Transcript: Insider Chat with Aaron Wilson

There was another free-wheeling conversation between Aaron and Ravens fans in the chat room Wednesday night. Subjects ranged from Jamir Miller and other free agents, to the draft, and on to battles on the depth chart. All this... and one visibly bummed-out Browns fan... in this week's chat transcript.

AaronWilson Hi everyone. Ready for your questions.
adminsteve Hi Aaron.
TheFanatic Who goes first?
Dev21 I'll go. When do you expect Frank Sanders to sign?
AaronWilson I expect Frank Sanders to join the Ravens within the month. There is no real rush, or apparent competition at this point. Both sides have maintained relative silence on progress of negotiations.
TheFanatic I read in your little tidbit that Jamir left without an offer. Do you view this as bad? as in we probably won''t sign him?
AaronWilson As for Jamir Miller, the Ravens have a legitimate shot at signing him because they have more salary cap space than a few of the other suitors; Tampa Bay and Kansas City.
TheFanatic Why didn't they make him an offer if they're that interested?
AaronWilson The Ravens understood that this was a visit and that a negotiation will commence with agent Leigh Steinberg. That's the protocol of these things when there is competition.
Dev21 Tampa may not be a realistic option.
AaronWilson By the way, new article on Jamir Miller is posted on the web site now with comments from him, Ravens coach Brian Billick and defensive coordinator Mike Nolan.
Dev21 Right, doesn't Steinberg negotiate from his home, Aaron? That's why his clients just visit, I suppose.
AaronWilson Leigh Steinberg works out of the law offices of Steinberg & Moorad in Newport Beach, Calif. Occasionally, he will fly in and close a deal. He's done that several times in the past in dealings with Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones usually in high profiles cases like Troy Aikman or Joey Galloway.
crowdog89 Did Miller Take a Physical and pass ok?
AaronWilson Miller took a physical and apparently passed with flying colors, as he did in trips to Kansas City and Tampa Bay.
TheFanatic Alrighty then, just seems o me that guys that are highly coveted at least leave with an offer similar to the way Corey Fuller didn't leave without being signed.
Dev21 If Miller isn't signed in a week, will the Ravens turn back to Okeafor?
AaronWilson They barely talked to Chike Okeafor at all, according to his agent, Andrew Simms, who said he pitched the Ravens but didn't get very far. Keep in mind Okeafor is an undersized end prospect who probably lacks the pass coverage skills to stand up and play outside linebacker.
crowdog89 If the Ravens sign Miller and/or Okeafor, will they still be looking for D lineman in the draft?
AaronWilson It would reduce the need for a pass rusher, but they could still use a run stuffer for the interior of the line.
Dev21 Guys, those two would play OLB. So in other words Aaron, Jamir Miller is the guy they are absolutely gunning for?
AaronWilson Jamir Miller is the Ravens' object of affection at the moment. Pardon the pun, but it's Miller Time. lol.
HDDream Speaking of the interior line , if they end up drafting a QB in the first round, what would then be the plan for NT?
AaronWilson They would still need a nose guard. Possible options include Henry Ford, who is more of a tackle type or Gilbert Brown. Realistically, it would be Kelly Gregg and Maake Kemoeatu again in all likelihood.
TheFanatic Speculation question here Aaron...If Leftwich or Boller are o the board when we pick, and Terrell Suggs is there as well, who do you think we'd take?
AaronWilson I would think all things being equal they would draft Byron Leftwich because of his superior track record over Kyle Boller and Terrell Suggs' recent poor showing in a workout. Leftwich's question mark: his health. Workout is set for April 7 on Marshall campus.
HDDream Any chance, in that scenario, that Kemoeatu could end up taking the starting job given that he certainly fits the profile of NT better?
AaronWilson He's overweight and the Saints gave up on him, but he can play when he's motivated. He would need a kick in the butt to get in shape, though.
TheFanatic Any idea which QB they covet more between Leftwich and Boller?
AaronWilson No, they haven't indicated a preference and organizationally they won't tip their hand too much, but Phil Savage recently was quoted as being more enamored of a stronger collective career over a one-year wonder. Leftwich obviously had a better productive career than Boller did at Cal.
HDDream Dev, that workout might be the most important one by a draft eligible player in the last few years, it's totally going to decide the fate of much of the first round
AaronWilson By the way, the Cal student newspaper dubbed Boller "Jesus in Cleats" before the former SuperPrep All-American ever set foot on campus.
AaronWilson Hard to live up to hype like that.
Dev21 Will the June 1 cuts bring another receiver for the Ravens in your opinion?
AaronWilson I think Marcus Robinson could be a definite target, but the Ravens won't be alone in that pursuit.
TheFanatic How much stock do you, and the FO put into individual workouts when deciding on drafting a player?
AaronWilson Well, the front office takes those workouts seriously, but the Ravens are more interested in what the film tells them and by getting to know a prospect's character. They aren't caught up in 40-yard dash times or physique. They want football players, not Olympians or body builders.
HDDream my guess is they won't get a chance to pick between both Leftwich/Boller, only one will be there, and he'll likely be the pick
HDDream Robinson could be had for a 6th or 7th round pick, any chance they consider that?
AaronWilson I doubt they would surrender a draft pick for Robinson. The Bears will try to drive up the price even though it's obvious Robinson's head is on the chopping block after June 1.
Dev21 I agree with HD. In fact, if Leftwich has a great workout, he could all of a sudden leapfrog Palmer.
HDDream in some ways that's my concern, Dev lol
* TheFanatic MOTIONS/happy.gif Here's to hoping he has a crappy workout!!!
AaronWilson Remember the Bengals are intent upon negotiating a deal with first overall pick before the draft. That could take the suspense out of the quarterback sweepstakes.
Dev21 Do you expect the Ravens to acquire two defensive lineman through this draft, given the depth of their picks?
AaronWilson I would think so. They like the depth at defensive line. Keep an eye on names like Kevin Williams, Ty Warren and Kenny Peterson. They could be attractive targets for defensive line need.
Dev21 Ty Warren would be a great fit.
HDDream Warren would be a great fit Dev, he's got experience playing all 3 spots on the DL in a 3-4, Ian Scott of Florida is a mid-round pick that would be a good fit
Dev21 Scott would be a good NT. Nick Eason is another guy to watch out of the second round.
crowdog89 I think the Cowboys are coveting Newman and or Suggs
AaronWilson They have apparently scouted Nick Eason of Clemson, too. The Ravens traditionally scour the country in search of prospects, so not so much should be read into what workouts they attend other than top 10 type prospects.
TheFanatic How dead locked do you think the Bengals are on selecting a QB with that pick?
HDDream I could see the Bengals doing something similiar to what the Browns did with Couch and Smith, play one off the other
AaronWilson They are probably locked in to a quarterback at this point, but their track record obviously is discouraging at that position. They would love to trade down, but have found no takers. I think Terrence Newman is tempting, but he's a cornerback. If he went first overall, it would evoke comparisons to Cowboys selection of Russell Maryland, not the top player talent-wise in that draft, but willing to reach a reasonable deal.
TheFanatic Wouldn't shock me the least to see he Bengals go defernse with that pick.
Dev21 If Akili Smith is released in June, do you think the Ravens would make a play for him, given the lack of QBs on the market?
crowdog89 uggh
Dev21 As a backup, mind you.
AaronWilson I would hope not. Akili Smith is a failure with poor ability to recognize defenses and learn an offense. He scored poorly on the Wonderlic exam coming out of school despite considerable preparation engineered by his agent, Leigh Steinberg.
crowdog89 I know that Dev...still
AaronWilson I'm not certain that he's any better than Anthony Wright actually.
AaronWilson Hey, Dev. Where's the right tackle advocate (just kidding)? Why didn't he join the chat?
HDDream Aaron, if they do end up drafting a QB with the 10th pick, how do you think Redman will react? Let's face it, that much tells him that they don't view him as the long term answer
AaronWilson I think Chris Redman would take it in stride and become even more determined. It would obviously be a sobering moment where he would have to realize the Ravens have other long-term plans that don't include him as their quarterback of the future.
HDDream What's the latest on Sanders, and if he doesn't sign, any chance of another WR signing before the draft?
AaronWilson It's been extremely quiet on Frank Sanders' front. I think he will sign before the draft. Be patient. This will likely happen. Be prepared for probably just a few more signings.
AaronWilson By the way, Bernardo Harris deal isn't finalized yet. He has to take a physical and fill out some paperwork. Ravens will probably announce it offically soon.
crowdog89 Is Harris going to go back to being a Back-up again?
AaronWilson Yes, in all likelihood, he's above-average insurance in case Ray Lewis or Edgerton Hartwell got hurt.
TheFanatic Any word on that Ray Lewis off season training regiment{sp?} The one where he was heading away for a serious consdditioning and diet program. Has t happened? If not, is it going to happen, and when?
AaronWilson Haven't seen Ray Lewis around the facility. I'm sure he's working extremely hard.
Dev21 What positions do you see the team addressing in June? I know it's hard to speculate, given that we don't know who is going to be released as of yet.
AaronWilson In June, WR, NG and QB.
HDDream Aaron, is one of those signings likely to be James Trapp? If he signs, that would pretty much bring back every significant contributor on defense from last season
HDDream I thought they would have trouble re-signing Harris, or at least it would take until after the draft before he signed
AaronWilson James Trapp's agent, George Mavrikes, said it's more likely to happen after the draft with Ravens if it happens. He also mentioned Tampa Bay as a possible option. Terry Lavenstein, Goose's agent, has been pitching Emmanuel McDaniel as a nickel back.
Dev21 Preston said it would be hard for the Ravens to re-sign Harris and Brown, LOL.
AaronWilson Harris won't be expensive apparently. John Clayton said it will be a one-year deal for $680,000 with a $25,000 signing bonus.
Dev21 No to McDaniel.
AaronWilson McDaniel is actually not bad. Has good speed and hands. He's undersized, though. Once intercepted six passes for the New York Giants. He's younger than Trapp, too. We'll see. Not a major priority at the moment.
HDDream The thing I really like about Trapp is his special teams play, I think whoever fills that 4th CB spot has to be good on special teams and Trapp is, btw i'm not sure about McDaniel in regards to speical teams
AaronWilson McDaniel is good on special teams. He's not the hitter that Trapp is, though.
Dev21 What was the vibe like today, in terms of the Ravens' confidence in signing Miller?
AaronWilson They were optimistic, but realistic, too. They know this isn't an easy one to obtain.
Dev21 If they can't sign Miller, which way would the go?
AaronWilson They haven't exactly revealed their contingency plan after Miller. I would think they would be priced out of the Vonnie Holliday auction.
Dev21 Probably. I think it will come down to KC's decision.
AaronWilson Welcome, Art.
* Dev21 MOTIONS/happy.gif I'm sold on McDaniel, then.
artbtz Hi Aaron... thanks for the info on Jamir today.
HDDream hey Aaron has to like McDaniel, he's another East Carolina guy lol
AaronWilson Yeah, I actually went was in the same class as E-Mac. He's a good guy, but I'm aware of his limitations, mainly his lack of size. He's a tough kid, though. We'll see what happens.
Dev21 Would the Ravens look to draft a CB?
Dev21 In the latter rounds, that is.
AaronWilson Yes, I think they would be very interested in a cornerback if, say, Andre Woolfork or Eugene Wilson was still there in the second round based on best available player scenario.
HDDream Ricky Manning would be a good second day pick, he can play, but like McDaniel he's short so he'll slide in the draft
Dev21 Did Jamir meet with any of the players today?
AaronWilson Jamir was due a $14 million roster bonus on Feb. 27 and is coming off a torn Achilles' tendon. Those are the reasons for his release in Cleveland, plus he always wanted more money and Butch Davis is trying to reduce the club's payroll.
AaronWilson As far as I know, Jamir did meet some of the players, but spent most of his time on his physical and chatting with Ravens brass like Brian Billick, Ozzie Newsome and Mike Nolan.
AaronWilson Jamir Miller didn't tip his hand, but he did take Ravens outside linebackers coach Phil Zacharias' cell phone number with him to talk more about his potential role in Ravens' defense.
adminsteve Is EB in town Aaron??
AaronWilson Yes, I saw EB earlier. He's doing well.
Dev21 When, ultimately, do you see Miller making his final decison. And what is the percentage chances that he signs with the Ravens?
AaronWilson Money and a chance to win. Baltimore has to be able to outbid Tampa Bay.
AaronWilson They have more cap space. They will need it to get this deal done.
AaronWilson I think Miller will take at least to the end of next week.
artbtz Tampa Bay is also looking at another ex-Browns LB, Dwayne Rudd.
AaronWilson Remember his agent is Leigh Steinberg. He's a shrewd negotiator.
Dev21 Tampa Bay has no money. I think they like Rudd better.
Dev21 Bingo. But they've swooped in on players like Rice, before.
artbtz Put Miller in Tampa Bay's defense and he goes to the Pro Bowl.
AaronWilson Tampa Bay also apparently has a rift between GM Rich McKay and Jon ""Chucky"" Gruden.
HDDream Aaron, what's the rift about?
AaronWilson The rift is apparently centered on Gruden wanting more control and his penchant for worrying. He wants more action from McKay than he's seen thus far. Just part of the package of being Chucky.
Dev21 Hopefully, that is why the Ravens are offering him an option deal, that could pay him more money if he plays weell this season/
AaronWilson The opportunity to gain a Super Bowl ring is awfully tempting, but at least Baltimore has accomplished that feat once, which helps matters.
BmoreRavor Aaron, any buzz in Owings Mills on any 2nd day draft sleepers?
AaronWilson Not much yet. It's so early at this point to think about second-day prospects, but the personnel department has been working hard at formulating and finalizing the draft boards after factoring in players' campus workouts.
Dev21 BTW, was there any indication on what kind of deal he is seeking, Aaron?
TheFanatic Do you think having the capability to play Cleveland twice a year has any bearing on his decision?
AaronWilson He didn't mention the Cleveland factor as being a motivator. He was in a major rush to get to BWI. He had to catch his flight so interview was fairly quick.
artbtz Aaron, do you think Billick's interest in Mount Union's Rob Adamson is real?
AaronWilson I think he gave a supportive comment when a reporter asked a question. I'm sure he's aware of who Rob Adamson is, but didn't want to say anything bad about the young man to the Plain Dealer. That's a situation where saying something nice is the right thing to do so as to not offend anyone needlessly. That said, Adamson had a heckuva college career and has a reputation for being hungry.
Dev21 B-more is the capologist around here, Aaron. His numbers are usually right on the money.
artbtz Good answer, Aaron.
AaronWilson Thanks. Politically correct to the bone.
artbtz They're looking at Curt Anes as well, right, another small college QB...
AaronWilson That's the buzz based on Gil Brandt and Tony Pauline's intelligence on campus workouts. Keep in mind, though, that Ravens, like most right-minded clubs, canvas the country so as to not miss out on any sleepers.
Dev21 What's going to be the role for Will Demps this season? Right now, is he behind Williams on the depth chart or is it too early to tell?
Dev21 Willams and Mitchell, I suppose, considering Mitchell re-signed.
AaronWilson Chad Williams and Will Demps are both in the mix as is Anthony Mitchell who said he was at complex earlier this week to sign his tender offer. Corey Fuller and Ed Reed will get most of the repetitions, or Gary Baxter and Ed Reed depending on any potential move.
BmoreRavor Aaron, at this point any thoughts in whether they plan to carry 2 PKs or will Stover be kicking off again?
HDDream Aaron, was it just a football decision in regards to Shannon Taylor having his RFA tender pulled back by the Ravens?
AaronWilson Yes, it was just a football decision. Word is that Taylor was considered fairly one-dimensional as opposed to Cornell Brown's gritty style of run-stopping and taking on blocks to allow others to make plays. Taylor was more of a rangy finesse type. Totally different type of athletes.
HDDream Even if they sign Miller, can we expect them to draft a 3-4 OLB in the middle rounds?
AaronWilson I would think that depth would be a paramount concern for Baltimore at that spot. Keep in mind that Jamir Miller is 29, coming off Achilles' tendon surgery.
Dev21 How would Brown fit into the rotation if Miller or Okeafor were signed?
AaronWilson I think he would still contend for a lot of playing time with Brown operating at outside linebacker when Miller shifts to end in 3-4 sets.
artbtz MIller has really bulked up, supposedly... Davis said recently that if he was Miller's coach from teh start that he always would have played with his hand down.
BmoreRavor Any word on any NT prospects - either FAs or thur the draft?
* TheFanatic MOTIONS/happy.gif Hey Art, is all this talk regrding Jamir in sets making you ill?
artbtz Yes. Yes, it is, fanatic. I make no secret of being a Jamir Miller fan.
Dev21 Art is the man. He always tells it like it is.
AaronWilson It's been quiet on nose guard front. I would think that players like Kevin Williams have the potential to line up inside, but there are mostly 5-technique type tackles who would be most comfortable in a 4-3 alignment. I haven't seen any Casey Hampton types in my perusal of college prospects.
Dev21 Even with Orlando Brown's signing, do you see the Ravens drafting a RT like Ben Johnson out of the fourth round?
AaronWilson I think they would love to obtain a talented young right tackle prospect after the first couple of rounds.
AaronWilson Miller looked like he was roughly 265 to 270 pounds. He looked like he had been hitting the weights without bulking up in a bad way. Still seemed pretty streamlined.
adminsteve I'll send you a purple Miller jersey
artbtz I've already got an orange one Steve... only player jersey I have...
HDDream Dev, I asked Tony Pauline from TFY what RT prospect available in the 3rd or 4th round would fit the Ravens best and he mentioned Johnson
Dev21 How does the team view Kemoeatu as the future NG?
Dev21 Tight.
TheFanatic Streamlined 265-270....SWEEETTT!!!
crowdog89 Sign him NOW!!
AaronWilson They haven't said much about Kemo other than that they were impressed by the way he held up at nose last season. He's a tough kid with size without ideal movement. Could use a few pet pass rushing moves to add to his repertoire. Give him time to develop and he might really be something one day.
Dev21 He was definitly a good signing out of the undrafted ranks.
AaronWilson Miller was a Butkus Award finalist at UCLA and an All-American selection. Heralded high school player out of Cerritos High (Calif.).
AaronWilson He also participated in track and field.
HDDream Aaron, if they don't bring in another NT, could Kemo be the starter this year ahead of Gregg?
AaronWilson Kelly Gregg is one of line coach Rex Ryan's favorite players. Never count out the inscrutable 'Buddy Lee' factor.
BmoreRavor Aaron, are they planning on Stover kicking off again or carrying 2 PKs?
AaronWilson Matt Stover will handle those duties in all likelihood.
HDDream I'll be disappointed if Gregg is the starter, I can live with Kemo, but Gregg is just too small
AaronWilson Keep in mind it's a rotation, not an ironclad lineup.
Dev21 So Jenkins is out?
AaronWilson Not necessarily, but the Ravens will obviously bring other kickers to camp and keep their options open.
crowdog89 Did they send Jenkins to NFL Europe? I can't recall.
AaronWilson No, he thought he would be allocated, but he wasn't by Baltimore.
Dev21 When does NFL Europe start?
AaronWilson I believe it starts in a few weeks. Also, the entire NFL schedule will likely be released soon as the teams are holding PR meetings in Houston, Texas next week.
AaronWilson Art, what are the Browns' free agent plans. They've been fairly quiet since releasing all three starting linebackers.
artbtz They don't have any money... they have to get Couch or Brown to restructure.
AaronWilson Oh, ok. That explains it.
artbtz They got Barry Gardner and re-signed Earl Little. That's it so far.
HDDream I really thought Courtney Brown would be a great player, it surprises the hell out of me that he hasn't done much
TheFanatic I heard on WNST today that the schedule would be released either tommorrow or tuesday.
artbtz Schedule will be out tomorrow.
AaronWilson The Ravens said to expect it soon, possibly as soon as tomorrow.
Dev21 Aaron, do you think that the Ravens will receive one Monday Night game?
crowdog89 I hope we don't have any home MNF or SNF games!
AaronWilson Not sure, Brian Billick and Ray Lewis' presence helps the cause, but Sunday nights are more likely proposition.
TheFanatic I'm anticipating a MNF game in Cleveland.
HDDream I think we'll play Cleveland on Sunday night myself
crowdog89 As long as it's not in Baltimore, I'll be happy
AaronWilson Last year's Sunday night game was exciting.
crowdog89 yes it was
artbtz Browns think they will get a Monday Night game in Cleveland...
AaronWilson Guys, how about one more question apiece and we'll wrap it up.
AaronWilson Who wants to be first? Just line them up and I'll answer them all.
HDDream Art, Cleveland should get a MNF game this year, any idea what game it will be? Probably Pittsburgh?
artbtz We don't know yet.
TheFanatic Dunno, this being Modells last year and such, I could see this playing into the hoopla of the spectikal of MNF.
HDDream Aaron, at this point, unless someone like a Suggs or one of the WR's falls, is it same to assume that the Ravens will pick a QB or DT with their first pick?
crowdog89 Aaron, where do you go for the Draft NY, or do you stay here?
adminsteve Lot A
AaronWilson Yes, it's very safe to make that assumption. The Ravens are clear on their intentions at this point.
AaronWilson I cover the draft at the Owings Mills training complex.
Dev21 That's a good place to be.
BmoreRavor Any other WRs on the radar screen? They can't be thinking of adding no one, or just Sanders, can they?
AaronWilson Never been to New York for the draft. I've covered the Jaguars and Titans drafts prior to coming to Baltimore. It's a long day, but it's fun. The teams have the pressure on them, not the press.
HDDream Which is more likely in your opionon, QB or DT?
AaronWilson They haven't mentioned any other WRs publicly, but Oronde Gadsen would make sense. By the way, former Raven starter Qadry Ismail visited Buffalo but didn't sign a contract last week.
TheFanatic aaron, I read an article from a jersey paper that covers the Eagles the other day. The article mentions that The Ravens may have interest in making a trade for AJ freeley, Is this pure speculation on their part, or any fact to the matter? a a
AaronWilson At this point, I'm leaning toward defensive line being the higher value if Byron Leftwich is off the board by No. 10. I don't see them pushing the button on Kyle Boller, but I've been wrong before.
Dev21 That makes sense.
AaronWilson Well, Brian Billick seemed to express enthusiasm for A.J. Feeley on Ravens web site, but was careful not to appear to be tampering. Remember, Feeley is a RFA.
HDDream I agree it makes sense Dev, but I've got the sense that the Ravens will pull that trigger on Boller if he's around at 10 and Leftwich isn't, we'll see. I still think they could try and trade up with the Vikings or Jags for Leftwich though
TheFanatic If he's a RFA, would would he cost us regarding draft picks?
HDDream Crow and Comcast are having some issues tonight....
AaronWilson I believe a sixth round pick is the compensation.
BmoreRavor Actually I believe that Feeley is only an EFA - which IMO means it will take a lot to get him because he's a cheap back-up for them.
TheFanatic I's cough up the 6th round pick!! Certainly beats Akili Smith!!
AaronWilson Eagles might be in the mood to match an offer sheet, though, after declining to overspend for KGB.
adminsteve Guys, Aaron has to wrap up.
Dev21 Thanks Aaron.
crowdog89 Thanks Aaron
HDDream Aaron, any more WBBF appearances in the near future?
HDDream thanks Aaron
AaronWilson Thanks for everyone's great questions. I really enjoyed this one.
TheFanatic Thanks Aaron!!
adminsteve Click on Rooms and go to Lobby if you want to join in on the MattGambill chat
BmoreRavor Thanks Aaron.
AaronWilson Bruce Cunningham hasn't said anything yet, but we'll probably do something before the draft as per our discussions. I'll be sure to let you all know first.
HDDream Thanks
AaronWilson Goodnight.

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