As the NFL trade deadline approaches today there is mounting speculation that the Ravens will deal their enigmatic reserve left tackle Bryant McKinnie to the Arizona Cardinals.
The rumored deal makes sense for both teams provided:
1) The Ravens are comfortable that Jah Reid is ready for duty if called upon; and
2) The Cardinals are willing to exchange something of value.
Trading McKinnie means that the Ravens are banking on the ability of Michael Oher to stay healthy. While Oher hasn’t been spectacular or even above average for that matter, he has been serviceable. And that’s something you can’t say with certainty for Kelechi Osemele or Reid if called upon to man Joe Flacco’s blindside.
(SIDE BAR: Maybe it’s just me but on the heels of all of the McKinnie strip club debt for lap dances and the like, I found it amusing that he’s listed on Wednesday’s injury report with a thigh injury…just saying…)
And then of course the Ravens have to get something in return from Arizona.
Do the Cardinals have a surplus of defensive linemen? It wouldn’t take much to supplant a rapidly fading Ma’ake Kemoeatu.
Are the Cardinals willing to part with a mid round draft pick?
From an Arizona perspective, is McKinnie, a slightly above average player whose passion for the game has to be questioned and one with some off the field baggage, worth anything more than a sixth-round-pick? It has been awhile since the Ravens found a diamond in the rough that late in the draft whose name isn’t Sam Koch.
And if a sixth is the going rate for McKinnie, isn’t it then of greater value to the Ravens to keep him around? After all, he does have playoff experience and he has shown an ability to keep the Steelers James Harrison in check.
At the end of the day (today), the guess here is that unless there’s a serviceable defensive tackle in the mix, the Ravens will still be the employer that garnishes Bryant McKinnie’s wages.