
OL James Hurst: Re-signed to four-year contract with Ravens in March; coming off his best season after starting 16 games at left tackle
C Ryan Jensen: Signed record-breaking four-year contract reportedly worth $42 million with Tampa Bay Buccaneers in March; started all 16 games for the Ravens last season after developing for years behind the scenes as a 2013 sixth-round pick
LB Steve Johnson: Unsigned; played 10 games last year
WR Jeremy Maclin: Unsigned; released by Ravens in March after signing him last offseason to a two-year deal; caught just 40 passes last year
QB Ryan Mallett: Unsigned; backed up Joe Flacco for three seasons, appearing in eight games
DE Brent Urban: Re-signed to one-year deal with the Ravens in March; spent last season on injured reserve
WR Mike Wallace: Signed one-year contract with Philadelphia Eagles in March; led Ravens in receiving yards the last two seasons after signing as a free agent in 2016
TE Benjamin Watson: Signed one-year deal with New Orleans Saints in March; led Ravens in receptions in 2017 after returning from an Achilles injury
S Lardarius Webb: Unsigned; released in March after being a regular piece of the Ravens defense since being a 2009 third-round draft pick
RB Terrance West: Signed one-year deal with New Orleans Saints last week; appeared in five games for the Ravens last season because of a calf injury and the emergence of Alex Collins
Which Ravens Free-Agent Receiver Will Have the Biggest Impact?
As part of Baltimore's rebuilding process at the wide receiver position, the team made three key free-agent signings with Michael Crabtree, John "Smokey" Brown and Willie Snead IV.
Evan Mazza at Baltimore Beatdown asked fans which of the three will have the biggest impact this season.
"From reports coming out of OTAs and minicamp, all three are forming good chemistry with Flacco, but Crabtree is hoping to be the number one threat," Mazza wrote.
"While Crabtree aims to be Flacco's go-to-guy, Snead provides his value out of the slot and on third down. … After the Ravens' decision to move on from Wallace, Baltimore took a chance on Brown to add the speed capable of taking the top off the defense."
If all remain healthy this season, my prediction is Crabtree will lead the group in touchdowns, Snead will notch the most receptions and Brown will compete for the most receiving yards.