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Late For Work 3/30: Locker Room Video: Gregg Slams Jones

Plus Walker says re-signing Ngata will only leave enough cash for 1-2 other free agents.

Posted by Sarah Ellison on Wednesday, March 30th, 2011 at 9:25 am | Categories: Late For Work, Sarah Ellison

Locker Room Video: Gregg Slams Jones

Who would win in a wrestling match: Kelly Gregg or Art Jones?

The beauty of this question is that it’s not entirely a hypothetical. We at least know who could win the initial takedown with video proof … thanks to Ray Rice.

Even more, we have a dynamic and exciting color analyst calling the match straight from the Ravens locker room in Ray Lewis.

Before we get to the video, a little background on our contenders:

It’s a well-known fact that Gregg was the winner of three straight Oklahoma state heavyweight wrestling titles in high school (1993, 1994 and 1995). Gregg finished his high school wrestling career with a 58-match winning streak and a 23-0 season to capture his third state wrestling title. Oh, and let’s not forget he won four national freestyle championships.

Jones was no slouch in his day either.

Also a heavyweight wrestler in high school, Jones won the New York State championship in 2003 and 2005 and was the runner-up in 2004. According to Yahoo! Sports, Jones was ranked second in the nation after going undefeated as a senior and winning the state title. During this offseason, Jones has been keeping in shape by training with his younger brother and current UFC light heavyweight champion, Jon “Bones” Jones, in a mixed martial arts gym in Albuquerque, N.M.

With each having remarkable backgrounds to defend, the two 300-pound defensive tackles certainly came into the match with pride.

And now for the wrestling footage, which appears to have been filmed during the season at some point, but was posted on Rice’s Twitter account last night.

“Well Here it is people,” wrote Rice. “@Artj97 (Jones) getting slammed by Kelly Gregg.“ 


After Re-Signing Ngata, Little Room for Much Else

Before the official NFL lockout set in, Ravens brass designated the franchise tag to defensive tackle Haloti Ngata.

That means if the franchise tag continues to exist under the new CBA, Ngata will make the average of the top salaries at his position in 2011, which is reportedly worth $12.5 million.

Of course, the organization hopes to make Ngata “a Raven for life” and while a multi-year contract may not come in at $12.5 million a year, it won’t be cheap.

So when a fan named Matthew asked ESPN’s James Walker if the there is any chance the Ravens will try to improve their team via the free-agent market (whenever that may be), Walker tried to temper the expectations.

“Re-signing Haloti Ngata is the first priority in free agency,” wrote Walker. “He is going to eat up a lot of money and he deserves every penny. After that, I think Baltimore may seek another decent but not huge free agent or two.”

If that’s the case, the free agents and draft prospects the Ravens target this offseason will be crucial.

But as Matthew said, “In Ozzie We Trust.”

Here are two more questions and answers in Walker’s online chat:

Do the Ravens pick a QB in the draft, and who do you think they would be looking at?

The Ravens definitely aren’t looking for a QB,” wrote Walker. “They only carried two on the roster all last year. My hunch is Baltimore will find another veteran backup to Flacco before anything else. A rookie in the sixth or seventh round probably won’t help the team much this year.”

That may be true and makes sense. Still, the Baltimore Sun reports that with Marc Bulger expected to land a starting job somewhere else this offseason, the Ravens are doing their homework on quarterback prospects.

According to NFL.com, Ravens Offensive Assistant Craig Ver Steeg watched Iowa’s Ricky Stanzi at his pro day workout, where he improved on a mediocre performance at the NFL combine.

Stanzi, who is projected to be selected between the third and fourth rounds, hasn’t convinced analysts that he could be a starter in the league.

Does Le’Ron McClain return to the Ravens as it now seems [Willis] McGahee is on his way out?
 
I expect McClain to at least test the market and probably leave. He feels he should get more carries,” writes Walker. “He won’t get that in Baltimore.”

I would just add that if McGahee really isn’t in a Ravens uniform next season (which at this point is still an if), there is a scenario where McClain could become the No. 2 back. Under that set-up, McClain could get the carries he’s seeking in Baltimore.

Quick Hits

  • After a visit to the Ravens training facility in Owings Mills, Temple defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson said he’d like to return to Baltimore one day as a full-fledged member of the Ravens. [National Football Post]
  • Walker writes on a potential heir to Lewis: "Keep an eye on Oregon’s Casey Matthews. The Ravens are showing a lot of interest in him during this pre-draft process and want to see if he has what it takes to be a pupil to future Hall of Famer Lewis." [ESPN]
  • RayRice27: @LeRonMcClain33 you terrible in madden I will blow you out bro [Twitter]
  • NFLPA executive committee member and Ravens cornerback Domonique Foxworth on labor impasse: "[Players] get kind of dragged through the mud in this whole thing." [New York Daily News]
  • SI_PeterKing: Saturday to @richeisen on Total Access tonight: "I don’t think there’s a lot of veterans who would hold [attending the NFL draft] against that kid.”  … Which says it all to me. I think most kids who really want to be at Radio City now will go. Somewhere, Gil Brandt is smiling. [Twitter]
  • AdamSchefter: Some rules for upcoming CBA-less draft: Teams can trade 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 draft choices. … Once a player has been selected in the 2011 draft, his rights cannot be traded for another ’11 drafted player or an ’11 draft pick. [Twitter]
  • After setting aside union dues and royalties during recent seasons, each NFL player who contributed to a lockout fund will be able collect up to a total of about $60,000 beginning April 15. [Associated Press]
  • Top-15 draft prospect Jimmy Smith, a corner from Colorado, visited the Ravens’ training facility. So did Maryland receiver Torrey Smith and Iowa defensive lineman Christian Ballard. [Carroll County Times]

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