My take on latest happenings with Ravens

July, 7, 2014
Jul 7
7:30
AM ET
I'm officially back from my two-week break, and it looks like I didn't miss much on the Baltimore Ravens' beat. For the first time in a while, the offseason was a quiet time for the team.

The Ravens' first full-team training camp practice is July 24, so there are still 17 days until the team takes the field again. The Ravens blog will continue to count down to the start of camp with the 2014 player rankings.

Here is my take on the latest happenings with the Ravens ...

News: The Ravens traded linebacker Rolando McClain for a conditional late-round pick. If McClain plays 50 percent of the defensive snaps in 2014, the Ravens would trade their seventh-round pick in 2015 for the Cowboys' sixth-rounder. If that fails to happen, the teams would swap seventh-round picks in 2016 if McClain is on the 53-man roster for five games or 46-man roster for three games. It's contingent on the Cowboys' seventh-round pick being higher than the Ravens' one in that round.


My take: Don't count on the Ravens getting any compensation for McClain. In a span of one year with the Ravens, McClain retired twice and dogged his only workout with the team. His best chance for a comeback was with the Ravens because he had a strong supporter in general manager Ozzie Newsome. Why would anyone think it would end differently in Dallas?

News: The Ravens are discussing a contract extension with kicker Justin Tucker.


My take: I will discuss this more on the blog on Tuesday, but this would obviously be a win-win for both sides. Tucker won't be an unrestricted free agent until 2016 and deserves to be rewarded. The Ravens can gain long-term stability at the position, something they haven't had since the days of Matt Stover.

News: Ex-Ravens fullback Vonta Leach isn't planning to retire, even though he remains a free agent. He is hoping to sign with another team in training camp.


My take: Leach still can play in this league at age 32, but there are not a lot of teams looking for pure blocking fullback anymore. There's little chance of Leach returning to the Ravens. Kyle Juszczyk has generated buzz in offseason workouts with his versatility in Gary Kubiak's offense.

News: Lorenzo Taliaferro's court case has been continued to July 31. The rookie running back was arrested for misdemeanor destruction of property and being drunk in public in Williamsburg, Virginia.


My take: This is the last unresolved legal matter in what was a troublesome offseason for the Ravens, who had four players arrested. Taliaferro isn't expected to be disciplined by the NFL because this is his first off-the-field incident.

News: Joe Flacco was ranked No. 12 Insider in a list compiled by ESPN Insider Mike Sando.


My take: This is lower than where I would've ranked Flacco. I understand why he's at the bottom of the second tier of quarterbacks. Flacco is coming off his worst season in the NFL. It's surprising how quickly the evaluators on this poll forgot about Flacco's track record, especially in the postseason. Based on that, Flacco should rank higher than Matt Ryan and Russell Wilson.

Jamison Hensley

ESPN Ravens reporter

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