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In a change of heart, Ravens re-sign veteran DB Lardarius Webb

In a change of heart, Ravens re-sign veteran DB Lardarius Webb

BY TYLER BYRUM, @theTylerByrum

When free agency began this offseason, general manager Ozzie Newsome and the Baltimore Ravens made their goal clear: improve their defensive secondary. At first it appeared that Lardarius Webb was not going to be a factor for the team to achieve that goal, but even NFL teams can change their mind. 

Immediately the team signed safety Tony Jefferson when the free agency period began. Being the odd man out, the Ravens then waived the eight-year veteran Webb who had been with the team his entire tenure in the NFL.

But in a change of heart, just over a month following his release, Webb re-signed with the Ravens for a three-year deal, reportedly worth $10.5 million.

Drafted from by the Ravens in the third round back in 2009, the natural cornerback got moved to the team's full safety position after seven seasons at that position last year. Helping the defense rank No. 1 in the NFL in interceptions, Webb had one of his most productive seasons, stats-wise, and appeared to be adjusting to the position. In eight years, he has amassed 13 interceptions and 374 tackles for the team. 

The 31-year-old also has seen time on the special teams unit, returning both kick-offs and punts. Devin Hester though took over the return duties last year. 

Due to his age, and slight loss of speed, it appeared the team was comfortable letting him go back on March 10.

It would not at all be surprising if this was a move made to renegotiate Webb's contract that was expected to last at least two more seasons and take a cap-hit at $5.5 million this year. Although, normally that is a move made within a day or two of the player's release, not a month like the case for the Ravens. Fortunately for the team, he was not picked up by another team in free agency.

Since his release, the team has also brought in veteran Cowboys corner, Brandon Carr to go alongside Jimmy Smith. With a heavy defensive back roster in the 2017 NFL draft, this move all but eliminates an early round pickup at that position, but Newsome has made clear he can change his mind.

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Report: Ravens RB Kenneth Dixon out for the 2017 season

Report: Ravens RB Kenneth Dixon out for the 2017 season

According to Ian Rappoport, the Ravens will be without one of their most important players for the 2017-2018 season.

Running back Kenneth Dixon underwent surgery Tuesday for a torn meniscus. Dixon was expected to be out for a few weeks with a "trim", but it turned into a full repair that will require a four-to-five month recovery. The full repair is more beneficial for his long-term health. This is Dixon's third knee injury in 12 months. 

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Dixon was set to miss the first four games of the season for violating the leagues PED policy. In 2016, he had 382 rushing yards and averaged 4.3 yards per carry in 12 games.

Upon losing one of their top RB's, the Ravens are planning to bring back Bobby Rainey who was with the team in 2012 as an undrafted free agent. He will be an addition to Terrance West and Danny Woodhead who will be the teams' staple running backs. Also up for the job is Buck Allen, Lorenzo Taliaferro, and undrafted rookie Taquan Mizzell. 

Dixon is the third Raven to suffer a season-ending injury. Cornerback Tavon Young is out for the season after tearing his ACL and tight end Dennis Pitta was waived after suffering a hip injury.

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Ravens tight end suspended a year or more for violating substance abuse policy

Ravens tight end suspended a year or more for violating substance abuse policy

The NFL announced today that tight end Darren Waller of the Baltimore Ravens would be suspended for a year or longer for his second violation of the substance abuse policy.

Waller was a 2015 sixth-round pick out of Georgia Tech who served a four-game suspension to start the 2016 season for a substance abuse violation. After returning from his suspension last year, he posted 10 catches for 85 yards and two touchdowns in a limited role.

After his 2016 violation, he was quoted as saying [via Ravens.com]:

“There were other personal issues, and [marijuana] was the one thing I always turned to,” Waller said. “It was just about finding more positive outlets for me to do, like talking to people about it and things like that. I’m definitely at a better place with that now.”

Unfortunately for the Ravens, he will miss the 2017 season and potentially longer after the latest violation. It leaves the Ravens down two tight ends from last year after Dennis Pitta was released earlier this month after re-injuring his hip.

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