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Late For Work 2/2: Ravens Lose Two Coaches To Pagano, Colts

Salary cap casualties? B.A. not offering discount, chances of signing Rice before F.A.

Posted by Sarah Ellison on Thursday, February 2nd, 2012 at 9:14 am | Categories: Late For Work, Sarah Ellison

Ravens Lose Two Coaches To Pagano, Colts

As expected, the Ravens have lost coaching assistants to Chuck Pagano, the former Ravens defensive coordinator turned Colts head coach.

Marwan Maalouf and Roy Anderson were hired to be Pagano’s special teams coach and safeties coach, respectively. The additions to the Colts’ staff were first reported by Alex Marvez of FoxSports.com.

Maalouf spent four seasons working under Jerry Rosburg as the assistant special teams coach. Anderson started with the Ravens in 2005 and became a defensive assistant under Pagano in April 2009.

Some had speculated that Defensive Line Coach Clarence Brooks would also head to Indy, but he is staying in Baltimore, reports Ravens Insider Aaron Wilson.

The Ravens have also reportedly filled their linebackers coaching vacancy that was made available when Dean Pees was promoted to defensive coordinator. According to the Denver Post, the Ravens hired Don “Wink” Martindale, the Broncos’ defensive coordinator in 2010, to fill the spot.

“Wink taught me a lot about how to play linebacker and it showed with the year I had (in 2009, leading the NFL with 17 sacks),” Broncos defensive end Elvis Dumervil told the Post. “He’s a smart coach, a down-to-earth guy, great players coach. The Ravens just hired a great coach. He’s going to be a D-coordinator again someday.”

Salary Cap Casualties?

One of the most repeated questions asked at yesterday’s season-review press conference was if the Ravens will offer new deals to three key players on offense: quarterback Joe Flacco, running back Ray Rice and guard Ben Grubbs.

All three could “easily” be enticed to stay in Baltimore, said General Manager Ozzie Newsome, but not without major cuts elsewhere.

“Who would we let go to keep those three guys?” asked Newsome. “Because if we decide to let four or five players go, waive them, terminate them, then we could keep those three very easily. But, the key is balancing – keeping the good players that we’ve got and trying to re-sign those guys.”

That balancing act is a delicate one, but the Wizard of Oz has succeeded in making tough decision in the past. In fact, he said one of the things he was “most proud of” from the 2011 season was that the numbers on offense didn’t dip after he decided to release tight end Todd Heap, receiver Derrick Mason, running back Willis McGahee and guard/center Chris Chester.

Newsome didn’t name any specific players he would consider letting go this offseason in order to keep Grubbs.

CSNBaltimore.com’s John Eisenberg and The Baltimore Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec  have neither the vision nor the delicate touch of Newsome, but they speculated which players currently under contract could potentially become salary cap casualties in 2012.

Both writers believe receiver Lee Evans, and cornerbacks Domonique Foxworth and Chris Carr could be options. A little more surprising name that Eisenberg added to the list was running back Ricky Williams.

Foxworth is reportedly due $7 million in 2012, but has played just two games in the last two years because of a knee injury. “With a new generation of cornerbacks (Lardarius Webb, Cary Williams, Jimmy Smith) developing ahead of him, Foxworth is almost certain to go,” wrote Eisenberg.

The same logic was used for Carr, who is reportedly due over $4 million in 2012.

Evans caught just four passes during an injury-plagued season after coming to Baltimore in a trade with Buffalo. Eisenberg adds, “His track record suggests he’ll bounce back, but he won’t start because of Torrey Smith’s emergence, and he’s due almost $5 million.”

Both the Ravens and Williams were very happy with their partnership in 2011. With Williams on the roster, Rice had the most productive year of his career. Williams has already said he is ready to return to Baltimore for the final year of his contract.

That’s why it was a little surprising to see Williams on Eisenberg’s list for potential releases, but the columnist says it is at least worth asking the question.

“He filled his backup role precisely as the Ravens wanted, but he is due to make almost $3 million in 2012,” wrote Eisenberg. “The Ravens will ask themselves if they can generate his production at a cheaper price.”

Ayanbadejo Not Offering Discount

Special teams ace Brendon Ayanbadejo set to become an unrestricted free agent in March, would like to come back to Baltimore next season, but not at any cost.

“I hope I stay in baltimore,” the Ravens linebacker tweeted last night. “No discounts but then again it ain’t gonna take a lot either. Just wanna be treated fairly.”

Asked specifically if he would take less money from the Ravens if another team offers more, Ayanbadejo simply replied, “Nah.”

Ayanbadejo has been a key veteran on the special teams unit and was increasingly used in pass coverage on defense. He finished the season with 35 tackles, 1.5 sacks, two pass deflections and nine special teams tackles.

Chances Of Signing Rice To New Deal Before Free Agency

Newsome said yesterday that the Ravens would prefer to sign Rice to a new deal instead of assigning the franchise tag. But what are the chances of that happening before free agency begins?

Based on recent history, the likelihood of a new contract before March 5 is low, says ESPN’s Jamison Hensley.

“Baltimore doesn’t have a great history when it comes to signing players before free agency begins,” the blogger wrote. “That’s why the likely scenario is the Ravens using the tag on Rice to keep him off the free-agent market.”

Hensley points out that the Ravens have used the tag five times in the past nine seasons and three times in the last four. Thus, the Ravens wouldn’t “blink” to put the estimated $8 million tag on Rice.

But that tag could just be a temporary tool to reach a long-term deal that both sides are happy with.

“To Rice’s credit, he has never threatened to hold out in training camp,” wrote Hensley. “He never made his contract an issue during the season. And to the Ravens’ credit, the team has always used the tag to keep the player and work out a long-term deal. It happened to the last three players they used the tag on: [Haloti] Ngata, linebacker Terrell Suggs and cornerback Chris McAlister.”

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