Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Ravens let one slip away

So Josh Wilson is a Redskin…

I have to admit, this one stings a bit.

But before we explore that, let’s dial it back 48 hours for a moment.

When I first heard about the Ravens parting ways with fan favorites Willis McGahee, Kelly Gregg, Todd Heap and Derrick Mason I was quite surprised by how swiftly the Ravens moved. After all, Ozzie & Co. are often very pragmatic.

The first two, McGahee and Gregg were understandable – players not performing to the value of their respective contracts.

Heap’s dismissal was difficult to see coming despite the hints the Ravens provided last year when they drafted tight ends Ed Dickson and Dennis Pitta in rounds 3 and 4 respectively.

Upon further review, Mason’s release isn’t shocking given the $4.5 million price tag for a 37 year old wide receiver, but a mild surprise nonetheless.

Add it all up and the message was clear – these guys have a plan and they are ready to execute it.

Or so I thought.

Now granted it’s much too soon to start grading the Ravens’ offseason. That’s about as short-sighted as grading an NFL draft the day after it happens. But that said the Ravens are off to a bad start.

Yes they did tackle priority No. 1 – signing Marshal Yanda. But since then you might conclude that someone slipped Ambien in the Ravens front office water cooler.

A little over a month ago a Ravens source informed me that when the lockout ended and the predictable chaos ensued, the Ravens would be prepared and patient – a staple of the Ozzie Newsome repertoire.

On another occasion the same source explained how pleased they were with the Josh Wilson acquisition, particularly when the cost was just a fifth round pick.

The Ravens have uncertainty in their secondary. Jimmy Smith is a rookie without the benefit of OTA’s. Chris Carr could be moving on – the same for Dawan Landry. Lardarius Webb had an inconsistent 2010 and Domonique Foxworth is coming back from a major ACL tear. We all know how that can go.

And then there was Josh Wilson, a player who came on strong at the end of the season and reportedly was the team’s next targeted signing.

And a 3 year, $13.5 million deal with a $6 million signing bonus sent him packing down the BW Parkway to wear burgundy and gold.

They let Wilson walk for that reasonable number.

It was like turning down front row seats at a Springsteen concert for face value.

I don’t get it.

But I’ll rely on blind faith and believe that a week or so from now, it will all be clear to me.

Now if you’ll excuse me I need to go and find my glasses.


Anonymous said...

Always felt Josh was a little overrated last year. He gave up some big plays down the field and most receivers can eat peanuts off his head.

Phillip said...

tony, why would ravens pay 5M per year for a #2 corner when they already have two other #2 corners in Fox, Webb and a possible #1 corner in Smith? Makes no sense to me. i can see going after a #1 corner and paying 5M a year (like the Steelers did with Ike Taylor yesterday) but have a hard time getting too concerned with a #2 when that seems to be what we have....Actually makes more sense to pay less and get Chris Carr (who was more reliable than Wilson last season) because he plays inside and outside and can play safety according to things i've read. i'd take the savings and find a backup runner.

I just don't know why you'd want to pay Wilson starter money when you aren't SURE he's a starter this year.

And, it's ironic that you criticize the FO for working slowly. Most people who are pissed about losing Wilson were pissed when the Ravens were "deliberate" last year in searching for corners and could "only" get a Seattle castoff in Josh Wilson on the eve of the season.

Maybe your source is correct and Ozzie has a rabbit or two up his sleeve.

Phil From Frostburg said...

Here's the real head scratcher - Why is Foxworth still on the team with his $7.5M cap number when better corners like Wilson and Carr are leaving for much lesser deals? Do we take an accelerated cap hit if he's cut now? Are the Ravens afraid to cut an NFLPA exec committee member because they could be accused of backlash against him? It doesn't make much sense.

Jerry B said...

Not buyin' the Wilson loss as critical - he's OK, but that's about it. The Ravens still have Foxworth, Webb, Carr and #1 draft pick Jummy Smith, so Wilson's loss isn't all that great. As for Chester, he spent much of his time being pushed into his own backfield and never really developedas expected. But, they do need a pass rusher, which is why they drafted Kindle last year and they do need to improve on the OL. As for running backs behind Rice, I'd like to see them keep McClain and use him at tailback where his punishing style is a perfect complement to Rice's finesse style. We'll have to wait tili the dust settles before assessing Ozzie's performance, which over the years has been pretty good.........

Tony Lombardi said...

Foxworth returning from ACL tear; Wilson moving on and possibly Carr and Landry. I'm not a Landry fan but I'm sorry, if this all pans out this way and there's not a bigger push up front the team is weaker. Just the way it is.

That said, as I've stated in just about every blog on this topic and on air, I won't judge the front office moves until they take the field on Sept 11.

Tony Lombardi said...

Ravens would save $4.4M cutting Foxworth and they would have dead cap money of $3M for 2011 and 2012.

Jerry B said...

Agree as to pass rush. Pass defense has become so restricted that, regardless of how good your DBs are, you either put pressure on the opposing QBs or they're going to put pressure on your DBs! And, given time, the QBs win that battle most of the time.