Mark Clayton was a popular guy in the Ravens' locker room.
That's why there was a there was an interesting vibe around the team today. The 53 guys on the Ravens' active roster were happy to be out at practice and excited about the addition of wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh, yet their voices dropped when Clayton's name was broached.
Joe Flacco, Derrick Mason, Ray Rice, Todd Heap, Terrell Suggs and Ray Lewis were all made unavailable to reporters, but rookie wide receiver David Reed said he was taken aback by today's news that Clayton had been traded to the Rams.
"That's crazy, because Mark is a great receiver, great role model, great guy to look up to," Reed said. "Great teacher, everything. It was sad to see him go."
"He's a great guy and I hope he does great things," offensive tackle Jared Gaither said. "He's a blessed guy. Good looking out for him, and hopefully he'll do well."
A few players said they had gotten word that wide receiver Demetrius Williams, who was let go by the Ravens on Saturday, would be heading out to St. Louis as well. Williams apparently will have a tryout with the Rams, and might be joining Clayton at some point soon.
"That's the nature of the business," wide receiver Marcus Smith said. "I've seen it more and more as the years have gone on from year one to year two to my third year. We knew we had a deep room. We knew a lot of guys could play a lot of places and they were going to bounce around, and we knew St. Louis was hurting for receivers.
"So, a lot of those guys went there with the opportunity to play, and that's the best situation for them. I'm happy for them. I'm definitely pulling for them to do well and succeed, because we're still the same guys. They're still close to me and I still feel like we've got a relationship for being together for the last three years. So I'm encouraged by both of them still playing and having the opportunity to continue to play."