Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Former Ravens first-round pick for “Best Player To Be Cut.”

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The Baltimore Ravens signed right tackle Ja’Wuan James to a two-year deal last June, knowing he might not recover from a torn Achilles tendon in time to play in 2021. As it turns out, the former first-round pick from the Miami Dolphins (No. 19 overall in 2014) didn’t get into a game last year, despite beginning practice with the Ravens on Dec. 8.

Now there’s a chance James may never play for the Ravens at all, at least in the eyes of Bleacher Report’s Ian Wharton, who has called James the “best player to leave the Ravens roster before regular play.” Season rolls around.

One reason is that the Ravens have added new options at the position in recent months.

“They signed veteran Morgan Moses to a three-year contract and draft-picked Daniel Faalele in the fourth round,” Wharton notes, referencing proper tackle from the former Washington Commanders and New York Jets as well as the mammoth rookie tackle of the team. which is listed at 6-foot-8 and 380 pounds — measurements that can be conservative.

Another reason is that the Ravens can move with minimal impact on James’ salary cap, as he received a relatively modest $500,000 signing bonus when he signed with Baltimore.

That way, the Ravens could release James and save $3 million while suffering just $250,000 in dead money cap hit, according to overthecap.com.

“They could spend the money they save on him on a veteran receiver after they traded the #1 option, Marquise ‘Hollywood’ Brown, during the 2022 draft,” Wharton says.

Even with James returning to action in 2022, one wonders how effective he can be after not playing since 2019, a year in which he appeared in three games for the Denver Broncos, with whom he has a four-year, $51 million contract US dollar signed year. And he hasn’t played nearly a full season since 2018, when he started 15 games for the Dolphins.

Of course, James – 6ft 6 and 312 pounds – was a pretty good player for the team that drafted him, starting 65 games overall in the five years he worked in the trenches for the Dolphins. That prompted the Broncos to give him a lucrative second NFL contract, one that included a guaranteed $32 million.

But he was injured in his first-ever game for the Broncos and returned to play in just two more games the rest of the year. He then dropped out in 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic and suffered his Achilles tendon injury in May 2021 while training outside the team.

James is also aging, at least by offensive tackle standards, as he turns 30 on June 3, 2022.

A native of Suwanee, Georgia, he played his college football for the University of Tennessee Vols, where he started all 49 games he appeared in. That set a new Volunteers record for career starts by an offensive lineman and eclipsed the previous mark of 48 set by Jeff Smith.

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Meanwhile, on Tuesday, the Ravens withdrew their tender for the exclusive rights contract for running back Ty’Son Williams after Ian Rapoport of the NFL network. The move comes after the Ravens signed former Atlanta Falcons running back Mike Davis.

Williams, who had 35 carries for 185 yards in 2021, is now a free agent.

ALSO READ:
• Jordan Stout targeting Ravens draft day trade: report
• Former No. 3 overall gets tryout with Ravens
• Ravens prevent the “Biggest Villain” defender from falling to the Steelers

ALSO READ:
• Jordan Stout targeting Ravens draft day trade: report
• Former No. 3 overall gets tryout with Ravens
• Ravens prevent the “Biggest Villain” defender from falling to the Steelers



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