Thursday, March 13, 2008

All signs indicate that J.O. will go...

Jonathan Ogden has always been a frugal man and teammates have often teased the perennial Pro Bowler about his tight fisted ways. Some have said that he still has the first dollar he earned with the Ravens. Consequently it is safe to say that money is not the driving force behind Ogden’s decision to return in 2008 or hang them up for good and enjoy the climate of Las Vegas.

Recently the Ravens and Ogden agreed to restructure his contract by reducing the irreplaceable tackle’s base salary in ’08 by $5 million. No, Ogden didn’t suddenly become less tight fisted nor did he wake up in a philanthropic mood one morning and voluntarily become the team’s sacrificial lamb. The move looks like that of a man trying to help his former employer. The move looks like that of man ready to retire.

After the season Ogden promised to take a wait and see approach with his decision. He wanted to consider all information in order to reach the proper career choice for him. In many of his interviews, Ogden has repeatedly made it clear that he didn’t just want to return, but return at the level of play he was accustomed to.

Here’s what Ogden recently had to share with the Las Vegas Review-Journal:

"It's just frustrating, because I couldn't play, especially this last year, at the level that I'm used to playing at, and that kind of irritates me. I'm a perfectionist out there on the football field, and that's kind of why I'm leaning toward retiring.

"I have not officially retired, but ... the Ravens know to proceed with their offseason plans as if I'm retiring. So if I come back, it's great, they said, but they're proceeding as if I'm not."

Ogden has also made it clear that his daily routine in the trainer’s room in ’07 was a drag and that if his troublesome plant toe isn’t close to being healed, that would heavily factor into a decision to retire.

"I taped it up the other day when I went running," Ogden said. "It just hasn't healed 100 percent, and I don't know if it will. The doctor's still not sure.

"I can still play, but ... I don't want to play if I can't play at the level I'm capable of playing at."

Ogden started a career low 10 games in ’07 and the Ravens won only one of those games – the last game of the season against the Steelers, and probably the last of his career. For you math majors the “should I stay or should I go” equation for J.O. might look like this:

J.O. <>

If you are among those expecting Ogden’s return to the field, you would be wise not to get your hopes. It appears that J.O. will be KO’d by those tendons beneath the ball of his left big toe prematurely ending a brilliant career.

In Ogden’s new hometown of Vegas, his retirement is an overwhelming favorite over his return and oddsmakers are likely to suggest that the next time you see No. 75 on the turf at M&T Bank Stadium he will be accepting his induction into the Ravens Ring of Honor.
Photo by Sabina Moran


Anonymous said...

Towards the end of last season, Ogden said that, in retrospect, he should have gotten the toe surgery, rather than just waiting for it to heal on its own. Yet, he STILL hasnt' gotten the surgery, while he continues to do his best Brett Favre imitation of "Maybe I'll retire, maybe I won't".

Sorry...this act has gotten way too old, Just like JO. Hang it up, and stop playing these stupid little guessing games already.

Anonymous said...

Note to J.O.:

Stop jerking the people of Baltimore around. Make up your damn mind and announce it to the public. If you want to play, stop being a big baby and get the toe surgery. You owe it to your team to make a decisive decision.

Gil From Perry Hall said...

Note to JO: I appreciate the dedication and excellence you brought to the game and Baltimore over these past years. If you retire, my wife and I will be present (Lord willing) to cheer your accomplishment at your induction to the Ravens Ring of Honor and at your induction to the pro football Hall of Fame. If you come back, we will cheer your return to help this club reach the championship. As you have CLEARLY stated, you will make the choice when you are sure of what you want to do. The inspiration for submitting this post are those individuals who somehow think that your life and decisions should be dictated by their desires.