Skip to content

Linta defends his “Ravens were dumb” comments

Linta Getty Images

Agent Joe Linta made quite the stir recently by taking shots at the Ravens for not signing quarterback Joe Flacco to a long-term deal before Flacco had the kind of leverage that he parlayed into a six-year, $120.6 million contract — which as a practical matter is a three-year, $62 million deal.

On Tuesday morning, Linta appeared on 105.7 The Fan in Baltimore to explain his comments, and to defend them.  Linta said the remark had its roots in speculation that Flacco is “greedy” and that his contract resulted in the purge of veteran players.

“I’d been hearing that for about three months now,” Linta said.  “And after a while you get sick of it because Joe is a consummate pro, he’s a phenomenal player, a great father, a great husband, and a great son.  And to be honest with you in sort of a parental mode I’d kind of gotten sick of the intimations that he was greedy and that type of thing.  And I said, ‘Look, I have no sympathy for the Ravens.  They chose this.  They walked away from the deal in August.’

“Look, they’re brilliant guys.  They won a Super Bowl.  But I thought it was dumb.  Look, if that’s the worst thing that they get called in their existence, then they got a pretty good situation.  They know how I feel.  Everything I was quoted [on], I told them that in August.  This is not news to them.  It’s how I feel.  I’m allowed to have my opinion.”

Linta attributes the uproar over his remarks to the fact that “it was a slow news weekend and people in the media were sensationalizing to get something to talk about.”  While he admits that maybe he should have been a little more politically correct, he insisted that tough talk goes with the territory.

“You don’t think they called me a lot worse that that over the last couple years?” Linta said.  “It’s part of the business.  You argue.  You fight.  You have disagreements.  It’s nothing personal.  [Ravens contract negotiator] Pat Moriarty is welcome in my house every day of the week.  I love the guy.  I absolutely adore that guy.  He’s a pro, he’s a great guy.  I think the world of him.  But we’re allowed to disagree, correct?”

Though someone from USA Today prompted Linta for his opinion, and he provided it, agents and players and anyone else who makes NFL news need to realize that, whether it’s a press release or a response to an unanticipated question, whatever the person says will be scrutinized for news value.  Especially if it comes at a time when things are otherwise slow, via language that seems a blunt or coarse.

Indeed, Linta didn’t merely call the Ravens dumb.  He said that “I’ve never in my life seen a dumber move.”

Linta’s not worried that his ability to work with the Ravens will be affected by his comments.  “If I need to issue a public apology, if I offended them by using the word ‘dumb,’ then so be it.  That’s fine.  Hey, I’m sorry,” Linta said.  “But I’m allowed to have my opinion.  Like I said, they’ve called me a lot worse than that.”

Still, the Ravens haven’t called Linta bad things publicly.  That’s the difference here.  Arguing privately is one thing.  Arguing to the media is another.

Linta definitely isn’t dumb.  He went to Yale.  Deep down, he surely understands that nothing good comes from taking gratuitous potshots in the press.  And he’s trying to minimize the situation to ensure that there won’t be any lingering ill will.

“The bottom line is I do have tremendous respect for them.  I always have.  But am I allowed to disagree with them?  Absolutely.”

We absolutely agree, as long as those disagreements remain private.

Permalink 63 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Baltimore Ravens, Home, Rumor Mill

Ricky Williams opening a marijuana-friendly gym in San Francisco

Ricky_Williams_107220195_620x350 Getty Images

If you ever wanted to combine your “wake and bake” with your “rise and grind,” Ricky Williams has an idea for you.

The former NFL running back and marijuana enthusiast is launching a weed-friendly gym in San Francisco this fall, according to Time magazine.

Granted, the 49ers better not be caught there, since the NFL and NFLPA’s collectively bargained drug policy prevents players from enjoying that which is legal in two NFL cities.

But if the idea of a little pot with your kettle bells appeals to you, you now have an option.

The gym will be called Power Plant Fitness, and encourages customers to vape cannabis or consume edibles, though there are plans for a smoking area on an outdoor balcony.

“It won’t be a place to get high and just screw around,” said Jim McAlpine, founder of the 420 Games and Williams’ partner. “We are focused on the athletic side, not the cannabis side.”

McAlpine is also pushing some science, offering a “cannabis performance assessment” to determine how marijuana affects workouts.

“We will be helping our members figure out how is best for them to ingest their cannabis,” McAlpine said.

There’s no word as of now whether Williams and McAlpine will also be opening a Taco Bell next door.

Permalink 6 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Keenan Reynolds’ service deferred, cleared to play this season

ANNAPOLIS, MD - SEPTEMBER 19:  Quarterback Keenan Reynolds #19 of the Navy Midshipmen celebrates after scoring a first half touchdown against the East Carolina Pirates on September 19, 2015 in Annapolis, Maryland.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Ravens were hopeful that sixth-round pick Keenan Reynolds was going to be given clearance to play for them this season, and they got final word today.

The Ravens announced that the former Navy quarterback Keenan Reynolds has been cleared by United States Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter to play this season.

Like all graduates of the Naval Academy, Reynolds has a military service commitment, but that has been deferred so he can play this year.

The Ravens list the versatile Reynolds as a receiver/return man, and his background as a passer/runner/receiver makes him an intriguing chess piece.

“It is a blessing to hear the news from Defense Secretary Carter today,” Reynolds said. “I am truly excited to proudly serve my country while having the ability fulfill my dream of playing for the best organization in the NFL.

“I would like to thank the Navy for allowing me to represent them while taking advantage of this unique opportunity. I would also like to thank Mr. Bisciotti and the Ravens organization for believing in me and giving me this chance.”

Having players such as Reynolds playing their sport at the highest level is also a valuable public relations tool for the armed forces, one that the government doesn’t have to pay for, either.

Permalink 3 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Breshad Perriman: The last year made me a better person and player

CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 30:  Breshad Perriman of the UCF Knights holds up a jersey after being picked #26 overall by the Baltimore Ravens during the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University on April 30, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) Getty Images

Ravens wide receiver Breshad Perriman’s rookie season was over before it started thanks to a knee injury suffered on the first day of training camp that was initially shrugged off as nothing serious.

The knee never improved and Perriman wound up missing the entire regular season, something that left him in what he described as being in a “dark hole.” Things didn’t get much better for Perriman in the offseason as teammate and friend Tray Walker was killed in a dirt bike accident and his father Brett was hospitalized this month after collapsing, but Perriman says that things have brightened.

His father is feeling better and Perriman says that staying on top of his playbook while he was injured has helped him hit the ground running now that he’s healthy enough to resume football activities.

“I feel much stronger,” Perriman said, via the team’s website. “I feel like I went through a lot last year, and it made me a better player and a better person. … It’s been crazy. I’ve been through a lot this offseason, but it’s just making me stronger again and just learning to keep faith and pray a lot more. It’s been rough. It still is rough from time to time, but I’m steady getting through it, pushing through it and keeping faith.”

With Perriman back on the field, Mike Wallace joining the team, Steve Smith putting off retirement and tight end Dennis Pitta potentially coming back to join new arrival Benjamin Watson, the Ravens passing game is going to have a different look than it did last season. Assuming they remain on the field, it should be a better one as well.

Permalink 0 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

How much public money will be available for Vegas stadium?

83417455-e1350481973968 Getty Images

With Raiders owner Mark Davis committed to exploring opportunities in Las Vegas, the question becomes whether Las Vegas will provide Davis with the kind of opportunity he wants. And that question hinges on whether and to what extent the powers-that-be in Las Vegas will cough up the cash to build a stadium.

During a Thursday meeting of local tourism experts, Las Vegas mayor Carolyn Goodman made clear the reality that things are currently very unclear regarding finances.

“We’re a little bit in the weeds right now talking about the numbers,” Goodman said, via News3LV.

The city’s contribution would come from increased hotel taxes on visitors to Las Vegas.

“Can we afford an increase to the room tax so the tourists still keep coming here?” Goodman said. “Those are the dollars we’re talking about strictly for the stadium and the Raiders.”

The loose formula currently consists of the Raiders and the NFL kicking in $500 million, the Las Vegas Sands paying $150 million, and the taxpayers picking up the remaining $750 million.

By August, more information is expected regarding the taxes necessary to meet the public portion of the project. In theory, a stadium could be completed by 2020.

Permalink 8 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Chris Johnson: Cardinals can have best RB tandem in league

GLENDALE, AZ - NOVEMBER 22: Running back Chris Johnson #23 of the Arizona Cardinals runs past defensive end Will Clarke #93 of the Cincinnati Bengals during the second half of the NFL game at University of Phoenix Stadium on November 22, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) Getty Images

Before breaking his tibia in Week 12, running back Chris Johnson turned in a strong performance for the Cardinals that showed he had something left in the tank after less impressive seasons for the Titans and Jets.

The Cardinals offense didn’t miss him all that much, however. Rookie David Johnson picked up the torch by running for 442 yards and scored five of his Cardinals rookie record 13 touchdowns. The elder Johnson re-signed with Arizona as a free agent this offseason and believes that having both Johnsons could leave the Cardinals with the best running back duo in the league.

“I feel like me and him can probably be the best tandem in the NFL this year,” Chris Johnson said, via

With 1,038 yards from scrimmage last year, David Johnson showed signs that he can be one of the most productive backs in the entire league so it stands to reason that the Cardinals’ 1-2 punch will be an effective one. There are several other strong tandems around the league, but being in the conversation should be enough to keep the Cardinals offense humming at a level that keeps them in the hunt for bigger team honors in 2016.

Permalink 13 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Memorial Day weekend is here; will there be a bad news dump?


It’s Friday afternoon of the first three-day weekend of the (unofficial) summer. And so before it’s (officially) OK to wear white, the NFL has a prime opportunity to bury some bad news in the sweater drawer.

The NFL at times insists that there is no habit of dumping bad news on a Friday afternoon. If there isn’t, there should be. Why not air the dirty laundry at times when the fewest people possible are paying attention? By Tuesday, there will be plenty of other things to talk about, especially in the aftermath of Game One of the Stanley Cup Final and in anticipation of Game One of the NBA Finals.

Some would say that the NFL made its Memorial Day bad-news dump a day early, with the revelation of the penalties imposed on the Ravens for violating the offseason workout rules. If the league had made the announcement today, it would have been too obvious.

That doesn’t mean other bad news is or isn’t coming later today. Regardless, it makes sense for the NFL to consider doing it. And it makes sense for the rest of us to be on the lookout for it.

Permalink 9 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Russell Wilson says “collective” leadership necessary to replace Marshawn Lynch

Oakland Raiders v Seattle Seahawks Getty Images

Sure, the retirement of running back Marshawn Lynch makes quarterback Russell Wilson the focal point of the Seattle offense. But Wilson, who always says all the right things, can’t say that. Instead, Wilson needs to project the notion that not having Lynch is a bad thing.

Which is what Wilson did on Thursday.

“Well, obviously, losing Marshawn is one of the hardest things that can happen because he was one of the most talented players in the National Football League when he was playing,” Wilson told reporters on Thursday.

So how will the team respond to Lynch leaving?

“I think the biggest thing is everybody stepping up, everybody leading, very similar to when we couldn’t have Marshawn last year when he was battling through his injuries,” Wilson said. “Guys stepped up and were leaders. Guys like Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse, Kam Chancellor, all the way down the line – Cliff Avril, Michael Bennett. There’s so many guys I could name – [Richard Sherman], Earl [Thomas]. So we’re going to have to have that collective group of leadership. That’s going to be a great thing. I think it makes the team really focus on each other and really get stronger too in that way.”

Apparently, it’s working. So far.

“The energy out there is unbelievable,” Wilson said regarding the team’s OTA sessions. “It feels like we’re in midseason [form], just how we’re practicing. All the receivers, the tight ends making plays. And the running back group, even though they’re young, they’re really catching on quickly and the offensive line too. And then the defense, they just bring so much energy too. So it’s really competitive out there in a good way and that’s what we’re loving about it.”

Some think the window is closing on the Seahawks, but they continue to be one of the best teams in the league. Although Lynch helped make them better, they were better than fine without him for much of 2015, and they’ll be better than fine without him in 2016.

Permalink 15 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Fourth-round safety signs with Browns

FORT WORTH, TX - DECEMBER 06:  Safety Derrick Kindred #26 of the TCU Horned Frogs scores on a 44 yard touchdown interception during the third quarter of the Big 12 college football game against the Iowa State Cyclones at Amon G. Carter Stadium on December 6, 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas. The Horned Frongs defeated the Cyclones 55-3.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Browns announced the signing of fourth-round safety Derrick Kindred Friday.

Kindred was a 30-game starter and played in 50 games over four years at TCU. He had eight career interceptions and was an All-Big 12 pick last season.

With the Browns releasing veteran safety Donte Whitner and letting Tashaun Gipson leave for Jacksonville via free agency, Kindred should immediately compete for playing time with the Browns.

Kindred’s signing comes a day after the Browns signed second-round linebacker Emmanual Ogbah. The Browns have now signed eight of their record 14 draft picks.

Permalink 1 Comment Feed for comments Back to top

Roger Goodell encourages New Orleans to keep bidding for Super Bowls

nfl_g_benson-goodell01_576 Getty Images

NFL owners did not bestow upon New Orleans another Super Bowl, but commissioner Roger Goodell wants to make sure they keep trying to get one.

According to Katherine Terrell of the New Orleans Times-Picayune, Goodell sent Saints owner Tom Benson a letter this week congratulating him on an impressive bid, one which fell to “strong and unique” competition.

“Thank you to you and your team for the hard work and impressive bid by New Orleans to host Super Bowl 53 in 2019,” the letter reads. “The vision for a ‘Big, Easy, Super Bowl’ was well articulated and presented. It is clear to all owners that New Orleans is a top-notch Super Bowl city with talented leadership representing the Saints and the community.

“Although you did not secure the 2019 game against unusually strong and unique competition, we would look forward to working closely with you and your community in bringing a Super Bowl back to New Orleans soon. There is a reason New Orleans has been the home of 10 Super Bowls, and we know that it is in a strong position to host more in the future.

“Thank you for your leadership and your many contributions to the success of the league. Our office and the Super Bowl Advisory Committee will continue to support your efforts.”

While New Orleans is one of the easiest places to have a good time at a Super Bowl (not to mention among the most logistically convenient), the city is falling behind in the stadium arms race.

While they poured $336 million into the Superdome beginning in 2011, it’s still among the league’s oldest stadiums. And the memory of the lights going out in the middle of Super Bowl XLVII in 2013 isn’t something people are going to forget.

So with new buildings or dramatically renovated ones being rewarded with Super Bowls, the Saints are faced with a long drought between games. They’re already promised out the next five games through 2021, and Dallas is already planning a bid for one of the games in the next wave. Tampa will possibly join them, having not hosted since 2009.

But there were people who liked the New Orleans bid — and love having competition to create better value — so making sure the Saints stay in the loop is clearly in the league’s best interest.

Permalink 28 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Patriots fans wanted to see Ravens lose a draft pick

1New-England-Patriots Getty Images

For committing a blatant violation of the offseason workout rules, the NFL imposed more than $480,000 in fines against the Ravens and coach John Harbaugh and stripped the team of a week of Organized Team Activities. For some fans (i.e., Patriots fans), that wasn’t enough.

Patriots fans, for good reason, wanted to see the Ravens lose a draft pick or two for putting putting players in pads during rookie minicamp, in blatant violation of the rules regarding offseason workouts.

Here’s why it didn’t happen. Under Article 21, Section 8(d)(ii), a second violation in the same league year results in the forfeiture of a fourth-round draft pick. For the first violation in a given league year, no draft picks are taken.

Still, some Patriots fans would point out that the NFL could ignore the offseason workout rules and impose whatever penalty the league wants to impose in the interests of promoting and preserving the integrity of the game. Some would say that’s precisely what the NFL did in the #Deflategate case, ignoring the rules regarding equipment violations and imposing far stricter penalties.

It wouldn’t have been that difficult, if the league had decided to hammer the Ravens. The argument would have been that the use of pads during offseason workouts is so grossly beyond the scope of what is and isn’t permitted that the blatant use of pads justifies much more serious penalties.

The fact that the league didn’t do it doesn’t mean the league couldn’t have done it, if the league had wanted to do it. Which continues to be the basis for Patriots’ fans loudest complaints in the aftermath of #Deflategate.

Permalink 81 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Jace Amaro plans a lot of involvement in Jets offense

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 09:  Tight end Jace Amaro #88 of the New York Jets celebrates after scoring a touchdown in the first quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers during a game at MetLife Stadium on November 9, 2014 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) Getty Images

When the Jets drafted tight end Jace Amaro in the second round of the 2014 draft, the hope was that he’d fill the receiving role that Dustin Keller had played for the team from 2008 to 2012.

Things haven’t worked out that way thus far. Amaro had 38 catches as a rookie, he would have had more if he’d been more consistent when it came to catching the ball, and then missed all of last year after having shoulder surgery. He’s healthy and working with the team this spring ahead of a year that he expects will bring better things.

“I’ve really only played one year,” Amaro said, via the Associated Press. “This is a big year for me. Especially with the way we played last year as a collective group, it’s a big year for all of us. I know that we plan on getting more involved this season. I plan on getting involved a lot this season.”

Jets tight ends had just eight catches last season and the team hasn’t brought in anyone that’s sure to play ahead of Amaro, so he should get opportunities to show he should be in a big role this season. For now, though, coach Todd Bowles says that Amaro is competing for a roster spot and that it will be “interesting to see what he does” with the chance to impress the coaches.

Permalink 1 Comment Feed for comments Back to top

This offseason seems to be giving the Broncos the finger

DENVER, CO - JANUARY 24:   Brandon Marshall #54 of the Denver Broncos rushes in the AFC Championship game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on January 24, 2016 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images) Getty Images

Now that they’ve gotten the rings, the Broncos are suddenly getting the finger.

According to Nicki Jhabvala of the Denver Post, Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall was limited this week in OTAs because of offseason finger surgery, the third player on the team to need a digital fix this offseason.

Marshall’s work was on his right index finger, and he’s going to be re-examined next week by Dr. Randy Viola (who also operated on quarterback Mark Sanchez’s left thumb).

“Right now I’m just rehabbing and focusing on getting my range of motion and my strength back,” Marshall said. “So they’re just holding me out so I don’t do any more damage — because I don’t want to get another procedure on it.”

Marshall was bothered by a 2014 Lisfranc injury throughout last season, and one of the screws inserted into his foot to stabilize the injury snapped. He injured his right index finger in Week Two of the regular season, but started all 16 games.

Tight end Virgil Green also had finger surgery and will miss part of OTAs.

Permalink 17 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Warren Sapp not thrilled Timmy Jernigan wearing No. 99 as a tribute to him

TAMPA, FL - NOVEMBER 11:  NFL television commentator Warren Sapp is on the sidelines before the Tampa Bay Buccaneers play  against the Miami Dolphins November 11, 2013 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images) Getty Images

Ravens defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan wore No. 97 during his first two years in the NFL, but is sporting No. 99 this season after it became free following Chris Canty’s departure from the team.

Jernigan explained that he made the switch because he admired Hall of Famer Warren Sapp when he was growing up and “definitely wanted to model my game after him.”

“Nasty, ferocious, he came every play,” Jernigan said, via “You definitely knew he was there and when he made a play. Another thing, he played down in Florida, too, so he was definitely one of the greats from our state.”

If you thought Sapp would appreciate a young player offering a reminder of how good Sapp was on the field rather than the less impressive headlines Sapp has made away from the field, it appears you would be wrong.

Sapp didn’t elaborate as to why he’s bothered by Jernigan’s gesture. Jernigan went to Florida State and Sapp went to Miami, so that could have something to do with a less than gracious response to Jernigan’s nod in his direction.

Permalink 45 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Steelers players think Antonio Brown can top 2,000 receiving yards

CINCINNATI, OH - JANUARY 09:  Antonio Brown #84 of the Pittsburgh Steelers runs with the ball in the second half against the Cincinnati Bengals during the AFC Wild Card Playoff game at Paul Brown Stadium on January 9, 2016 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) Getty Images

Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown finished the 2015 season with 1,834 receiving yards, which was good for second in the league behind Julio Jones and the fourth-best total in the history of the NFL.

Brown put up those numbers despite playing in an offense that was missing quarterback Ben Roethlisberger for four full games and parts of others, leaving many with the opinion that he would have become the first player with 2,000 receiving yards in a season if Roethlisberger had been healthy. It’s also left some of his teammates feeling like Brown could hit that milestone this season.

Backup quarterback Bruce Gradkowski called it “realistic” and guard Roman Foster said he’s “going to bet on” Brown if the wideout makes a push for the magic number.

“I think it is possible,” wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey said, via the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “Just think: Calvin Johnson had [1,964 yards in 2012], so you know you can get close to it. Everybody knows what he is capable of. I don’t want to put that pressure on him, but it is definitely possible.”

Brown wouldn’t make any predictions, saying that it “is a lot of yards” and noting that it remains to be seen how teams will defend the Steelers with Martavis Bryant out of the picture. His chances are also going to be tied closely to Roethlisberger’s health, but Brown’s track record makes his chances as good or better than anyone’s to set a new single-season record for receiving yards.

Permalink 14 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

NFL communications executive will rent his mansion to Obama

WASHINGTON - JULY 17:  Former White House Press Secretary Joe Lockhart arrives for the funeral for former White House Press Secretary Tony Snow at the Basillica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception July 17, 2008 in Washington, DC. U.S. President George W. Bush and first lady Laura Bush attended the funeral for Snow, who died Saturday after a long battle with colon cancer.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) Getty Images

The NFL hired Joe Lockhart as its new V.P. of communications because he’s well-connected with power in Washington. Here’s an illustration of just how well-connected Lockhart is: When the Obama family moves out of the White House in January, they’re going to move into a house owned by Lockhart.

The New York Times reports that President Obama and his wife and daughters will move into an 8,200-square-foot home in Washington, D.C., which Lockhart owns.

There’s no word on how much rent Obama will pay Lockhart, but estimates are that the house is worth $6 million and the going rate on a place like that is $22,000 a month.

Lockhart was previously the press secretary and senior adviser to Bill Clinton, and the managing director of communications for the Glover Park Group. And now, as the NFL dispatches Lockhart to speak to the wealthy and powerful in Washington, he has another title: President Obama’s landlord.

Permalink 18 Comments Feed for comments Back to top