With another day of Ravens training camp in the books, the Ravens have a lot to think about going into tomorrow’s practice. The past couple of days has been no short of news for Baltimore. The Ravens are only at the second day of training camp and have made headlines across the NFL both days. It started with players getting injured and now has moved into players retiring and speculation on players joining. Here are the top headlines coming out of day two of Ravens training camp.
Ravens Offensive Lineman John Urschel Retires
Today, the Baltimore Ravens announced that Ravens offensive guard/center John Urschel was retiring. Besides being a football player, Urschel is a mathematician and a Ph.D. candidate at MIT. His retirement comes just days after the latest chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) study on former NFL players. CTE is a degenerative brain disease, found mostly in patients with repeated blows to the head. Of the 111 deceased former NFL players examined, 110 brains had traces of CTE. Whether or not this had any influence in Urschel’s decision remains unknown, but one can speculate.
Urschel was set to battle Ryan Jensen for the center position. His retirement now gives the Ravens two options. They can either sit tight with Jensen, and basically hand him the job, or they can bring in a new player to compete for the spot. If the Ravens want to add a free agent to the mix, the best player to add would be former Jets center, Nick Mangold. Mangold had visited the team earlier in the offseason, but no deal was worked out. It would not be surprising if the Ravens go after Mangold at this point. However, Mangold may not be interested in Baltimore. The Ravens should be comfortable moving forward with Ryan Jensen for now, in the event that they can’t find another center.
Ravens Express interest in Colin Kaepernick
Here we go… Today’s article was supposed to include a segment about Colin Kaepernick. However, I was going to argue that the Ravens had no need for him and would not sign him. If you’re unaware of the situation that would lead to interest in Kaepernick, here’s the run down. Yesterday, after the first day of Ravens training camp, it was discovered that quarterback Joe Flacco was experiencing soreness in his back. Reports started circulating that Flacco could be out from 1-6 weeks. Almost instantly, thoughts started shifting towards Kaepernick, who has ties to both John Harbaugh and offensive assistant Greg Roman. I personally didn’t think the Ravens would be interested in Kaepernick. They currently have backup Ryan Mallet, who has proved to be a capable backup. Kaepernick’s play has also fallen off in recent years. Needless to say, he has also become very controversial.
However, the Ravens have apparently been talking to Kaepernick throughout the offseason. Harbaugh is interested in bringing in the former 49ers quarterback who played for his brother, Jim Harbaugh. Harbaugh basically said during a press conference today, that it all depended on what Kaepernick wanted to do. If Baltimore does sign Kaepernick, he would be much more than a camp arm. He would instantly become the backup quarterback, and the Ravens would probably split ways with Ryan Mallet. Personally, I don’t think Kaepernick needs to be added to the roster. The situation with Joe Flacco has been confirmed as a slight disc issue. He will only miss one week of training camp as a precaution, after injuring his back lifting. The Ravens don’t have a ton of money to spend, and they may want to use it for other more important positions that may open up.