The Ravens won this year’s Super Bowl with several players who were nearing the end of their careers. They were players who had either never won or even made the Super Bowl before.
Players like Matt Birk, who retired yesterday after having a potentially 15-year Hall of Fame career, get to go out on top with no worries in his mind other than health, given what he has endured as an offensive linemen over the years.
Meanwhile, Bobbie Williams, a backup guard for much of this season, spent most of his career with the Cincinnati Bengals, missing the playoffs and looking at other teams in the division like the Ravens and Steelers make it. With Baltimore, he had the opportunity to be one of those players who not only made it, but got a ring.
But while the Ravens can look back on a great season, now it’s time, from Baltimore’s perspective, to expand its resources and make the team younger and fresher than before.
Personally, I have always waited for this so that the players can enjoy it. But now, the Ravens can use this as an excuse to move on. One would argue that it important for the Ravens to re-sign players who were vital to the playoff run with Ray Lewis retiring.
But it is much bigger than that. It is time for the Ravens to give themselves cap relief and look towards the future. Not everyone can be kept. And they shouldn’t be kept.
Guys like Paul Kruger and Cary Williams, as good as they were, should be let go with their high salary demands. They won the Super Bowl, but it wasn’t in ideal circumstances. The Ravens have been tight against the cap for many years now due to their draft success and free agent acquisitions.
It’s time to rebuild, but it’s weird saying that. After all, the Ravens are fresh off a Super Bowl victory, but this may be the only time they have the opportunity to cut bait.
There should be no fear in the front office to let players go. The organization got what it wanted out of them. Cap Space is among the key resources that the Ravens are looking to obtain. Unlike the cap purge of 2002, the Ravens should start a year earlier, without the purge.
The Ravens should look for younger and cheaper talent. The pressure is off for now. There are no excuses at this point to keep a costly veteran who is looking for a championship. Ed Reed and Anquan Boldin are the only current players on the roster who should not be shown the door. They are still valuable assets.
Drafting to fill voids in the middle of the defense is a must. Finding depth at left tackle and center is a must. All could possibly be done this offseason with the Ravens expecting 11 picks in April’s draft.