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Welcome Back Ray!

Written by: Peter Coolbaugh

Not that many of us thought you would leave anyway. And not that any other team shoved you the love either. Whatever the reason, you are back where you belong and you will retire here as a Raven. All is right in the universe.

Now the rest of the team needs to get reassembled. With the losses to the Jets and Rams, we have a few holes to fill. But Ozzie Newsome will do his thing and all the open spots will be filled by competent people. Have faith in his judgment as his decisions have been pretty good over the last decade.

My biggest concerns have been the off season distractions of the past several days. As of right now, Matt Stover is no longer a Raven. Been with the team since the days in Cleveland and is the holder of several NFL records. To be unceremoniously phased out is not cool, especially without a proper explanation. I find that rude to someone who has given so much to the franchise. Maybe he will be back, maybe he won't? That seems to be the position of the team at the moment.

Now Derrick Mason seems to be disgruntled. Asking for an extension of his current deal, he says he'd rather be let go or traded now if they don't want him after 2009. For a guy who is almost 36 (and still very good), it is smart to want to stay but demanding an extension or else may not be the best way to go.

The draft is about six weeks from now, so the team focus will be on that for the moment. Welcome to the NFL off season... signings, free agents, trades and demands from now until training camp. Stay tuned!

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