The Baltimore Ravens Free Agency Period Is About “ Right Player, Right Price “
For the returning Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens the off-season is all about “ right player , right price “ as GM Ozzie Newsome states. Newsome has been known to go to a player and say “ Look we love you, but we don’t think you can play at this dollar level right now. We think you’re currently worth this. We want you to stay, but it will have to be for less money.” said Sr VP of public and community relations Kevin Byrne.
Newsome who is a genius of a GM has had to do just that often the off-season after winning the Super Bowl. Wide receiver Anquan Boldin who was heroic on the championship run was asked to take a pay cut and refused citing he had signed a contract he wishes to play through. Instead of have him count 7.53 million against the salary-cap figure, Baltimore ended up shipping him away for not even peanuts but rather their shells, a 6th round draft pick.
After winning the Super Bowl you will either have players retiring on a high note like Ray Lewis and Matt Birk. There will be players who’s contracts are up and will receiver big offers after having a stand out year or a solid presence on a Super Bowl team like Danielle Ellersby, who signed a large contract with the Miami Dolphins. This will certainly be a changed team next year as there are even more changes to come.
Future Hall of Fame safety Ed Reed is being courted by the Texans, yet without a deal he says the Ravens are still in the mix for his services. Regular season sack leader linebacker Paul Kruger signed with the Cleveland Browns, and hard hitting safety Bernard Pollard had a big personality that probably got old as he was let go despite saving very little in cap space.
The Baltimore Ravens did keep some familiar faces around resigning their franchise Super Bowl winning QB Joe Flacco to a historic 100+ million dollar deal. They resigned WR Jacoby Jones and CB Corey Graham who played a large roll after injuries to Lardarius Webb and Jimmy Smith going on to make a huge over-time interception against the Peyton Manning and the Broncos in the playoffs. Baltimore also signed solid DT Chris Canty and former Cowboys DE Marcus Spears.
Fact is newsome is one of the best GM’s in the league and he no doubt has a plan. Most of these moves could end up being strokes of genius as Anquan Boldin underperformed most his career in Baltimore and was not worth the huge contract despite his big Super Bowl performance. There was no way Boldin received that money becoming a huge number against the cap and would have been released, so getting the pick was actually a good move.
Danielle Ellerbe is solid but was vastly overpaid by the Miami Dolphins at 5 years 60 million and per his words “ I thought I was going to be the successor (to Ray Lewis) but the Miami Dolphins showed me how much they love me”. And DE Paul Kruger was given a 5 year 41 million contract despite just being a pass rushing specialist in Baltimore.
As Kevin Byrne stated “ We don’t line up and play a real game until early September. We’re a long way from finishing our roster. “ the Baltimore Ravens will be making some quality moves in free agency along the likes of Chris Canty and as usual will probably select some solid talent throughout the draft.
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