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Allow me to get out ahead of this before it spirals out of control with speculation.
A trade to the Ravens, or any NFL team, is “highly unlikely” because Scott’s $4.2 million base salary in 2012 is guaranteed. Any team that would trade for him would also be on the hook for the guaranteed money, unless he is willing to restructure his deal.
“There’s no chance Scott would get that much guaranteed money on the open market,” wrote PFT.com’s Gregg Rosenthal. “So there’s even less of a chance that a team will give up a draft pick in order to pay Scott.”
For the Jets, it makes little financial sense to just cut him, as they would still be on the hook for the $4.2 million and it would give Scott the chance to “double dip” by re-singing with another team and be paid from both the Jets and the said team.
Scott, who recently had a minor elbow scope, was routinely taken off the field on third downs last year because the Jets believed he struggled in pass coverage.
The Ravens helped put Scott on the NFL map after signing him as an undrafted free agent in 2002. He went on to become a regular starter the last four of his seven seasons in Baltimore.
Scott isn’t the same player he was in Baltimore, however.
WBAL’s Ken Wienman concurs: “Like all athletes, he isn’t the same guy he was five years ago. The Ravens need to get younger and faster at linebacker and Scott is neither of those things. Ozzie Newsome and company would be wise to look in a different direction.”
Agent: Grubbs Needs To ‘Explore All His Options’
If Ben Grubbs hits the open market, a bidding war for the highly regarded unrestricted free agent could ensue and drive up his price tag.
“The Ravens need to get Grubbs signed before March 13,” wrote CSNBaltimore.com’s John Eisenberg.
Based on agent Pat Dye’s comments yesterday, the likelihood of that happening appears low.
Head Coach John Harbaugh said at the combine that the Ravens offered Grubbs “a lot of money” in hopes that he would accept it before the free-agency bell rings. Dye would like to compare that number to other potential offers, but didn’t rule out accepting a deal.
“He loves it there and would welcome being back there, but anything that the Ravens present him, we would have to evaluate it in the context of what the market might bear to him,” the agent said. “Is that to say something might not happen before free agency starts? No, that’s not to say that at all. I would expect that we would be talking in the near future, but I don’t think a [deal] is imminent at this point. …
“They expressed a very strong interest in having him back,” he said. “They gave us some definitive parameters that would reflect that they have a very strong interest.”
The Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec says the Ravens “couldn’t survive” a bidding war for Grubbs because of their limited amount of cap space.
He notes that if a deal can’t be reached, the Ravens would be “set up well” for the rest of the offseason and could then offer other key free agents – like Jameel McClain and Jarret Johnson – more incentive to return.
Hensley argues that the situation with Rice is different from that of Terrell Suggs, Haloti Ngata and Chris McAlister, who all reached long-term deals after receiving the tag.
He says running backs are riskier long-term investments, especially after seeing Adrian Peterson tear his ACL and MCL three months after signing his contract and Chris Johnson turn in the worst season of his career after getting a new deal.
“I’m not saying the Ravens shouldn’t give a long-term deal to Rice. He’s never had any major injuries since he joined the Ravens, and his work ethic suggests his production won’t decline after getting his money,” wrote Hensley. “The Ravens just have to consider the costs involved.
“Rice likely won’t sign a multi-year deal that includes less than $30 million guaranteed (that’s what Johnson received). If the Ravens use the franchise tag for two years, it would cost them about $17 million.”
Pittsburgh And Baltimore Hugging
Steelers receiver Hines Ward reported on the Oscars for the Rich Eisen Podcast.
While there, he met actress and former Ravens cheerleader Stacy Keibler and her boyfriend George Clooney on the red carpet.
Ward and Keibler apparently had a momentary lapse of judgment as they greeted one another with an on-camera hug.
The NFL will kick off its season on Wednesday, Sept. 5 instead of the traditional Thursday night to avoid a conflict with a scheduled speech by President Barack Obama on Sept. 6 at the Democratic National Convention. [ESPN]