To the Ravens news…
Weddle will meet with incoming General Manager Eric DeCosta on Tuesday to talk about his future. On Monday, Weddle made it clear to reporters where he stands.
“If [DeCosta] wants me back, I’m here. If not, then it’s all good,” Weddle said. “I understand it, and I’ll just ride off into the sunset.”
Yes, ride off into the sunset means he would retire after 12 NFL seasons. And if he comes back, 2019 would be his final year. His contract is set to expire after next season.
“If they want to go in a different direction, I’m not going to play for another team. That’s not where I’m at in my career,” Weddle said. “So it’s either play my last year here and that’ll be it and enjoy it, or this has been it. It’s pretty simple. I’m a simple kind of guy.”
In taking over for Flacco at midseason, Jackson helped turn a 4-5 team into a playoff one. He led the Ravens to their first AFC North title in six seasons by winning six of seven starts.
As players cleared out their lockers Monday, cornerback Marlon Humphrey said he prefers to play on the road because fans boo you whether you’re playing well or poorly. “It’s definitely different when you’re getting booed in your own stadium in a playoff game after the week before when it was electric,” Humphrey said. “All year, you hear something about Joe, ‘Oh, boo, take Joe out.’ Then, yesterday, it seemed like you were hearing Joe chants. It’s pretty interesting to me how the narrative switched pretty quickly.”
Backup quarterback Robert Griffin III can relate to Jackson because he’s been in a similar situation where he’s heard backlash from fans. But Griffin said it’s hard to be critical of them because they ultimately wants players to do better.
The first issue is the head coach, which couldn’t be more convoluted. According to the team, they want John Harbaugh back long term. According to John Harbaugh, he wants to be back long term. But there’s no agreement between the parties as of right now. The unknown is again the issue. When Harbaugh says he’s going to be here “as long as they want me here,” I can’t fathom he’s saying “at any cost.”
Why it’s attractive: On paper, the Jaguars are one of the best teams in the NFL, and the front office is legit with Shad Khan running a no-nonsense show alongside top football guy Tom Coughlin.
Potential turn-offs: The window might be closing, and they aren’t expected to have any cap wiggle room this offseason. The Jaguars would probably have to overextend themselves to pay a big-name veteran quarterback with Bortles’ dead money still collecting dust.
Flacco or Foles?: Flacco might be more willing to take a pay cut in pursuit of another championship. After all, the man has made $148 million in his career.
You could argue no team in the NFL has more invested in their secondary with first-round picks at both starting corner positions and high-priced free agents at both safety positions as well as their nickel corner. That may also be the reason why their defense was so dominant in 2018. Marlon Humphrey was the highest graded of the bunch as he came on strong in year two. Humphrey allowed a catch rate of only 52.5% and only 464 yards on the season.
22. Baltimore Ravens
Kelvin Harmon, WR, N.C. State
I do understand why the Ravens chose to not pass as much as they did down the stretch this season. They were making life as easy as they could for rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson, and that meant allowing him to win where he most comfortably does: running the ball.
But Jackson will need to progress as a passer to stick around in the NFL, and to make things easier on the punishment his body might take, too. For that, he’ll need a go-to wide receiver that will be there as long as he is.
That is Kelvin Harmon.