Some folks have questioned the Ravens decision to acquire TE L.J. Smith and it begs the question, “Why?”
The Ravens need three tight ends. Dan Wilcox has hardly been the model of health, he’ll be 32 in three days and his contract has expired. Last season Wilcox’ cap figure was $1.092 million. The contract for the soon to be 29 year old L.J. Smith (May 13) carries a $1.5 million figure.
In 39 games over the past three seasons Smith has 109 catches for 1,145 yards and 9 scores. Wilcox has played in 32 games during that same stretch and collected 31 catches for 203 yards and 6 TD’s.
The move to get Smith (the Eagles’ franchise player in ’08) qualifies as a no brainer!
And it raises concerns about the future of Todd Heap in Baltimore.
Comparatively speaking during that same three year stretch (2006-08) Heap has played in 38 games hauling in 131 passes for 1,407 yards and 10 TD’s. Heap’s cap figure is a whopping $6.37 million in 2009.
Could Heap’s days in Baltimore be numbered?
Keep in mind that Heap hasn’t exactly been near the top of John Harbaugh’s Christmas card list. The two have been seen in the past on the sidelines explaining some unpleasantries.
If the Ravens release Heap, they would realize a cap savings just under $1.1 million. Can Heap’s productivity be replaced for $1.1 million? Exactly how valuable were his 35 catches for 403 yards during his 16 starts in ’08?
As it stands today, Heap will more than likely be a Raven in ’09.
But if Oklahoma State’s Brandon Pettigrew is the Ravens’ highest rated player on the board when they are on the clock with pick No. 26, do they take him?
And if they do, will we then have heard the last of “HEEEEEEEEAP!” at M&T Bank Stadium?