At about halftime of the AFC Championship game, I began to feel a bit despondent. Who am I going to root for in the Super Bowl?
Do I root for the cheerleader Pete Carroll who runs up and down the sidelines like a little kid who just walked into a Chuck-E-Cheese?
Or do I root for the evil empire that is the New England Patriots and everything-gate?
This seems like a lose-lose situation. Watching either one of these teams hoist the Lombardi trophy is going to rub me the wrong way. Maybe it’s the fact that I would hate to see a team repeat. Maybe it’s that the Ravens had the Patriots where they wanted them and they pulled a Dennis Green and “let ‘em off the hook.”
So I decided to look at the Super Bowl from a different perspective. I’m not going to get invested in which team I want to win, but instead I’m going to pay attention to which players are going to be unrestricted free agents for the Ravens to potentially be interested in this offseason.
Below are six players I’m going to keep an eye on in the Super Bowl:
Byron Maxwell – Seattle Seahawks – CB
Maxwell has had a phenomenal year playing on the other side from Richard Sherman. At 6’1”, he has ideal size for a corner and has proven to be a physical presence. The problem here will be two-fold. First, he’ll command a huge payday and I’m not sure the Ravens will be able to handle his salary. Second, his defensive coordinator is likely going to become the next coach of the Falcons. I’m sure he would love to lure Maxwell there. I don’t see this happening, but we can dream right?
Tony Moeaki – Seattle Seahawks – TE
With the futures of both Dennis Pitta and Owen Daniels unsettled, the Ravens have to keep an eye on the TE market. Moeaki was signed late in the season and hasn’t had a huge impact, but he’s proven in the past that the potential is there. The TE position is going to be interesting this offseason for the Ravens. Their actions early will tip their hand as to how optimistic they are with regard to Pitta.
O’Brien Schofield – Seattle Seahawks – LB/DL
Schofield is listed as a LB, but he would project more in a Pernell McPhee-type of role with the Ravens. This would also be a cheaper signing for the Ravens who would have a hole to fill (assuming they can’t resign McPhee).
Devin McCourty – New England Patriots – S/CB
McCourty is an interesting one in my opinion. His cap hit was north of $5 million last season so I’m sure he’d be looking for a raise. The problem with him is, will he get paid as a safety or as a corner? I’d imagine teams would be looking to keep him at safety. Will Hill’s latest mishap complicates things for the Ravens, but if they can afford it, I’m sure they’d give McCourty a sniff.
Shane Vereen – New England Patriots – RB
While I’m not sure Vereen could be an every down back, he could be a perfect complement to Lorenzo Taliaferro if Taliaferro can emerge as a number one back. If Marc Trestman keeps the zone blocking scheme (he says he will), Vereen could be a fit.
Akeem Ayers – New England Patriots – LB
This one intrigues me. There’s a ton of potential here. In the Ravens system, he would probably be a backup OLB, but he could be a huge contributor from that spot. He’s big (6’3”) and fast which are two things the Ravens love. He’s also young and coming off of a sub-par season meaning he could fit right into their price range for added LB depth.
Statistics Source: Rotoworld