Some teams get excited about new players that join their teams after leaving other teams. The Chiefs and their fans are happy with the additions of Kelly Gregg and Le’Ron McClain. And now they’ve added Jared Gaither.
Judging from the performances of their offensive tackles during the Thursday night preseason game in Philadelphia, the Ravens could use some reinforcements at offensive tackle. It would seem that they’ve given up on Oniel Cousins as a tackle (and rightly so) and they are now giving him a shot at guard. That leaves Michael Oher, Jah Reid and Ramon Harewood to man the offensive edges. It is unlikely that the team will start the season with those three only.
And that makes the Ravens decision to abandon Jared Gaither even more interesting. Terms of his deal with the Chiefs have not been disclosed but it is believed to be a one year deal and generally speaking those don’t often push past the $3M mark.
If they could trust Gaither even a little bit, wouldn’t that deal be worth the risk given the team’s depth issues at the position?
Apparently the uninspired, late- for-meetings and weight lifting sessions, somewhat injury prone tackle persuaded the Ravens to answer, “No!”
A recent development in Ravens camp is the emergence of cornerback Cary Williams. Williams has played very well throughout camp and he has good size and wingspan for the position. Given Chris Carr’s current slump, Lardarius Webb’s inconsistencies and Domonique Foxworth’s health, it’s nice to see that the Ravens coaching staff is willing to give Williams a shot with the first team defense. Both Carr and Webb seem better suited for the nickel corner and Foxworth is arguably the team’s most overpaid free agent acquisition in its history.
If you were to take most media reports as gospel as they relate to the Ravens free agency efforts this summer, several sources would have you believe that the team:
· Had major interested in trading for Osi Umenyiora and that some within the organization openly campaigned for the Giants defensive end
· Courted Malcom Floyd who eventually took less money to stay in San Diego
· Was left standing at the altar by Derrick Mason to play for Sexy Rexy & the Jets
· Signed a player in Lee Evans who “can be difficult to deal with at times”
But you all know better than that which in part is why you are reading this. Because you want the truth!
So here it is…
On Umenyiora: Since last season a Ravens’ source has shared with me after inquiring about the Big Blue sack master (given the team’s then inability to get to the quarterback), that the front office doesn’t think that Osi is a fit for what the team does schematically on defense. Umenyiora is a 4-3 defensive end and a less than enthusiastic participant in run support. Couple that with his contract demands, the cost to get him (probably a second round pick) and the emergence of some young players who can get after the quarterback (Paul Kruger, Art Jones, Sergio Kindle & Pernell McPhee) and it’s easy to see why those ill-advised hopes promulgated by the media for Umenyiora went sayonara.
On Malcom Floyd: The Floyd noise was nothing more than his agent’s efforts to pump up the volume for his client. The Ravens had a need, his client fit the need and he once played in Cam Cameron’s system. Behind the scenes Floyd’s agent baited The Ravens into the Floyd Sweepstakes but the Ravens only gave them a weak, low ball offer.
On Derrick Mason: If the Ravens had wanted to keep Mason, they would never have cut him. They would have re-negotiated with him from the start. Truth is, the Ravens were ready to move on after last season – and they did. Unless of course you believe some of the misinformed members of the media who enjoy playing their version of connect the dots and mistake it for the truth.
On Lee Evans: The Ravens closely studied the rosters of all NFL teams during the offseason and throughout the lockout to seek players who may be expendable and could help the Ravens. Ozzie Newsome and his staff spotted one in Lee Evans and they targeted him all the way back in March. Newsome’s patience paid off because the player they landed is a big schematic upgrade over Mason and a vastly superior player than Floyd.
And as for Evans being “difficult to deal with at times”, I’ve heard nothing but extremely positive comments about the former Bill from teammates and Buffalo media members who cover the team.
But I suppose good guys don’t sell newspapers or generate web traffic so they just make stuff up.
Hey it works for the tabloids, right?