Ravens Still Interested? Anquan Boldin Visiting Undisclosed Team
The time for Anquan Boldin to decide is approaching.
The former Ravens receiver has been consistent in saying he doesn't want to sign with a team until the start of training camp. And, well, some NFL players will report to training camp as early as this week, so get ready for the Boldin bidding to begin.
The 36-year-old free agent has had "conversations with a number of teams" about potentially signing, and even has one visit scheduled for Sunday with an undisclosed team, according to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel's Omar Kelly.
In March, Head Coach John Harbaugh expressed interest in bringing back his Super Bowl XLVII receiver, saying that Boldin can still play at a "high level."
It's nearly four months later. Are the Ravens still interested?
Well, since that statement was made, the Ravens bolstered Joe Flacco's arsenal by signing Jeremy Maclin, 29, after he was unexpectedly cut by the Kansas City Chiefs last month. Then, Owner Steve Bisciotti indicated the Ravens would use any remaining capital on an offensive lineman instead of another wideout.
Additionally, the team wants to give 2015 first-round pick Breshad Perriman the opportunity to break out this season, and targets would be harder to come by with Maclin, Mike Wallace AND Boldin on the roster.
We don't know where Boldin would like to play, but if he wanted a Baltimore reunion, it sure would be tough to pass up a receiver of his caliber. That said, his return seems like a less likely scenario than it did in March. Much has changed since then.
You Might Be Surprised by Ravens Players' Placements in NFL All-Time Draft
We've seen mock drafts before, but not quite like this. And I like this one a lot.
The folks at The MMQB, led by Peter King, got 12 men to be roster architects during an NFL All-Time Draft. These aren't just any 12 men. They have legit pro football pedigrees. They are former GMs, former players, a Hall of Fame quarterback and some of the most respected journalists in the country.
They chose from 23,000 men who have played in the NFL, AFL and All-America Football Conference to build rosters that were required to field an 11-man offense, 11-man defense, a kicker, punter and wild-card player – either a special-teamer or another favorite of the draft.
The final drafted teams are pretty cool to imagine. For example, imagine Ray Lewis, Lenny Moore, John Elway and Art Donovan all playing on the same team. That's what happened when Ernie Accorsi, who was the Baltimore Colts GM in 1982-83, made his selections. Of course, Accorsi also drafted Elway in real life, but this time, the quarterback wasn't traded away to the Denver Broncos against his wishes.
You can take a look at the full mock draft here, but I've highlighted Ravens players below, and I thought there were a few surprises:
- No. 29: S Ed Reed (Baltimore Ravens, 2002–12; Houston Texans, 2013; New York Jets, 2013)
- No. 36: LB Ray Lewis (Baltimore Ravens, 1996–2012)
- No. 38: CB Deion Sanders (Atlanta Falcons, 1989–93; San Francisco 49ers, 1994; Dallas Cowboys, 1995–99; Washington Redskins, 2000; Baltimore Ravens, 2004–5)
- No. 66: T Jonathan Ogden (Baltimore Ravens, 1996–2007)
- No. 173: WR/KR Devin Hester (Chicago Bears, 2006–13; Atlanta Falcons, 2014–15; Baltimore Ravens, 2016; Seattle Seahawks, 2016)
- No. 229: TE Shannon Sharpe (Denver Broncos, 1990–99, 2002–3; Baltimore Ravens, 2000–1)
- No. 270: K Justin Tucker (Baltimore Ravens, 2012–Present)
- No. 277: K Matt Stover (Cleveland Browns, 1991–95; Baltimore Ravens, 1996–2008;
Indianapolis Colts, 2009)
A couple of notes … I thought Lewis would be the Ravens' highest pick, but Reed grabbed the top spot. Either way, the two potential future Hall of Famers were gobbled up quickly. In the head-to-head battle of Ravens kickers, Tucker's strong leg got the nod ahead of Stover's longevity in the league.
I didn't list the Baltimore Colts players, but it's worth noting that Johnny Unitas was the third-overall pick and first quarterback off the board, ahead of Tom Brady (No. 9), Otto Graham (No. 10), Joe Montana (No. 11), Elway (No. 12) and Roger Staubach (No. 13).
Le'Veon Bell, Kirk Cousins Will Play on Franchise Tag
Don't expect folks in Baltimore to complain about running back Le'Veon Bell playing on the $12.1 million franchise tag this year. That's because Bell wreaks havoc in the AFC North, and his tag means the Pittsburgh Steelers Pro Bowler isn't locked into the division long-term. Not yet, anyway.
The two sides could try to reach a deal again next offseason, but for now, Bell is only guaranteed to be in Pittsburgh for one more year. Good thing the Ravens brought back run-stopper Brandon Williams.
What was Bell's reaction to the news?
Also, as expected, our beltway neighbors and quarterback Kirk Cousins failed to reach a long-term deal. As a result, the Washington Redskins will now pay Cousins the $23.9 million franchise tag after he made* *$19.9 million under the tag last season.
Redskins President Bruce Allen issued a statement for why he thinks negotiations didn't lead to a multi-year contract.
- Bo Smolka looks at five storylines heading into training camp, including whether the Ravens can rediscover their running game. "The Ravens have vowed that they will recommit to the run and hired Greg Roman, an architect of top-five rushing offenses in Buffalo and San Francisco. Roman, technically the senior offensive assistant/tight ends coach, said the Ravens will 'refocus, retool and come up with a plan' to boost a running game that ranked 28th in rushing (91.4 yards per game) and 21st in rushing yards per play (3.99)," Smolka wrote. [Press Box]