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In light of Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh’s adamant stance that the team will do everything possible to hold onto star middle linebacker Ray Lewis, the New York Jets are expected to take a long look at a few of his defensive teammates, the Newark Star-Ledger reports.
The Jets are in need of a versatile inside linebacker to play next to David Harris since starter Eric Barton is a free agent, and hard-hitting Ravens linebacker Bart Scott could fit the bill as Barton’s potential replacement.
Scott, 28, finished second on the Ravens in tackles behind Lewis and is expected to be in demand as an unrestricted free agent. Scott led all NFL inside linebackers with 9 1/2 sacks in 2006, but was used primarily as a run-stopper and in pass coverage the past two seasons.
Harbaugh has also said the team wants to keep Scott. Plus, the team is expected to either sign Pro Bowl outside linebacker Terrell Suggs to a blockbuster long-term contract or use the franchise tag on him again.
Another player on the radar of former Ravens defensive coordinator Rex Ryan, the new Jets’ head coach, could be underrated, undersized Baltimore strong safety Jim Leonhard.
According to Star-Ledger beat writer Dave Hutchinson, the Jets have been looking for someone to play next to standout safety Kerry Rhodes for several years and are expected to pursue Leonhard.
Leonhard excelled after taking over for an injured Dawan Landry (spinal cord concussion), fitting in with the NFL’s second-ranked defense and stepping in as a punt returner throughout the season. 

Permalink 22 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Baltimore Ravens, New York Jets, Rumor Mill, Top Stories
  1. BuckFutter says: Feb 10, 2009 1:49 PM

    Have any defensive players left the Ravens, and performed at the same high level with their new team?
    I’m honestly curious, because I can’t think of any. Even Adalius Thomas’ production slipped when he left.

  2. drunkmonkey says: Feb 10, 2009 2:10 PM

    That’s pretty much true of the Ravens defensive players, however, if they go to the Jets it won’t be the same since they aren’t leaving the system. Just going to a new place and doing the same thing again.

  3. says: Feb 10, 2009 2:19 PM

    Bart Scott or Jim Leonhard would probably be my two guesses. Who knows though?

  4. momar3000 says: Feb 10, 2009 2:26 PM

    AD played pretty well for NE. He probably has played the best of any former Raven.
    James Harrison ( But I dont think that counts as he never started for the Ravens)

  5. debo says: Feb 10, 2009 2:30 PM

    All the money the Jets (suck BTW) paid out last season. Where’s the cap space?

  6. finsbooyah says: Feb 10, 2009 2:30 PM

    How can they afford any of this????

  7. superius says: Feb 10, 2009 2:40 PM

    Thomas has not been as good for the Pats as hoped.
    As for all these Ravens that the Jets are going after…how? Are they planning to field a full roster or just starters?

  8. baltiblingbling says: Feb 10, 2009 3:04 PM

    As a ravens fan this site is getting more and more depressing everyday. We do have a good amount of cap space though unlike the jets. I hope leonhard gets paid wherever he goes fun to watch a “normal” sized player make it in todays league. What no one is talking about thoug his all the players the ravens are getting back from injury next year on defense. DT Kelly Gregg, Dwan Landry, Chris McAlister (if he’s not cut), and Ed will be back at 100% for first time in a while which is scary. The ravens D will be top three again next year no matter which combination of their backers are re signed.

  9. Pea Tear Griffin says: Feb 10, 2009 3:09 PM

    Ha! Could you imagine Bart Scott and Joey Porter twice a year!! Please do it!

  10. PFTiswhatitis says: Feb 10, 2009 3:10 PM

    …and the Jests will pay him how?
    …and he would do a deal with the Jests over the Pats why?

  11. dlmcc0202 says: Feb 10, 2009 3:13 PM

    The Jets have no cap room to sign anyone of significance. If there is a team in the league thats capped out,its the Jets after last years spending spree. They have to shed payroll and thats why they will let Eric Barton walk. They can’t replace him with Bart Scott who would demand a good amount more than Barton. They certainly can’t afford Ray Lewis. The Jets should have cooled off on the big spending offseason last year if they knew guys like Ray Lewis would be available this year

  12. RobJH says: Feb 10, 2009 3:14 PM

    The Jets are currently $15 mil OVER the cap. Even if Favre leaves, they’ll be something like $3 mil over. So how in the hell are they expected to sign ANY high-profile FAs?

  13. Zerfas says: Feb 10, 2009 3:15 PM

    As others have said, the Jets do not have the money to go after any of the Ravens linebackers. This is the price they are paying for spending last year like their name was Dan Snyder. And another comment that people seem to be missing: if Favre retires/and frees up cap space, who plays quarterback? Kellen Clemens? Have fun Jets fans.

  14. Unsterblich856 says: Feb 10, 2009 3:21 PM

    Don’t the Jets have other things to worry about? Like being $10mil over the cap? Hell, even if they do release Brett Favre, they still wouldn’t have enough for any free agent Ravens linebackers.

  15. Heinekenfun says: Feb 10, 2009 4:10 PM

    The reason why no Ravens defensive player has success moving somewhere else, is because this defense, is built around aggressive teamwork, lead by an inspirational player. It’s not so much individual stars, as much as a collection of high motor guys working in sync w/ each other. Thats why a guy like a Jim Leonard goes from nothing special in Buffalo, to being remarkably strong in B’more. It’s also why even a talent like AD plays well, but not remarkable in NE.
    That’s also why the Ravens are willing to dole out the cash to a past-his-prime, Ray Lewis. With Rex Ryan leaving, Ray Lewis becomes the most qualified Defensive Coordinator for that team. He’ll push, motivate and inspire that Defensive unit better then any Def. Coordinator in the game. Granted, Rex Ryan was a great Defensive Coordinator, the Ravens Def. was strong prior to him holding the top spot and will probably be a top 5 Def. next year as well.
    Like the guy or hate the guy, you have to appreciate what a guy like Ray Lewis brings to a team. He’s a rare breed and I don’t think there’s another like him in the modern game. At least on the Defensive side of the ball.

  16. superius says: Feb 10, 2009 4:39 PM

    Jets are my favorite offseason team. I love watching them limp from one disaster to the next while the new york media acts like they are the Yankees and can just acquire whoever they want.
    Go Patriots!

  17. Eddie Drycleaner says: Feb 10, 2009 4:44 PM

    Everyone in Arizona is having a Suggsgasm. Whoops, there it is again… Ahh that felt good.
    Come back home, and try not to beat anyone up

  18. Trey says: Feb 10, 2009 5:37 PM

    Jets will have some major competition for Suggs if that’s who they intend to go after. I don’t see them corralling any of them.

  19. Bmore Styles says: Feb 10, 2009 5:54 PM

    The Ravens’ defense is to players what Bill Belichick is to coaches. We just keep producing talent, but when they leave the nest, they fail in most cases. I don’t care if we lose all the LBs and we replace them with a ham sandwich, Baltimore has become the greatest defensive franchise and the most feared in history, and it will continue to be…. It’s a machine.

  20. CaptainFantastik says: Feb 10, 2009 6:13 PM

    “Baltimore has become the greatest defensive franchise and the most feared in history, and it will continue to be…. It’s a machine.”
    Next to Pittsburgh maybe. Ask Joe Flacco.

  21. Bmore Styles says: Feb 11, 2009 12:31 AM

    @ CaptainFagtastik:
    The Ravens are the only defense to rank in the top 5 overall for 8 out of 9 seasons. Can you say, “Defensive Dynasty?” As i tell every ignorant Steelers’ fan, such as yourself, congrats on ONE good year.

  22. Pea Tear Griffin says: Feb 11, 2009 8:29 AM

    @Bmore Styles
    “As i tell every ignorant Steelers’ fan, such as yourself, congrats on ONE good year. ”
    Pittsburgh has had the number 1 ranked D for the last 2 years. And they are consistently at the top. The Ravens are also almost always there. As I tell every ignorant Ravens’ fan, such as yourself, the Bengals and Browns will never go anywhere as long as the Steelers and the Ravens have championship caliber defenses.

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