Is Ozzie patient or just late to the free agent party?


So Josh Wilson is a Redskin…like 7 other former Ravens. 

But I have to admit, this one stings a bit more.

But before we explore that, let’s dial it back 48 hours for a moment.

When I first heard about the Ravens parting ways with fan favorites Willis McGahee, Kelly Gregg, Todd Heap and Derrick Mason I was quite surprised by how swiftly the Ravens moved. After all, Ozzie & Co. are often very pragmatic.

The first two, McGahee and Gregg were understandable – players not performing to the value of their respective contracts.

Heap’s dismissal was difficult to see coming despite the hints the Ravens provided last year when they drafted tight ends Ed Dickson and Dennis Pitta in rounds 3 and 4 respectively.

Upon further review, Mason’s release isn’t shocking given the $4.5 million price tag for a 37 year old wide receiver, but a mild surprise nonetheless.

Add it all up and the message was clear – these guys have a plan and they are ready to execute it.

Or so I thought.

Now granted it’s much too soon to start grading the Ravens’ offseason. That’s about as short-sighted as grading an NFL draft the day after it happens. But that said the Ravens are off to a bad start.

Yes they did tackle priority No. 1 – signing Marshal Yanda. But since then you might conclude that someone slipped Ambien in the Ravens front office water cooler.

A little over a month ago a Ravens source informed me that when the lockout ended and the predictable chaos ensued, the Ravens would be prepared and patient – a staple of the Ozzie Newsome repertoire.

On another occasion the same source explained how pleased they were with the Josh Wilson acquisition, particularly when the cost was just a fifth round pick.

The Ravens have uncertainty in their secondary. Jimmy Smith is a rookie without the benefit of OTA’s. Chris Carr could be moving on – the same for Dawan Landry. Lardarius Webb had an inconsistent 2010 and Domonique Foxworth is coming back from a major ACL tear. We all know how that can go.

And then there was Josh Wilson, a player who came on strong at the end of the season and reportedly was the team’s next targeted signing.

And a 3 year, $13.5 million deal with a $6 million signing bonus sent him packing down the BW Parkway to wear burgundy and gold.

They let Wilson walk for that reasonable number.

It was like turning down front row seats at a Springsteen concert for face value.

I don’t get it.

But I’ll rely on blind faith and believe that a week or so from now, it will all be clear to me.

Now if you’ll excuse me I need to go and find my glasses. 


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About Tony Lombardi

Tony Lombardi
Tony is 24x7 Networks, LLC's founder (the parent of and His work has been featured on various sports websites and he is a regular guest on 105.7 The Fan. A diehard Fab Four fan, Tony is a frustrated musician who thinks beating on the steering wheel is akin...more

4 Raves on “Is Ozzie patient or just late to the free agent party?

  1. Chip R on said:

    I think the Ravens will be fine over the long haul. As you mention they handled their top free agent priority by re-signing Yanda. Making a splash in free agency is not the Raven’s style. They have not landed a top free agent really since Shannon Sharpe in 2000 (remember McNair and Boldin were both trades). They will fill in at FB (perhaps Vickers), backup QB, and perhaps another OT. I agree that it’s tough to lose Josh Wilson for a reasonable amount of money. They will need to sign another corner as Carr could be on the way out along with S Landry. It’s still better than what the Redskins are doing…signing all these marginal players and hoping something sticks. No method to the madness down there. It will never change as long as Snyder is running the show.

  2. Tony Lombardi on said:


    I hear you…just concerned that they are going to be depending upon a rookie corner w/o the benefit of OTA’s; one coming off a torn ACL and another who was inconsistent. The most consistent corner they had was Carr and he could be gone.

    I will judge Ozzie’s offseason in its totality but to lose Wilson at what I consider a reasonable number doesn’t sit well AT THIS POINT.

  3. dave on said:

    So far Ravens “once in a decade” free agency actions remind me of a guy i knew who ate jello at a casino buffet.

    Hey, i’m definitely not wanting the Oz to turn into Danny Snyder or Jerry Jones, but this is not the normal vanilla free agency period.

    Oooh, vanilla jello that’s a thought for the discerning football palate. A sommelier might recommend Purple Kool-Aid 2001 to go with it.

  4. Jeremy Gold on said:

    So Ozzie signed chris carr today. let me get this correct. He signed an older, slower corner instead of the local guy who we traded for last season and guarded team’s best wr and won us one game by himself? Wilson should have been back. now we have paid all this money for foxworth( who was not even a top flight corner before tearing his ACL), and carr. a slow, short career backup. YIKES

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