Today we learned that the Ravens acquired center A.Q. Shipley from the Indianapolis Colts for a conditional seventh round pick.
Shipley has to make the team, otherwise the Ravens owe the Colts nothing.
The acquisition of Shipley should NOT be interpreted as a lack of confidence in the team’s probable starting center Gino Gradkowski but more as an acquisition of value and one that can elevate the level of competition in camp.
If Shipley earns a spot on the team’s 53-man roster, the Ravens essentially get a 26 year old center with 14 games of experience (which means he’s a special teams contributor) and 5 NFL starts. His level of play graded out at an impressive +6.9 according to Pro Football Focus.
So why did Shipley come so inexpensively?
Well the Colts do have returning starting center Samson Satele and they drafted Southern Cal’s center Khaled Holmes with the 24th pick in the fourth round of this year’s NFL Draft.
Not many teams keep three centers.
The handwriting was on the wall for Shipley in Indy.
So, perhaps seeing that the Ravens had a possible need and knowing that Shipley would eventually be cut, why not get something for him, anything, while sending a good guy to a good organization?
This is where those family ties come in handy.
As the Ravens organization matures and more former employees occupy lofty positions in other clubs’ front offices, these kinds of opportunities should surface more regularly.
A family discount is just another of the many benefits of organizational stability.