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OWINGS MILLS https://www.theravenslockerroom.com/auth...ews-jersey , Md. (AP) — On a day designed to honor Haloti Ngata’s retirement as a member of the Ravens, his former coach in Baltimore stole a portion of the limelight.Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti welcomed both Ngata and Brian Billick into the team’s prestigious Ring of Honor, announcing Wednesday that Billick will be inducted in 2019 and Ngata in 2020.Ngata was drafted out of Oregon as the 12th overall pick in 2006. The first NFL coach he played for was Billick, who guided the Ravens from 1999-2007 and hoisted the Super Bowl trophy after the 2000 season.Billick compiled a 80-64 record but was fired by Bisciotti after Baltimore staggered to a 5-11 finish in 2007. It took 12 years, but Bisciotti figured the time was right to finally recognize the 65-year-old Billick for his contribution to the franchise.“I told Brian how honored we would be, and how lucky we are as an organization, to have had him here,” Bisciotti said.Ngata, 35, will also have his name emblazoned on the Ravens’ home stadium, a suitable salute to a five-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle who made a name for himself on a defense that included future Hall of Fame entrants Ray Lewis and Ed Reed.As a star-struck rookie, Ngata recalled with a chuckle his first encounter with Lewis at training camp.“Ray said, ‘I called you, you didn’t answer, what’s up?’ I froze, I didn’t know what to say, you know Iman Marshall Baltimore Ravens Jersey , when you meet your heroes,” Ngata said. “I just told him, ‘I’m so sorry, Mr. Lewis, I’ll call you next time.'”Lewis informed Ngata that he could call him Ray.Ngata and Lewis teamed with Reed and others to win the Super Bowl in 2012. After the 2014 season, Ngata and then-general manager Ozzie Newsome became embroiled in a salary dispute, a prelude to a trade that sent the 320-pound lineman to the Detroit Lions.“At first I was kind of shocked a little bit,” Ngata said. “But I understood. I was against the salary cap. I wasn’t moving and they weren’t budging.”Ngata toiled three seasons in relative anonymity in Detroit before closing out his 13-year career in Philadelphia in 2018.“The last month of the season I woke up and thought, ‘Why am I still doing this?'” he said. “Once I’m questioning why I’m playing football, I know it’s time to retire.”It was important to Ngata that his NFL career would end where he started it.Wiping away tears, Ngata told an audience of family, friends, former teammates and fans, “This is an amazing organization. I loved being a Raven. I always knew I wanted to retire as a Raven. I just couldn’t wait to come back.”Ngata was twice an All-Pro. He had 32 ½ sacks, five interceptions and seven forced fumbles over 180 games.Being in Ravens Ring of Honor is special, but there might be something even better in store for Ngata, according to Newsome.Newsome Youth Iman Marshall Jersey , who drafted Lewis and Reed, is also a member of the Hall of Fame. He believes Ngata deserves to be honored in similar fashion.“When I think about a Hall of Famer, No. 1, did he play on a winning ball club? He did,” Newsome said. “Was he part of a Super Bowl? He did. Was he a dominate player in his era at his position? He did. So, he’s checked all of those boxes.”Newsome reluctantly gave up a sixth-round draft pick in 2006 to move up one spot in the first round to get Ngata. He never regretted it.“We had been (drafting) pretty good in that sixth round, so were giving up a good player,” Newsome said. “But we were getting a great player. A rare player.”It didn’t take long for Billick to realize that Ngata was going to be a perfect fit for a team build around its defense.“You knew right from the get-go, all right, this guy is going to be special,” Billick said.Billick never got another coaching job after being fired by Bisciotti, but he became close friends with Baltimore’s current coach, John Harbaugh, and remains loyal to the club.“When Steve called it was a surprise, but it goes to the heart of what Haloti was talking about,” Billick said. “I don’t think there’s another organization that has what this one does.” Le'Veon Bell made a big bet last year. The ante? $14.54 million, minus federal taxes Iman Marshall Baltimore Ravens Jersey , state taxes, and agent fees.The payoff? Still to be determined.The good news for Bell is that he’ll get a chance to finally pull the lever, watch the three wheels spin, and hope to see and hear a trio of 7s lock into place. The no-news-for-now is that no one knows what he’ll get.Soon (if not already), agent Adisa Bakari will gather general information regarding specific interested teams, and he possibly will hear what those teams may be willing to pay. Key factors will include signing bonus, full guarantee at signing, injury guarantee, payout in the first three years, and annual average.Skeptics will say that he’ll never make the $14.54 million that he sacrificed in 2018. Those same skeptics may not point out that Bell would have had to risk significant injury — and the low-level 2019 contract offer that would have gone along with it — to get that money. They also may fail to point out that the Steelers, given their peculiar rules regarding player contracts, didn’t offer Bell the kind of security to which a second franchise tag should have translated on a multi-year deal, given the starting point of $14.54 million.Bell is getting that security only by hitting the market, as a highly-talented tailback with plenty of tread still on the tires. Although it’s becoming fashionable to bash Bell’s abilities (especially in Pittsburgh), there’s no denying that he’s still one of the best running backs in the NFL. If not the very best.There’s also no denying that, on the first day of free agency, money gets spent for reasons other than football. It’s about winning press conferences 2019 Iman Marshall Jersey , selling tickets, moving merchandising, purchasing relevance.The Jets, for example, need to better compete in their division and in their own stadium. The Giants have Odell Beckham Jr. and Saquon Barkley. The Jets have Sam Darnold. The Jets need more.The Jets also have two years before Darnold becomes eligible for a new contract, giving the cash-and-cap-rich Jets plenty of reason to spend plenty of money on capable players who will help accelerate Darnold’s development.Whether it’s the Jets or someone else (the Raiders, Packers, Ravens, etc.), someone will throw football and non-football reasons into a vat, cook up an offer, and likely blow the lid off the market. That’s what transpires when great players get to the open market, something that rarely happens.It will happen on March 13, when Bell should easily become the highest-paid tailback in NFL history. Once the money rolls in, the time will come to assess whether rejecting Pittsburgh’s long-term and one-year offer in 2018 was worth it.
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