As our own Brian McFarland forecasted back on February 10, more reports are now surfacing that the Ravens are set to part ways with Willis McGahee.
This should come to the surprise of no one given McGahee’s $6 million price tag for 2011. Compare that to Ray Rice’s scheduled salary of $550,000 and it becomes even more difficult to justify the team’s Six Million Dollar Man. The Ravens can circumvent some possible cap issues by releasing the former Miami Hurricane now. For more on the cap relief, click here.
As for whether the Ravens will bring back McGahee at a reduced number, it’s possible but if a new CBA isn’t struck before the draft, the Ravens have no incentive to bring back McGahee any time soon. That said, McGahee’s agent Drew Rosenhaus may also prefer to see how the dust settles before trying to place his client.
If the NFL labor strife continues beyond April it could affect the way teams approach the draft. Teams that adopt the best player available approach over need may be more inclined to weigh need a bit more heavily. I don’t however see the Ravens leaning that way. Look for them to continue to beat the BPA drum and use free agency later on to fill in holes/needs.
Eric DeCosta shared a sneak preview of the Ravens’ approach on the Norris & Davis Show this week heard on 105.7 The Fan. (LINK)
One of the things DeCosta shared that jumped out at me was an emphasis on finding play makers. They are seeking players who can impact games in critical situations at least in part because they are very aware of the many fourth quarter leads that vanished during the 2010 season.
Reading between the lines here, expect the Ravens to focus on improving team speed and more than likely NOT investing a day 1 pick on an offensive lineman.