Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Ravens May Find What They're Looking for Next Year

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Ravens May Find What They're Looking for Next Year

Article excerpt

Tensions are high in Baltimore, as is often the case when a playoff-caliber team can't win because it can't score.

The Ravens haven't scored an offensive touchdown since Sept. 24, and with Tony Banks already benched last week, backup Trent Dilfer has yet to show he can solve the proble ms.

Is there a bright spot for the Ravens?

If so, it's long term. It won't solve their problems this season, but next February may be one of the best times in recent memory to be looking for a quarterback.

Brad Johnson, the Redskins' starter, does not plan to sign a long-term deal before the end of the season. That means he will be an unrestricted free agent and the Redskins already have long-time starter Jeff George under contract for next season.

In St. Louis, Trent Green won't be a free agent, but with Kurt Warner signed to a long-term deal, it's unlikely the Rams can keep two highly paid quarterbacks.

Also, in Jacksonville, Mark Brunell has a year remaining on his deal after this season, but if he and the team can't agree on a contract extension, it's unlikely the team could afford his $13.35 million salary cap figure.

If Brunell is free, he will be one of the most coveted free agents in NFL history. He played for Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren in Green Bay, and the Seahawks may be searching for a quarterback.

Billick has said he considers Brunell the best quarterback in the NFL, and he also has a tie with Johnson. He was the offensive coordinator with Johnson's former team, the Vikings.

MARCHING IN -- Think the Saints are a joke? The punch line may come in the playoffs.

They're 5-3, with two games remaining against San Francisco (2-7), one against Atlanta (3-6) and one against Carolina (3-5). If the Saints win those, they'll probably need one victory in their other three games -- home against Oakland and St. Louis and at St. Louis -- to make the playoffs.

TODAY'S LIST -- Top five mid-season MVP candidates. …

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