Monday, April 20, 2009

Boldin's route to Baltimore has road blocks

Much attention has been given to the potential trade between the Ravens and the Cardinals for Anquan Boldin. The Ravens are unlikely to part ways with a first and third round pick this year, particularly given the shape of the 2009 NFL Draft.

The Ravens are believed to really covet their positioning in this year’s draft given the number of value picks that should be available to them at No. 26. The players projected to be drafted between picks 10-25 aren’t materially better than the players that should be on the board for the Ravens yet they will cost significantly more to sign.

Also indirectly affecting any swap of picks for Boldin is the trade that took place over the weekend between the Eagles and the Bills. To land Pro Bowl tackle Jason Peters the Eagles parted with a first round and a fourth round pick in ’09 as well as a conditional pick in 2010. Clearly there is far less room for error when trading for a two-time All Pro 27-year-old left tackle than for a three time Pro Bowl wide receiver who will soon be 29.

Left tackles have far more career longevity; they are more adaptable to a new offense and they are arguably more vital to a team’s success. If the Bills couldn’t land a first and a third for Peters, it’s doubtful that anyone else will pay more for Boldin despite the philanthropy demonstrated by Jerry Jones in 2008 when he gave up a first, second and sixth in the ’09 draft for former Lion Roy Williams.

If Boldin is traded to the Ravens, the bet here is that it will take something less than a No. 1 & No. 3 to get Ozzie to pull the trigger.

Some, citing the Cardinals need for a running back have suggested that the Ravens trade Willis McGahee and a pick to Arizona for Boldin. Yeah and I’m sure that the Cardinals can’t wait to inherit a Ravens’ problem. Let’s call a spade a spade. The Cardinals are cheap and if they weren’t, they’d probably pay Boldin and everyone would live happily ever after in the desert.

So why would they take on McGahee’s work ethic issues and his fat contract?

The answer is they won’t.

Plus even if the Cardinals wanted McGahee, the Ravens can’t afford to part with him. No, that is not a typo. The Ravens cannot afford to trade Willie Mac. If they did the team would be hit with a staggering $11.25 million charge against their cap and if you haven’t looked at the Ravens cap status lately, they have but a fraction of that available ($1.5 million).

Sorry folks if the Cardinals want a Ravens’ RB, it won’t be McGahee even if he does make Cardinals’ head coach Ken Whisenhunt’s heart go aflutter.

Oh but you say why don’t the Ravens extend Terrell Suggs to a long-term deal and free up some space to bring in Boldin and/or to rock you out a Hurricane, right?

Not so fast…

Sources have indicated that the Ravens have extended an offer to Suggs that would pay him fairly and place him among the highest paid defenders in the league. If the Ravens don’t get Suggs extended this year, 2009 will probably be the linebacker’s swansong season with the club.

Don’t know if you saw the NY Times article on Ozzie Newsome but it’s worth checking out. The article supports the notion that Ozzie is among the best if not the best GM on draft day. Interestingly the article also accounts some draft day discussions from 2008 between Ozzie, Eric DeCosta and Steve Bisciotti. The Ravens believed that drafting Joe Flacco at No. 8 would have been a bit embarrassing so they traded back to No. 26. DeCosta was confident the Ravens would get their guy at 26 but Bisciotti wasn’t willing to take the risk and so they moved up to 18 to get Flacco.

Perhaps that was the origins of Whacko for Flacco.


Anonymous said...

I hate to side with the owner on this one, but if you remember, Philadelphia had the 19th pick in last year's draft and the minute the Ravens drafted Joe Flacco, Philadelphia immediately traded back out of the 19th spot. Joe Flacco would not be our QB today if we didn't trade up to 18 to get him. Philadelphia knew all about Joe Flacco and his ability, since the Blue Hen facility is like 20 miles away from Philly. They are looking everyday for someone to come in and replace the aging McNabb. Bisciotti's instincts on this one (and firing the coach) were correct.

Anonymous said...

Actually, Philly selected a QB in the second round the year before in Kevin Kolb. It's a virtual certainty that the Eagles would not have drafted Flacco in stanza one after drafting Kolb so high the year before. Do you really think Andy Reid would have admitted his mistake so quickly by using another high pick on a QB without seeing whether or not Kolb could actually play. Philly traded out of round one because they coveted DeSean Jackson, who had serious character issues....They got an additional first-round pick and still got the player (Jackson) they wanted in round two.