As fans of the Baltimore Ravens it’s only natural for you to want all of the players working hard during the offseason to improve upon a disappointing 2013 season and stick it to the naysayers who suggest that the best NFL odds for the Ravens point to a .500 season.
And that includes the players participating in “voluntary” organized team activities.
The attendance during these OTA’s has been very good, albeit short of perfect. Questions surface when players like Terrell Suggs and Haloti Ngata fail to appear. Two players who are supposed to be leaders actually take advantage of the “voluntary” aspect of these gatherings and opt to do other things?
Their absence paves the way for us all to draw our own conclusions until they make an appearance to confirm our bleak expectations or to put our paranoid minds at ease.
Next week the Ravens introduce “mandatory” to team activities as they host their one and only non-voluntary mini-camp. Then we’ll get to see how Suggs and Ngata have taken care of themselves this offseason.
Assuming they report in good shape, their absences will soon be forgotten.
If they report in sloppy condition, it could be a disheartening topic of conversation during the NFL’s dead zone – the days between the last mandatory mini-camp practice and the first day veterans report to training camp.
However they report, it is clearly open game for all of us to opine upon. But at the end of the day, it really doesn’t matter what we think. What matters most is what their teammates and coaches think.
Suggs and Ngata each have outstanding resumes, respected by teammates and they are completely immersed in and familiar with Dean Pees’ defense. There’s no reason (at this point) to think both won’t enjoy productive campaigns in 2014.
Been there, done that!
But what about another player who has been MIA – Chris Canty?
Canty had his moments in 2013 but he was hardly reliable or consistent. It would be a stretch for the Ravens to say that Canty gave the team their money’s worth.
Last season Canty had the team’s 16th biggest cap number at $1.507M. This season he has the team’s 10th biggest cap number at $3.17M. With the additions of rookies Timmy Jernigan and Brent Urban along with the availability of Kapron Lewis-Moore and the increased repetitions expected for Brandon Williams, Pernell McPhee and DeAngelo Tyson is Canty worth the money?
Is he even needed?
Releasing the former Giant and Cowboy would save the Ravens $1.83M in cap space in 2014 and another $2.66M in 2015.
The rangy defensive lineman has never been looked upon as a guy who loves the game of football. His commitment has been questioned before and now that he recently received his $500,000 roster bonus yet fails to show after a less than impressive 2013, questions about his commitment have surfaced again.
It’s not as though he has the creds of Suggs or Ngata nor is he as familiar with the defense. When more accomplished players like Lardarius Webb and Elvis Dumervil can show up for the voluntary practices in order to have better seasons, why can’t Canty?
Voluntary or not, you have to wonder what Canty’s teammates think, what the coaches think and perhaps more importantly what the front office thinks.
Right player, right price.
That’s the math of Ozzie Newsome.
And for now, Canty among the final 53 doesn’t add up.