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Ozzie Sticks to His Credo on the NFL’s New Year’s Day

Fantasy Links Ozzie Sticks to His Credo on the NFL’s New Year’s Day

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So Day 1 of the 2013 NFL Year is under way and for many Ravens’ fans, the Super Bowl Champion bubble has burst.

First there was the trade of Anquan Boldin and then the departures of Paul Kruger and Dannell Ellerbe.  Some have taken to not only throwing Ozzie Newsome under the bus for the departures, some are backing the bus over him too.

Thankfully such fans don’t run the Ravens’ front office.

Does anyone really think Paul Kruger is worth $41M?

Here’s a very good situational player who only makes plays in the run game in the rare instances when he can pursue the play from behind. Sure he’s athletic and he has a burst and the Ravens would have loved to keep him but at $41M? For a two-down player who really can’t set the edge in a 3-4 defense?

I don’t think so.

Does anyone really think Dannell Ellerbe is worth $35M?

Ellerbe has yet to suit up for a full season during his four years in the NFL. The greatest number of games he has played in a single regular season is 13. The injury bug plagued him in college as well.

Yes the Ravens have a gaping hole at inside linebacker and yes Ellerbe is explosive. But his explosive style and kamikaze attack mode makes him susceptible to more injuries and again, while the Ravens could use him and would have preferred to keep him, he flunked the right player, right price credo of Newsome’s.

And then there is Boldin who the Ravens unfortunately determined isn’t worth $7.5M of their 2013 cap. It’s a bitter pill for fans to swallow but maybe Newsome & Co. have a plan. You think? Maybe they have those cap dollars earmarked for other needs.

Maybe they have an answer for the loss of Boldin – someone who is younger and can fill his role in the slot (perhaps some of that role is split between Pitta and Dickson). We’ll have to wait and see. Names like Danny Amendola and Kevin Walter have been mentioned as possibilities.

Neither of these receivers is Anquan Boldin, but either could approach 80% of his production at a cap figure far less than $7.5M. And really isn’t that the challenge of the salary cap – to maximize productivity and depth with limited dollars?

If I had a choice given this pair, Walter would get the nod. He’s physical, a solid blocker in the running game and at 6’3” is a big target, something that Flacco could use given his tendency to be wild high at times.

But back to the seller’s market that occurs on day 1, those who rush to market to get their guy(s) can do so by overpaying. The proof lies in yesterday’s transaction sheet.

Those who wait might lose out on the big names but they can get relative bargains by exercising patience.

This is where Ozzie has few peers and despite the angst directed his way, my money is on Newsome.

All of that white noise from impatient fans driven by fantasy football minds is just that – white noise.

Can you hear me now?

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Tony Lombardi

About Tony Lombardi

Tony is 24x7 Networks, LLC's founder (the parent of EutawStreetReport.com and RussellStreetReport.com) His work has been featured on various sports websites and he is a regular guest on 105.7 The Fan and CBS Sports 1300. He also hosts Backfield in Motion with Justin Forsett seen on ABC2 every Saturday at 1PM. A diehard Fab Four fan, Tony is a frustrated musician who thinks beating on the steering wheel is akin to being John Bonham. He ignores the passengers in cars beside him who laugh. Follow Tony's new Twitter @RSRLombardi. More from Tony Lombardi

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