So Far, So Good

Ozzie Presser

Without a big splash, the Ravens are quiet winners thus far in the free agent scramble.

Sure there are other teams breaking the bank, the Browns and the Colts are among them. But if past free agencies serve as any indication, dropping top dollar doesn’t always guarantee success on the field.

The Ravens have taken their normal route, taking care of their own, and wading their way through choppy water. Even when it seems like the Ravens will inevitably be on the outside looking in, they end looking a lot smarter than any of us could have anticipated.

While every fan sweated the Pitta negotiations as the unfolded, hindsight reveals that there was never a doubt he’d ever be playing anywhere besides Baltimore.

The Eugene Monroe contract is another example. When the Ravens passed on the franchise tag, fans were miffed. While the designation would have cost $11.65M million in 2014, it was essential. The Ravens couldn’t risk letting Monroe walk away from a needy offensive line.

Early negotiations had the Ravens and Monroe reportedly attempting to bridge a gap between $8 and $10 million year. In the end the Ravens jsigned arguably the most talented left tackle on the market for $7.5 million a year.

Some call it luck!

I’ll give Ozzie a little more credit than that. That deal is nothing short of brilliant!

Talk about knowing the market.

While Monroe is thanking the Ravens and front office for the opportunity to continue his career in Baltimore, he is likely kicking himself for not inking his name to a contract a week ago.

If reports are accurate, rolling the dice likely cost him roughly $8 million dollars over the course of his contract.
Now that the Ravens have addressed their left tackle situation, they are most likely either shifting their focus to free safety or wide receiver.

The free safety market was very active early in free agency and the Ravens have very few options remaining. They can either target Chris Clemons who was a solid contributor for the Dolphins, or a veteran like Antonio Cromartie or Champ Bailey. Bailey and Cromartie would have to be open to the idea of making the switch to safety, which given their age they may have to do.

The market for receivers however is much cooler than anticipated. Other than news that Golden Tate will visit with the Lions, and Andre Roberts is likely to sign with Washington, it’s been quiet on the wide receiver front.

There has been little news regarding Hakeem Nicks, Eric Decker and Julian Edelman. The longer these names last in the market, the better chance there is of one of them landing in Baltimore.

While their agents were most likely hoping to land top dollar, the lull in interest will most likely diminish that expectation.
As far as the receivers are concerned, no news is good news for the Ravens.

This offseason is shaping up to look like most others for the purple and black. Re-signing Monroe and Pitta were their top priorities. Done and done.

Where it goes from here is anyone’s guess but it’s safe to say that so far Ozzie is executing his game plan with precision.

And that’s good news if you’re a Ravens fan.

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About Ryan Jones

Ryan Jones
Ryan Jones is a native of Belair, MD and has been an avid Ravens fan since they came to Baltimore in 1996. He lived in Federal Hill, MD before moving to Boston in 2006. He is the cofounder of Ravens Nation North, a contingent of Ravens fans living in Boston...more

9 Raves on “So Far, So Good

  1. BmoreB on said:

    Great article. I’m actually shocked at the lack of movement on WR’s. I’m sure the Wr’s feel the same way. I’m just wondering if this means there will be an early run on wide outs in the draft which is not a good sign for the Ravens.

  2. Mike Z on said:

    It means that everyone is sitting back and waiting for the first WR to drop to see where the market is. With a deep WR draft and a fairly deep WR free agent market, GMs feel there is time to wait.

    Slow down, walk down the hill and #$%& them all said papa bull to baby bull.

  3. Jake on said:

    How about Amaro in the 1st round and Donte Moncrief in the 2nd? Both can go over the middle as well. Sign a veteran center after resigning Darryl Smith.

  4. John on said:

    I think the Ravens should target Owen Daniels, he was cut so he won’t count against the comp picks and he knows Kubiak’s system better than anyone. The only concern would be that neither he or Pitta are very good blockers but he is a solid chain mover which is something the Raven’s desperately needed last season…. 3 years $11m $4 guaranteed should do the trick.

  5. Mike on said:

    The WRs aren’t moving because of the deep draft in May. When they do start signing, they are going to be getting a lot less than they think they are worth, because a cheaper and younger option can be had in the draft.

  6. Nick on said:

    I really hope that the receiver needy teams overload their rosters with WRs in free agency so Mike Evans drops to us. The Lions let go up Pettigrew and all those other targets of theres and now I’m scared because anyone who has a quaterback and a LT in the first five picks of the draft is going to want the best target so Sammy Watkins will be gone and then anyone who needs a compliment to say Megatron or some awesome receiver like that is going to want a Mike Evans. WAY before pick 17. I understand that the Ravens don’t like jumping or panicking and I’m very grateful for that fact but goodness is it frustrating sometimes. I heard on baltimoreravens.com that the Ravens were targeting Edelman and I’m not happy at all with that. Steve Smith and Mike Evans? Yeah. Edelman and anyone else? Na. But at the same time, I’d rather have Mike Evans than anyone on the free agent market right now.

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