Ozzie Sticks to His Credo on the NFL’s New Year’s Day

Ozzie Scouting

So Day 1 of the 2013 NFL Year is under way and for many Ravens’ fans, the Super Bowl Champion bubble has burst.

First there was the trade of Anquan Boldin and then the departures of Paul Kruger and Dannell Ellerbe.  Some have taken to not only throwing Ozzie Newsome under the bus for the departures, some are backing the bus over him too.

Thankfully such fans don’t run the Ravens’ front office.

Does anyone really think Paul Kruger is worth $41M?

Here’s a very good situational player who only makes plays in the run game in the rare instances when he can pursue the play from behind. Sure he’s athletic and he has a burst and the Ravens would have loved to keep him but at $41M? For a two-down player who really can’t set the edge in a 3-4 defense?

I don’t think so.

Does anyone really think Dannell Ellerbe is worth $35M?

Ellerbe has yet to suit up for a full season during his four years in the NFL. The greatest number of games he has played in a single regular season is 13. The injury bug plagued him in college as well.

Yes the Ravens have a gaping hole at inside linebacker and yes Ellerbe is explosive. But his explosive style and kamikaze attack mode makes him susceptible to more injuries and again, while the Ravens could use him and would have preferred to keep him, he flunked the right player, right price credo of Newsome’s.

And then there is Boldin who the Ravens unfortunately determined isn’t worth $7.5M of their 2013 cap. It’s a bitter pill for fans to swallow but maybe Newsome & Co. have a plan. You think? Maybe they have those cap dollars earmarked for other needs.

Maybe they have an answer for the loss of Boldin – someone who is younger and can fill his role in the slot (perhaps some of that role is split between Pitta and Dickson). We’ll have to wait and see. Names like Danny Amendola and Kevin Walter have been mentioned as possibilities.

Neither of these receivers is Anquan Boldin, but either could approach 80% of his production at a cap figure far less than $7.5M. And really isn’t that the challenge of the salary cap – to maximize productivity and depth with limited dollars?

If I had a choice given this pair, Walter would get the nod. He’s physical, a solid blocker in the running game and at 6’3” is a big target, something that Flacco could use given his tendency to be wild high at times.

But back to the seller’s market that occurs on day 1, those who rush to market to get their guy(s) can do so by overpaying. The proof lies in yesterday’s transaction sheet.

Those who wait might lose out on the big names but they can get relative bargains by exercising patience.

This is where Ozzie has few peers and despite the angst directed his way, my money is on Newsome.

All of that white noise from impatient fans driven by fantasy football minds is just that – white noise.

Can you hear me now?

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About Tony Lombardi

Tony Lombardi
Tony is 24x7 Networks, LLC's founder (the parent of EutawStreetReport.com and RussellStreetReport.com) 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

18 Raves on “Ozzie Sticks to His Credo on the NFL’s New Year’s Day

  1. Shannon on said:

    I agree with you about Kruger and Ellerbe……but Boldin was in integral part of our team and worth every bit of the $7.5M of the Cap if that is what it would have taken to keep him. Big mistake and I will be shocked if we will be able to find anyone that will even come close to his capabilities. Q will sorely be missed in Baltimore!

  2. Rock Ur World Ravens on said:

    Well said Tony (as usual). You don’t go to the playoffs 5 consecutive years and hoist the Lombardi trophy by winning the Free Agency Sweepstakes. Just ask a Redskin’s fan. Sit back. Be patient. And make our assessments in July/August when we know what the roster looks like.

  3. Mike on said:

    Another fine article regarding Ozzie’s shrewdness when it comes to these deals. I especially love the “fantasy football minds” modifier.

  4. Ebuhuel on said:

    i hear you and FULLY agree with you but i stated my case more then once allready :-) I can look behind the emotions and look at the season (not post-season) stats :-)

  5. Phil on said:

    While I agree that Kruger and ellerbee are not really worth the co tracts they’ve gotten elsewhere….we are now only weaker in a position that we were already weak in. Losing Ray Lewis and now Kruger and Ellerbee…..out lb ing core is horrible. Which is ironic since our lb ing has always been one of the strongest positions for the ravens. I don’t like having traded boldin, but I can understand the move. I am more pissed that we only got a 6th rd draft pick which isn’t what he was worth. But I seriously disagree that either of the two wr you suggested could accomplish 80% of boldins production….though during the regular season, boldin wasn’t all that productive. I think the ravens absolute worst decision so far this off season was to pay Flacco the contract they did. While he looked great in the post season, he was flaky during the season and there were only 2 games in which he signed. Before the post season, there was talk of even keeping Flacco and now he’s the highest paid NFL player ever?…….now he’s absorbing a vast amount of our salary cap and we can’t even be sure he will lead us to more Super Bowls. And before anyone starts bringing up the fact that we’ve been in the playoffs ever year he’s been in the league……it wasn’t off his back that we made it. He’s been a complimentary player at best so far and this contract IMO makes Ozzie looked bad. I would have franchised him for another year and seen if the Super Bowl win experience helped him mature into an excellent QB that he “thinks” he is. Then if he becomes consistent and shows he’s as good as some of the QBs of the past……give him his phenomenal contract. But he certainly hasn’t deserved this contract based on his play so far.

    • DarthSizzle55 on said:

      Flacco’s hit on Salary Cap was less than Boldin’s. Look at the structure of the contract. Next 2 yrs not too bad either.

  6. ravensean509@gmail.com on said:

    I entirely agree. Time to counsel paitence and financial reality. Time to poach solid veterans at the contact level of what we paid for canty. BTW, I’d probably take Karlos Dansby over ellerbe, at least i would have over the course of his career (vs ellerbe’s upside). I’d love to take him at a reasonable price. Breaking news indicates we just released Bernard Pollard. Now i do find this suprising. BP sets a tone for our physical identity and makes a reasonable salary (2.5-3mil).

    Stay the course people. I loved Jarret Johnson as an underrated player but the replacement with Courtney Upshaw at “80% value at 20% price” fits.

    What are your thoughts on a draft pick trade for Nate Washington? What James Harrison would want money wise and a potential deal for oft injured “slot” ace Danny Amendola?

  7. Shannon on said:

    And now Pollard too? He must have some amazing plan in place because much of our defense is now gone. I do have faith and trust in Ozzie……though I really think he made a mistake with Q.

  8. Steve on said:

    How do we replace so many starters at once? We saw how horrible the defense played when all the LBs were injuried… is that what we have to look forward to every week? We now have to replace 4+ LBs and likely both safeties…

  9. john on said:

    We are doomed next year and maybe the one after that. You can spin it however you want, but the Ravens are going to have a few down years.

  10. Craig on said:

    This defense was horrid this year. Denver scored 30+ twice! Every single one of these players, Reed included at this point in his career, is a one trick pony. Teams exposed ALL of them regularly. Keep up the good work Oz.

  11. billy on said:

    Harbs wants control of the locker room so everyone must leave!!! That’s why Harbs dumped Pollard because he feels he runs his mouth to much … to vocal…. to much of a leader …. and Harbs can’t have that, so he blows up the team , Ozzy goes along with it , and Steve well .. he can still raise prices on tickets, get a bunch of new young cheap players ” KACHANG” , and run up the old bank account. He knows all the Kool Aid drinkers in Baltimore would go see the Ravens play even if they have no wins. A win win for him, but you won’t see too many win wins next year in Ravens land or the year after with this bunch. Alabama will have a better defense then the Ravens next year. The destruction is unbelievable!

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