Monday, March 10, 2008

Ozzie schools former pupil

Admittedly I’ve been a bit critical of Ozzie Newsome as of late. I’m not a fan of how Ozzie allows too much time to lapse before he bellies up to the bar and negotiates contracts. Players that you define as core players are the type you look to keep and those that you look to lock up long-term and preferably not a few months removed from free agency. The price then becomes too expensive and it places an unnecessary burden on the salary cap, hence the Ravens’ current unfavorable cap position. It will be interesting to see what the team eventually pays Jason Brown.

I also wasn’t keen on how Phil Savage snookered Ozzie back in 2005 when the Browns’ GM forced the Ravens to re-sign Chester Taylor for more than twice the cost of a first round restricted free agent tender. Savage knew that given the health concerns surrounding Jamal Lewis that the Ravens could not afford to let Taylor escape and he made them pay.

Well paybacks are a you-know-what!

Recently Derek Anderson signed a new contract with the Browns that has the former Beaver earning roughly $24 million over the next 3 seasons and includes $13 million in guarantees. Not a bad coup for a player with two years of experience and one with a 78.9 career QB rating.

Why did the Browns offer so much when they have Brady Quinn waiting in the wings and they had the option of extending the high end restricted tender of $2.56 million instead? It seems to me that Savage slipped with this one a bit.

During his press conference to announce the Anderson signing Savage suggested that market pressures and rumors may have benefitted Anderson and his agent leaving Savage somewhat at their mercy. That might explain the inflated offer to Anderson. But what pressures and rumors influenced Savage’s behavior?

A report originating from WKNR 850 out of Cleveland by mid-morning host Tony Rizzo stated that the Dallas Cowboys would give the Browns their first pick in the first and third rounds (28th pick in each round) for Anderson. Then Jerry Jones & Co. were said to trade Anderson to the Ravens for their first round pick, No. 8 overall.

Word is that then Jones could land the coveted Razorback from his own alma mater, Darren McFadden assuming he was still available.

Perhaps you are thinking that Ozzie would never pay such a price for a quarterback who only two years prior was his for the 39th selection in the sixth round. If so I would have to agree with you. But the structure of the deal made sense and apparently it forced Savage’s hand. Not only could he not let Anderson escape yet, he clearly didn’t want to see him slip away to a divisional rival.

Game Newsome!

Somewhere in Owings Mills while swirling his snifter, Ozzie was smiling.


Anonymous said...

Basically, you are saying that Ozzie called Savage's bluff. I must be missing something because I really don't believe this is the case at all. If Cleveland didn't want Anderson back, they could have left him hit the free market with the highest tender, and would have gotten draft picks (1st and 3rd) in return. However, if they did that, and no team wanted Anderson at that price, then they would pay him $2M and Anderson would become an unrestricted free agent next year. His market value would increase (presuming he had a good year)and then Cleveland would receive less compensation for him in the way of compensatory picks. By signing him long term, the team has more flexibility in their QB situation and they can trade him over the next 3 years at their leisure. There is no way Cleveland is going to let him walk for free, unlike the Ravens, who really messed up big time on this 6th round draft pick.

Anonymous said...

I don't know, Tony. According to, the Anderson deal might be a one year deal in disguise.

(Excerpt below)

"POSTED 9:54 p.m. EST, March 6, 2008


For many high-profile NFL contracts, the truth isn't known until folks get a chance to eyeball the details.

In the case of the contract signed on February 29 by Browns quarterback Derek Anderson, the details suggest that it might be only a one-year deal."