PERCEPTION IS REALTY: Plenty to do this Offseason

Ozzie Newsome
Baltimore Ravens general manager and executive vice president Ozzie Newsome speaks at a news conference at the team's practice facility in Owings Mills, Md., Friday, Jan. 25, 2013. The Ravens are scheduled to face the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans on Sunday, Feb. 3. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Reality: The Ravens have 13 Unrestricted Free Agents and two Restricted Free Agents.

Perception: There are two Unrestricted Free Agents that everyone is talking about… Eugene Monroe and Dennis Pitta. Yes, the Ravens need to do everything in their power to sign both of them to multi-year deals. But there are at least two other players that I think are a “must sign”… that’s James Ihedigbo and Daryl Smith. This defense has had so much turnover the past couple of years that they need some consistency. Ihedigbo and Smith were beasts and bring that much needed aggressive defensive mentality. And as much as I’d love to see Arthur Jones back with this team, I think he is going the way of Dannell Ellerbe, Paul Kruger, and other defensive players who made a huge payday by signing elsewhere after their rookie deals.

Reality: The Ravens have three main goals this offseason. Ozzie Newsome said the Ravens need to get bigger on the offensive line, add a tough receiver, and find an athletic free safety.

Perception: According to most of the mock drafts available, the receiver is on the top of the list, as nearly all have the Ravens taking a receiver or tight end in the first round. I think you’ll see them draft late-round offensive linemen for depth. But if they want to get better on the offensive line, then they are going to have to go out and get a veteran, whether by trade or by free agency. It’s more likely that they will look at a player who gets cut for salary cap reasons to help shore up their weak offensive line.

Reality: In addition to their four TBD supplemental picks, the Ravens have picks in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 6th rounds of the NFL draft in May.

Perception: As our Brian McFarland explained, the Ravens get four more compensatory picks from the league, giving them eight picks in the upcoming draft. With the amount of holes the Ravens will have to fill, that many picks should be useful. Their highest pick will be 16 or 17, depending on a coin flip with the Cowboys (which will happen later this month). That should be a quality pick that should be a starter next season. But don’t be surprised to see Ozzie Newsome trade down to gain a couple of picks. He has been known to do that. I could see them trading down to gain a few picks but then trading back up to get the player they really want. Most mock drafts have the Ravens selecting a Wide Receiver or a Tight End with their first pick.

Reality: The Baltimore Ravens have announced the hiring of Bobby Engram as their new wide receivers coach.

Perception: Engram is a former NFL wide receiver. He played 14 years in the league, with the Bears, the Seahawks, and the Chiefs. Since his playing career, he has been an offensive assistant with the 49ers and coached the receivers the last two seasons at the University of Pittsburgh. His on-field experience and recent coaching experience should be a good fit for the Ravens, who are now heavy on veteran coaches. Harbaugh has also completed his coaching staff for the 2014 season.

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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

10 Raves on “PERCEPTION IS REALTY: Plenty to do this Offseason

  1. Joe Polek on said:

    Yes, I understand that Ihedigbo is probably gone. I should have added that to my piece. Yes, he probably will not be back, but I would really love to see him back.

  2. Cheri on said:

    Yea you are right it does seem like 2.5 years away.But you know what how many times whether it’s the Holidays or a sports that it seems so far away but then before you know it sneaks up on you and bites you in the rear.especially the holidays, just when you think you have all this time to get your shopping done and then bam it’s Christmas Eve and your shopping isn’t done.LOL.. Guys it will be here before we know it time goes fast.

  3. John P on said:

    But why though? It makes no sense. Move Elam to his natural position and get somebody that can play free safety.

    Just because you like the guy doesn’t mean it makes sense to keep him. if that were the case, Obafemi Ayanbadejo would still be with the team.

  4. JayJay on said:

    I’d love to keep Dig but he’s been getting back-up type money his entire career and this may be his only chance to go out and get starter money (although I don’t think anyone will break the bank for him) and I would expect him to do that, even if it means signing with the lowly Browns, Raiders or Jags. I’d have to figure the only way he’ll be back is by the Ravens paying him back-up type money and he wouldn’t do that, nor should he.

  5. Nick on said:

    Reality: Matt Elam is going to be one of the best strong safeties in the league next year.

    Perception: James Ihedigbo is a good strong safety.

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