Just because the moves are unpopular doesn’t mean they’re wrong


My neighbor has this sweet car. It’s about 30 years old, but it’s a sweet looking car. But the problem is that it costs him about $16,000 a year to keep it up, while only getting to use it a few times a week.

So it came to a point where he had to make a decision – keep paying all that money or get rid of it and use that money for something else that he really needs. So he was prepared to just take it to the junk yard and get rid of it for nothing, when all of a sudden he was offered a much newer, smaller car that will only cost him $2,000 a year. So of course he took that car so he could at least get something in return for his older car.

That, my friends, is what happened with the Ravens and Anquan Boldin.

I, like you, was ticked when I first heard about the trade that sent Boldin to the 49ers for a 6th round pick. But the more I looked at this deal for all the angles, the more I realize why they did it.

Do I still like it? Not right now, but it’s still probably the right thing to do.

Remember when the Ravens got rid of Derrick Mason?

Baltimore was furious! Look how that turned out.

Remember when the Ravens let Jarrett Johnson walk? Charm City was in an uproar. Look how that turned out.

Remember when Todd Heap was let go? The purple faithful acted like they gave the boot to a Hall of Famer. Look how that turned out.

Yes, Boldin was phenomenal in the playoffs and he was a big reason why the Ravens are Super Bowl Champions, but every year the front office makes major changes to this team, and every year the Ravens are one of the best teams in the NFL. No team has more wins than Baltimore since 2006… that includes the seasons we got rid of Mason, JJ, Ben Grubbs, and Heap.

Plus, remember Tom Zbikowski, Cory Redding, Bart Scott, Adelius Thomas? They were all real good players for the Ravens that many were upset that left. Not one of the players has been as good as they were when they played in purple.

All of that comes back to our front office. Ozzie Newsome is the very best in the business. The slogan “In Ozzie We Trust” comes up so much because as many times as the fans in Baltimore haven’t agreed with his decisions, more often than not, Ozzie has been the one who was right.

The proof is in the pudding. The Ravens (even with losing those players) are the only team in the NFL to go to the playoffs and win a playoff game each of the last 5 seasons.

I get it. I love Boldin! He was great on the field, in the locker room, and off the field.

But the Ravens are about to go through a lot of transition and lose a lot more players, and so Ozzie has to find a way to use every last cent to the very best of his ability.

That includes letting a great player go.

He has done it before and his track record is way better than any of ours.

Cooler heads prevail and I’m looking forward to seeing what he has up his sleeve next.

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About Joe Polek

Joe Polek
Joe Polek was born in Baltimore, MD, and was raised in Bel Air, MD. In 2001, he moved to Portland, Maine for a job in radio. In 2012, he moved to Columbia, SC for another gig in radio, where he currently resides with his wife, Nicole, and their two daughters....more

25 Raves on “Just because the moves are unpopular doesn’t mean they’re wrong

  1. Stephanie Bjork on said:

    Great article, thank you for putting it into perspective! This just might take the edge off the “sting” of the last 24 hours.

  2. Hut Guy on said:

    I, too, was initially upset by the loss of the players, but now that I have digested it……I think they upgraded with the Canty signing and I believe there are some free agent larcenies to be had, yet. Go Ravens and Go GM !!

  3. Mark on said:

    I still can’t figure out the Pollard release. That is only $1,000,000 to the cap for a player that has really done quite a bit for this team..

    • bogeyroy on said:

      It’s a pass happy league and Pollard can’t cover anyone….and apparently he was somewhat of a cancer in K.C (3 yrs)., Houston (2 yrs.) and Baltimore (2 yrs.). I love the way the guy plays the game, but just like the other places he’s been, he wore out his welcome.

      I was wondering if the Ravens would consider Jimmy Smith at Safety…he’s big, fast and physical, and can cover better than Pollard ever could.

  4. seatraveller on said:

    Be serious. Boldin is gone for the same reason as Pollard. Harbaugh is getting rid of all the leaders of last year’s near mutiny.

    Newsome has failings, one of the worst is not signing our good young players to long term deals earlier in their career when we can afford them. How much would it have cost to sign Kruger and Ellerbe last year. Our coaches work with them everyday and should have been able to evaluate their future worth.

    • Derek ArnoldDerek Arnold on said:

      Ridiculous comment. What did they do with Rice, Ngata, Suggs, Webb, Yanda? Locked them up early. You can’t sign EVERYONE – that’s the problem with drafting as well as they do.

      Ellerbe couldn’t (and still can’t) stay healthy – why invest a ton of money in him last year? Kruger wasn’t effective for 2.5 years of his contract before finally being good for the last 1.5. Should they have signed him after half a good year last year?

      They tried to sign Flacco last year, but he balked at their offer…he bet on himself and he won.

      They better keep drafting well, that’s all, or things could get ugly for the next year or two. I trust them to find the right pieces.

      • bogeyroy on said:

        Well said Derek…if we signed eveyone long term early, we would definitely be in cap trouble quickly when they do not pan out.

  5. JFerg on said:

    I disagree with the Derrick Mason comparison. Mason was turning 37 years old when we let him go, not 32. In fact, Mason played for us from age 31 to 36 and had some of his best years. You’re welcome, 49ers. Colin Kaepernick put it best when he said you won’t find a player of that caliber in the 6th round. Boldin was well worth the million dollar cap hit. Especially since we could be looking at a similar hit if Ozzie has his wish of landing Amendola. But, I digress. In Ozzie We Trust.

    • GG on said:

      Boldin is a $7+ mil cap hit not $1 min. (we save $6 mil). Bernard Pollard was a $2+ mil (I think) we save $1 mil.

      I’m not happy that Q is gone, but that was the 3rd highest cap hit on the team and we have a lot of holes on defense that we need to do something about, which we won’t be able to if we don’t have some room under the cap.

    • Ebuhuel on said:

      Boldin was a 7 million dollar cap hit and his regular season stats weren’t worth it. His best 3 seasons still were in Arizona and he never played at the same lvl in Baltimore. Ozzie was right when saying that Boldin was only worth a 5 mil receiver.

      I still dont get Pollard on the other hand, cause we only save 1 million on him while we have 2 million in dead cap money out of him.

    • bogeyroy on said:

      There is only one ball in play…who will complain first that they aren’t getting the ball enough….Crabtree, Davis or “Q” ? Especially if they have an off year.

  6. seatraveller on said:

    You’re totally wrong. Jason Brown, Ben Grubbs etc, its a lengthy list. You could have signed and afforded a lot more if you had been proactive early on. You’re actually telling me we didn’t know enough about Kruger to sign him to a long term deal, for a lot less, a year ago. Absurd, of course we knew he would be good. We should have acted on that.

    • Derek ArnoldDerek Arnold on said:

      I loved Jason Brown when he was here – was angry they let him go. Where is he now? He signed a huge contract with the Rams after the ’09 season, played 3 years of it, and was released and out of the NFL in 2012.

      They let Grubbs go, and got…K.O. – not as good yet, but very talented and promising. And much cheaper.

      I’m telling you that they didn’t think Kruger was good a year ago, that’s why they drafted his replacement, Courtney Upshaw – who, by the way, started over him in the Super Bowl, and was productive as a rookie, something you can’t say for Kruger. He’s also much cheaper, at least for now.

      You need productive young players on their rookie contracts to compete.

      There’s a salary cap man – you can’t sign everyone!

      • seatraveller on said:

        I loved Jason Brown too and we could have signed him for a lot less the year before. If i remember correctly he wanted to sign then and for less. Upshaw is good but a different player, the Jarrett replacement. Kruger is a part time pass rusher and was effective enough a year ago to be signed cheaply then for that purpose.

      • Reading Comments By Goofies on said:

        Read my user name. These are the people you are replying to Derek.

        I feel like I am reading the Republican response to everything.

      • ravensean509@gmail.com on said:

        well said. I agreed about brown. Snubbed for the pro bowl. I’d say IMO he had the best year at center i’ve ever seen a raven have.

    • Reading Comments By Goofies on said:

      What’s up with this seasalt guy? Stop drinking bay water. You won’t be out of your mind anylonger.

  7. Ravcolt on said:

    The Ravens don’t need to make all of their so-called Raven-type players the highest paid in the league. It eventually comes back to bite you. A team needs to be careful who they pay the big money to. The NFL is now set up as a youthful league. A team gets its best bang for the buck in a player’s first 3-4 years. That’s why the draft and undrafted free agents are critical. I do think they are cleaning house of certain types of players however.

    • Reading Comments By Goofies on said:

      It Hasn’t been mentioned but do you think Boldin may have been difficult? I don’t think he was worth 6 Mil a year.
      I know you did not say this but I hear people yapping that Flacco couln’t have done what he did without Boldin. That might be true. But Boldin nver whent as far as he did without Flacco.
      I am convinced most Fans are dumb!

  8. Reading Comments By Goofies on said:

    We just won our second Championship in 17 Seasons. 14 Teams never won the SB. People need to be thankful and stop talking nonsense.
    I will miss Boldin but things are what they are. The responses I have been reading from many, not all of the so called fans is really pathetic!
    And guess what Alex Smith fans. You can’t win in this league without a QB. Watch what happens in KC. Improvement, but how much?
    And look who signed Kruger, and Ellerbe. Two completely clueless teams that are nowhere near competitive.
    So be thankfull and stop whining!

    • ravensean509@gmail.com on said:

      absolutely. I’ve never been a fan anywhere else but have been an original season ticket hoilder here and we’re a pretty cynical “the sky is falling” fanbase. Follow the game more closely people, on the field and off and understand how it works. We just showed that a superbowl can be won by a team decimated by injuries, lacking big names and not even that good on one side of the ball. You can cover up weaknesses which all teams will have in the age of parity.

      A lot of the reactionary fans remind me of the ones that argued black players weren’t smart enough to play certain positions. I’ve heard quite a bit of that in the stands not too long ago. Basically i’m saying if you can’t appreciate our team and organization in the good times and bad…………..go root for the skins, the browns, the lions, the raiders etc. Oh, that’s right, you cant stand being identified with a loser. You’d be suprised how many fans didn’t acknowledge how good ray lewis was until we won the superbowl. I heard “they’re all sorry” more times than i could count in the marchibroda era.

  9. Michael on said:

    Don’t have to worry about Ozzie signing Amendola he doesn’t react quick enough! His response to the Boldin departure is we signed David Reed to an extension! Face it Ravens front office had no intentions of competing this season!

    • Dave on said:

      You’re absolutely right Michael. The Ravens Front Office are much more focused on the big picture (being a CONSISTENT good team) rather than trying to have a good team for one year and then proceeding to go into Salary Cap Hades. It sucks that the Ravens, after one heck of a 5 year run that I’m certain 31 other NFL teams would GLADLY sign up for, might actually have a “down year”, but that’s an extremely small price to pay.

  10. Ravens_Flock on said:

    Sorry, there’s no way on earth trading Boldin and cutting Pollard can be twisted or contrued as “the right moves”. Not at all. And if they don’t re-sign Reed so he can finish his career as a Raven, that is just absurd. Our $120 million QB and this Boldin-less offense are NOT going to be able to carry the team all the time, so gutting our D the way we are is absolutely moronic. I’m a Ravens fan for life, but this mindless “In Ozzie We Trust” mantra needs to stop. The man is far from perfect, and for every great move he’s made, he’s also made some serious blunders. And he’s making his share this offseason, mark my words.

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