Late For Work 2/28: McClain’s Tender Implies Strong Feelings

Plus, Rex Ryan pays tribute to Ozzie, big day for two former Terps and NFLPA to decertify.

Posted by Sarah Ellison on Monday, February 28th, 2011 at 9:14 am | Categories: Late For Work, Sarah Ellison

McClain’s Tender Implies Strong Feelings

The Ravens have used a trio of players to fulfill the linebacker duties next to 15-year veteran Ray Lewis.

Jameel McClain, Dannell Ellerbe and Tavares Gooden have all gotten their chance to make a full-time bid at the position, and based off reported tenders issued to each player, there may be a leading long-term solution.

According to National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson, the Ravens issued a second-round restricted tender to McClain. Last year, the second-round tender was worth $1.759 million.

“It’s a strong statement about how the Ravens feel about the former undrafted free agent from Syracuse,” wrote Wilson.

How so?

Well, the Baltimore Sun’s Jamison Hensley explains the tender “essentially guarantees” McClain will stay in Baltimore next season. As an undrafted free agent, a low tender wouldn’t have given the Ravens compensation if another team signed him.

Ellerbe, also an undrafted rookie, was reportedly issued a low tender last week, which means Baltimore would not receive compensation if he was picked up by another team.

Gooden was reportedly issued a low tender, but as a third-round pick out of the University of Miami in 2008, the Ravens would be awarded a third-round pick as compensation if they lost him to another team.

McClain got the most starts of any of the three linebackers last season with 15. He finished third on the defense with 91 tackles and added a sack and forced fumble.

Rex Ryan Pays Tribute to Ozzie

Jets Head Coach Rex Ryan gave Ravens General Manager Ozzie Newsome a little love this weekend while attending player workouts at Lucas Oil Stadium during the NFL Scouting Combine.’s Ben Liebenberg was able to snap this shot of Ryan sporting a retro Browns No. 82 jersey, paying tribute to Newsome’s Hall of Famer career as a tight end in Cleveland.

Of course Ryan and Newsome know each other well. The two worked together in Baltimore when Ryan coached the defense from 1999 through 2008.

Before becoming one of the league’s top G.M.’s, Newsome is credited for helping transform the tight end position.  The three-time Pro Bowler authored the most productive career for a tight end in the history of the game. His 662 receptions for 7,980 yards and 47 touchdowns remained NFL records by a tight end until Shannon Sharpe surpassed those marks in 2001.

Or was Ryan paying tribute to Newsome’s combine scouting prowess?

Big Day For Two Former Terrapins

Two Maryland Terrapins had standout performances at the combine, turning in some of the fastest times [ADD s] at this year’s event.

The two caught Ravens Director of Player Personnel Eric DeCosta’s eye.

“Big day for Terps football,” wrote DeCosta via Twitter. “Torrey Smith and Da’Rell Scott both blaze the 40.”

Scott, who ran the best 40-yard dash for a running back (4.34 seconds), beat out Auburn’s Mario Fannin (4.38).

Meanwhile, Smith posted the fourth-best time among receivers (4.43) despite reportedly having abdominal pain. Smith has been linked to the Ravens in several mock drafts.

Smith’s best run fell short of former Maryland receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey (4.30) from two years ago.

“I’m pretty sure the NFL is fast, but I can run well,” Smith told reporters. “My speed will definitely be one of my strengths as I head to the next level.”

Union Plans To Decertify Thursday

Unless there is somehow a last-minute agreement with the league, the NFL Players Association plans to decertify by Thursday, reports ESPN.

Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter say that an agreement is not expected, which is why the union is taking steps to prevent owners from locking out players starting March 4.

The NFLPA already obtained unanimous approval from players across the league to decertify. The union’s executive committee recently confirmed that NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith is empowered to take this action.

The two parties are scheduled to meet one more time on Tuesday with federal mediator George Cohen. But Cohen explained last week that significant differences still remain between the two sides.

“NFLPA officials and players believe that this could be the only hope to have a full NFL season next year,” wrote Schefter and Mortensen.

Ravens Fan Gets Seats For Life

She’s never attended a Ravens game before, ever.

Actually, she’s never attended a football game either at the pro, college or high school level.

Now, Maryland’s Dawn Brink will have the option to personally witness the Ravens play each season for the next 20 years of her life.

Brink was the lucky winner of the Maryland Lottery’s Ravens Cash Fantasy Season Tickets for Life. The prize includes two club level seats and a parking pass to every Ravens home game.

“I’m still in shock,” Brink told WBAL News in the You Tube video below. Check out her press conference.

Quick Hits

  • James Walker wrapped up his AFC North Fab 40 this weekend. The Ravens had the second-most players in the list (10) behind the Pittsburgh Steelers (16). The highest-ranked Raven was safety Ed Reed at No. 3, followed by defensive tackle Haloti Ngata at No.4 and defensive end/linebacker Terrell Suggs at No. 6. Walker also had a snubs list which included tight end Todd Heap, tackle Jared Gaither, fullback Le’Ron McClain and linebacker Jarret Johnson. [ESPN]
  • Matt Vensel issued his five biggest draft busts in Ravens history. From No. 5 to No. 1: WR Patrick Johnson (1998), CB DeRon Jenkins (1996), WR Travis Taylor (2000), LB Dan Cody (2005) and QB Kyle Boller (2003). [The Baltimore Sun]
  • Head Coach John Harbaugh told Sports with Coleman that he isn’t interested in embracing social media, whether it be Facebook or Twitter. [Fox Sports Radio 1370 AM]
  • A wide receiver patterns his game after Ray Lewis? Alabama’s Julio Jones admires Lewis’ physicality, and says he’s not scared to hit defensive players. [The Baltimore Sun]
  • RapSheet (Boston Herald Beat Reporter): Maryland WR Torrey Smith is playing in pain. Yes, at the Combine. Has some sort of abdominal pull… [Twitter]
  • TorreySmithWR: im dead tired [Twitter]
  • duffstar: DeCosta tweet: “Combine birthday shoutout to super scout George Kokinis, who is forced to celebrate by watching RBs hop over cones.” [Twitter]
  • Would the Ravens draft a receiver in the first round? John Eisenberg and Wes Bunting review some of the prospects that could help the team. []

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