THE GRAPEVINE: Contract Mechanism Points to Ogden Returning

Lombardi's Way THE GRAPEVINE: Contract Mechanism Points to Ogden Returning

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The NFL will announce this afternoon its nationally televised prime time games for the first week of the season.  WNST’s Drew Forrester has put it out there that a source of his has the Ravens playing host to the Bengals on September 10 for Monday Night Football.  I don’t know about you, but I hope he’s wrong. 
 
As for the other prime time opening weekend games, Peter King from SI/NBC/HBO says it will be the Colts hosting the Saints on the Thursday night opener and on Sunday night of the opening week it will be the Giants and the Cowboys (both televised by NBC).  The entire schedule will be announced on April 5 by ESPN.
 
If Forrester is right about the Ravens and MNF, the broadcasting crew for ESPN will not include Joe Theismann.  Reports out of New York suggest Theismann is done and Ron Jaworski could get the nod.  Theismann’s work was certainly sub par last season and his analysis wasn’t much more than statements of the obvious.  He was much better when paired with Mike Patrick and Paul McGuire.  Too bad, Theismann has always been a champion of the Ravens.
 
As pointed out by our own Brian McFarland, a few weeks ago Jonathan Ogden’s salary was listed on NFLPA.org as $6.11 million.  Today his salary is posted at $820,000.  Given that Ogden remains undecided (at least publicly) about continuing his playing career, we thought the change was a very curious one.  Yesterday on GAMETIME I asked The Sun’s Jamison Hensley about that.  Hensley said that he posed the same question to Ozzie Newsome and Newsome called the change a “mechanism.”  Apparently this mechanism was built into Ogden’s contract and the team would determine whether to trigger it or not.  The Ravens opted to pull that trigger. 
 
At this point, no one outside of the Ravens knows exactly how the mechanism restructures Ogden’s deal.  However, restructured deals usually aren’t done for retiring players by cap savvy organizations like the Ravens who avoid dead cap dollars like record executives avoid Britney Spears.  This is purely an educated guess on my part but this mechanism suggests that J.O. is returning in ’07 and depending on the components of the restructure, he could be returning for more than one season.
 
A player who might not be returning next season is Tennessee’s troubled Pacman Jones.  According to Peter King, “Jones has a rap sheet of 10 run-ins with the police since being drafted in the first round by Tennessee in 2005, including two arrests he never reported to the league, which violates a player’s obligation to disclose arrests.”  Word is that The Commish Roger Goodell will carry a big stick with knuckleheads like Jones.  The Bears’ Tank Johnson is another who could feel the wrong end of that stick.
 
Later this week the league will announce the compensatory picks for the 2007 NFL Draft.  Such picks are determined by a formula based on salary, playing time and postseason honors. The formula was developed by the NFL Management Council. Not every free agent lost or signed by a club is covered by this formula.
 
The formula is a bit subjective and shrouded in secrecy and weighs the value of players acquired v. those lost.  No team can receive more than four compensatory picks.
 
Even the league’s GMs don’t know the exact formula.  However, an internet message board poster who has earned a reputation as a master of sorts with this formula goes by the handle of AdamJT13.  You can read his entire analysis on the 2007 compensatory picks here:  Compensatory Pick Forecast.
 
AdamJT13 projects the following compensatory picks for 2007 keeping in mind that a number such as 16/14 refers to Games Played/Games Started:

THIRD ROUND

San Diego (Drew Brees, $10.0 million, 16 Games Played/16 Games Started, Pro Bowl)
San Francisco (Julian Peterson , $7.714 million, 16/16, Pro Bowl)
Indianapolis (Edgerrin James, $7.5 million, 16/16)

FOURTH ROUND
Oakland (Charles Woodson, $5.576 million, 16/16)
Pittsburgh (Chris Hope, $5.098 million, 16/16)
Atlanta (Kevin Shaffer, $5.143 million, 16/16)
Baltimore (Anthony Weaver, $5.3 million, 15/15)

FIFTH ROUND
Indianapolis (David Thornton, $4.45 million, 16/13)
Baltimore (Ma’ake Kemoeatu, $4.6 million, 16/14)
Pittsburgh (Antwaan Randle El, $4.464 million, 16/16)
New England (David Givens, $4.8 million, 5/5, placed on IR)

SIXTH ROUND
Indianapolis (Larry Tripplett, $3.607 million, 16/16)
Baltimore (Chester Taylor, $3.5 million, 15/15)
Cincinnati (Jon Kitna, $2.875 million, 16/16)
Baltimore (Will Demps, $2.28 million, 16/16)
New England (Tom Ashworth, $2.6 million, 16/6)
Seattle (Marquand Manuel, $2.0 million, 16/16)
New England (Adam Vinatieri, $2.4 million, 13 GP)

SEVENTH ROUND
Tampa Bay (Dexter Jackson, $1.85 million, 12/11)
San Diego (Justin Peelle, $1.5 million, 15/10)
Green Bay (Craig Nall, $1.423 million, 0/0)
Atlanta (Barry Stokes, $1.092 million, 11/11)
St. Louis (Rex Tucker, $1.217 million, 6/5, placed on IR)
San Diego (Reche Caldwell, $1.006 million, 16/14)
Tampa Bay (Jameel Cook, $1.020 million, 12/6)
Kansas City (Tony Richardson, $1.078 million, 9/7)
New England (Tim Dwight, $1.063 million, 9/2, placed on IR)
San Francisco (Anthony Clement, $750,000, 16/16)
St. Louis (Jamie Martin, $1.005 million, 16/0)
Jacksonville (Kenny Wright, $750,000, 16/9)
Minnesota (Raonall Smith, $755,000, 16/0)
Atlanta (Kevin McCadam, $765,000, 16/0)

 
Looking ahead to 2008, it would be more of a surprise if Rex Ryan remains the Ravens’ defensive coordinator than if he were the top gun on another team’s sideline.  Therefore it is essential that the Ravens plan accordingly.  Many have suggested that Vic Fangio is the heir apparent and if that is the case, Fangio should be more involved on the practice field and not some eye in the sky “special consultant.”  Developing a rapport with players who are very familiar and attached to Rex Ryan would be the prudent thing for Brian Billick and Fangio to do.  Linebackers coach Jeff Fitzgerald has already developed the prerequisite rapport.
 
And finally, Edwin Mulitalo officially becomes a Detroit Lion this week once his new contract is signed.  Word is that he gave the Ravens a chance to come close to the as of yet unannounced terms but the team was steadfast in its commitment to move in a new direction.  On GAMETIME Mulitalo expressed that he is hopeful to one day retire as a Baltimore Raven.

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Tony Lombardi

About Tony Lombardi

Tony is 24x7 Networks, LLC's founder (the parent of EutawStreetReport.com and RussellStreetReport.com) His work has been featured on various sports websites and he is a regular guest on 105.7 The Fan and CBS Sports 1300. Among his favorite things in life are his wife, kids, family, friends, The Beatles, Breaking Bad, Gladiator, Guinness, Orange Crushes and Key West, not necessarily in that order. Follow Tony on Twitter @RSRLombardi. More from Tony Lombardi

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