If there’s one unit that doesn’t need restocking this offseason in Baltimore, it’s the tight end position.
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Crockett Gillmore has finished the last two seasons sidelined by separate back, shoulder and thigh injuries, but he isn’t letting his fragile health and Baltimore’s crazy tight end depth thwart his comeback attempt.
“I don’t want to come off the field. All downs, every down, and (I want to be) the guy,” Gillmore said in Houston last week, per the team. “There’s no reason I shouldn’t be. There’s no reason I can’t be. That’s great we have nine tight ends. They’re going to enjoy the bench. That’s just reality. I’ll tell them. They know.”
Not all six tight ends — Gillmore, Pitta, Watson, Maxx Williams, Nick Boyle and Darren Waller — can make the team’s 53-man roster, and there’s no guarantee that they’ll be employed in Baltimore by training camp either. But it’s not clear which tight ends are expendable.
Still on his rookie deal, Gillmore is owed less than $1 million before entering free agency in 2018. His production pales in comparison to Pitta and Watson, the former of whom led all tight ends with 86 catches in his return from back surgery in 2016. However, the two oft-injured veterans are owed $7.7 million and $4 million, respectively, making their presence on the 53-man roster more costly than their younger peers.
Elam was booked at 3:45 a.m. on charges of possession of more than 20 grams of marijuana, possession with intent to sell or deliver, and possession of a controlled substance. He is currently being held on a $15,500 bond at Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center in Miami.
Police records show that Elam was initially pulled over for reckless driving.
Baltimore’s first-round draft pick in 2013, Elam has played three seasons with the Ravens — sitting out one due to injury — but failed to start a game in 2016. His fifth-year option was not picked up by the team, so he will become a free agent on March 9.
“I wouldn’t try to pigeonhole us just yet that we’re going to try to be ground and pound,” Roman said, via the team’s official site. “Who really wins big doing that? I think you have to have balance. But that doesn’t mean we’re not going to make people respect us in that phase of the game.”
Perhaps it was entirely on accident. Roman was described by the interviewer as a “ground and pound” coordinator earlier in the conversation but that also happened to be the mantra of former Bills head coach Rex Ryan, who always leaned toward a hard-nosed rushing attack. Roman was let go by the Bills early in the 2016 season and replaced by now-Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn, who was Ryan’s long-time assistant head coach and running backs coach.
The Bills finished second in rushing attempts and first in rushing yards each of the last two seasons.
In Baltimore, Roman will have a chance to shed the Bills’ one-dimensional offense and create something far more balanced. Though that won’t be easy, either. Last year the Ravens threw the football more than any other team in the NFL (five more attempts than the second place Saints) and were 30th in rushing attempts. While game situations reflect those numbers, achieving perfect balance requires some hard work.