Brandon Williams Makes it Official
To say that the folks at The Castle were happy about the Brandon Williams signing would be an understatement.
“The emotions that he had on that phone, the excitement, how happy [Brandon Williams] was, it was just something that my wife said, ‘You are on a high!’ And I was. Because just talking with Brandon and how he felt, I could just feel it through the phone. The other part of that is the whole building. When everyone knew that he had agreed to the contract, I think the whole building was lifted up.” ~ Ozzie Newsome
Both Ozzie and John Harbaugh enthusiastically described a player that they believe is great on and off the field. They spoke of leadership and the responsibility that the team and Williams both understand comes with signing such a big contract. And perhaps it’s the intrinsic values that the behemoth defensive tackle provides that generate such excitement, regardless of the salary cap pressures that are a byproduct of the landmark investment in Williams.
The people in that building know better than any outside observers what Brandon Williams means to the Baltimore Ravens.
But that doesn’t diminish all doubt. It doesn’t remove the feeling for some that Williams’ contract (5 years, $52.5M, $24.5M in guarantees) was a bit of a reach. It’s a better deal than the Giants Damon Harrison got last year. Meanwhile, DT’s like Dontari Poe and Johnathan Hankins remain unsigned.
Could it be that the market is questioning high investments in the position given the pass-happy state of the NFL?
Whether you agree that Brandon Williams’ new contract is a reach or not, few would disagree that the Panthers’ signing of offensive tackle Matt Kalil was absolutely a reach. The Panthers, perhaps scarred by the play of former Ravens OT Michael Oher, shelled out to an oft-injured, average at best tackle, a 5-year, $55M deal with $27M in guarantees.
That’s an indication of how bad the tackle market is.
And that could make the position even more valuable in the 2017 NFL Draft.
Gotta Go to Mo!
Yesterday CBS’ Jason LaCanfora served up this on the fence tidbit:
Several teams monitoring the Claiborne market believe he will end up talking the Ravens offer. BAL exploring re-signing Webb as well
— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) March 13, 2017
Morris Claiborne isn’t exactly a model of health and stability. Relatively speaking, he makes Jimmy Smith look like an iron man. Claiborne was the Cowboys No. 1 pick in 2012, the 6th overall selection and the first defender taken off the board. Over the course of the last three seasons, Claiborne has played in just 22 games and the next time he dresses for a full 16-game schedule, it will be his first.
According to Shan Shariff who covers the Cowboys for 105.3 The Fan in Dallas, Claiborne “finally met his potential last year and would’ve made the Pro Bowl if he didn’t get hurt.” Another source has shared that LaCanfora is correct. The Ravens are “monitoring” the situation. That said, the Ravens regularly monitor all player movements so the Tweet should be taken with a grain of salt. After all, it wasn’t long ago that LaCanfora served up this “inside scoop”.
Hearing Ravens made considerable progress with LB Zach Orr on a new contract. They have a press conference scheduled for Fri. May be related
— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) January 20, 2017
Later that day, Zach Orr retired.
Back to Claiborne, if he does in fact sign with the Ravens, expect it to be a heavy incentive-laden contract and it’s doubtful that such a signing would affect the Ravens desire to add corners via the draft.
It’s Not All in The Name
Lastly, these words of wisdom were shared with me when pondering the value of NFL free agents.
“You’ve got to scout the player, not the name.”
That might be why things are very quiet on Nick Mangold front.