Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson recently became the richest player in NFL history, and the latest rumors suggest that the former first-round pick will be throwing a lot more in 2023. In other news, Kansas City Chiefs left tackle Donovan Smith is ready to bounce back from a disappointing campaign, while former Las Vegas Raiders cornerback Damon Arnette pled not guilty to felony assault charges.
NFL Rumors: Lamar Jackson, Donovan Smith, Damon Arnette
Lamar Jackson: New Offense Will Be About “Throwing the Ball Down the Field”
The Baltimore Ravens underwent quite a few changes over the past few months, but perhaps the most important change was at offensive coordinator. The team hired Todd Monken to replace Greg Roman as offensive coordinator, and the latest rumors imply that Lamar Jackson is happy with this change.
Speaking to reporters, Jackson addressed the differences between Roman’s offense and Monken’s, and made it clear that this new scheme features “less running and more throwing.”
Jackson wasn’t done there, as he also talked about the new talent at wide receiver will make it easier to move the ball through the air. “Especially with the receivers we have…just being able to throw the ball down the field. Running can only take you so far. I feel like with this new era of teams and offenses in the league, I feel like we need that, and coach Todd Monken, what I’m seeing in this offense so far, is tremendous.”
This should be music to the ears of every Ravens fan out there. While Roman excelled at scheming up run plays, he never showed much creativity in the passing game. If Monken is able to draw up some creative plays for Odell Beckham, Zay Flowers, and Mark Andrews, then perhaps they can finally make a deep playoff push. Or, if they still feel like they need more help, then perhaps they go for a DeAndre Hopkins trade.
Some Lamar Jackson’s moments from yesterday’s practice session. That’s beautiful. pic.twitter.com/9jNzjn70NO
— Pedro H. Rhormes (@rhormes_) May 25, 2023
Donovan Smith ‘Feeling Good’ With Kansas City Chiefs
After spending the entirety of his career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, left tackle Donovan Smith jumped ship from Tom Brady to Patrick Mahomes. The one-time Super Bowl champion did not have a good year last year, but he’s confident that he can turn it around in 2023.
“It was a little frustrating. Obviously I played with a lot more injuries than I probably should have (in 2022). But, it’s just something that we do. We go out there, we sacrifice our bodies to go out there for the greater good of the team…New beginning, new journey. I’m healthy, fresh, and feeling real good.”
Donovan Smith is no superstar, but he has proved over the past few years that he can be a serviceable starter when healthy. Tom Brady’s quick release and unmatched pocket awareness makes every offensive lineman look better than they actually are, so Smith might have a difficult time adjusting to Mahomes’ more wild and improvisational style of play. That being said, the Chiefs don’t need a superstar at left tackle, they just need someone that won’t give a free path to the quarterback on every single snap.
Damon Arnette Pleads Not Guilty to Assault Charges
It is not a good time to be a Raiders first-round pick from the 2020 class. After Henry Ruggs recently received a 3-10 year prison sentence for his role in a DUI resulting in death, fellow first-rounder Damon Arnette has pled not guilty to felony charges for assault with a deadly weapon.
According to police reports, Arnette pulled out a gun at a concierge desk when he couldn’t find the valet ticket for his car. The former cornerback reportedly took his keys and drove off. Arnette, meanwhile, rejects this accusation, with his defense lawyer saying that Arnette “never brandished a gun. He never pointed a gun.”
For the time being, Damon Arnette is a free man, but he will stand trail starting in October. If convicted, he could face up to 10 years in prison.
Main Photo: Brent Skeen – USA Today Sports