The last time I wrote a column for PF24X7 I lamented the loss of Adalius Thomas and hoped the Ravens would use the money saved to keep Tony Pashos and Ovie Mughelli, who could again lead-block for the expected-to-be-resigned Jamal Lewis.
Wrong on all counts!!
Ah, the trials and tribulations of a fan trying to predict the intentions of his favorite football team. It also explains why my NCAA brackets are in shreds in my Sports Palace wastebasket.
But when I saw the insane amount of money being thrown at this yearâ€™s free agents, thereâ€™s no way the Ravens and Ozzie could have, or should have matched those numbers even if they had a healthy cap number. You can understand the cash that the Patriots threw at A.D., but a $24 million deal for a right tackle whoâ€™s barely come into his own? Six million more for a fullback whose main job is to lead block? Is Ovie going to be Michael Vickâ€™s new bodyguard on and off the field? Jamal-Jamal? Forget his anti-Raven rhetoric. He was preaching to the Cleveland choir. Even the Plain-Dealerâ€™s beat writer made a crack that he expects all old Ravens to end up in C-town sooner or later.
Ozzie Newsomeâ€™s philosophy was never clearer and never more right: Right player, right price, and the price was never right in any of these cases.
In Willis McGahee, weâ€™re getting a back thatâ€™s two years younger, can hit the hole faster, can block, and actually catch a pass out of the backfield. Initially, the trade off seems excessive for a team like the Ravens who put a lot of time and effort into their scouting and draft selection process. No doubt College Scouting Director Eric DeCosta had a minor cow giving up those two 3â€™s and a 7. I know Peter King of SI, who doesnâ€™t always think logically to begin with, feels that way.
But I like the trade.
Look at this wayâ€¦.the Ravens gave up a LATE 3rd round and a 7th round pick this year. The Ravens draft 29th, and that third round â€™07 pick is practically in the 4th round. The 7th pick is mostly a throw away. If the club performs as well as expected next year in the tumultuous AFC North, the 2008 3rd rounder will again be a late round pick. So I think the Ravens made a good deal with the Bills.
The lost picks will be made up in the compensatory picks this year and next. With Ozzie and crewâ€™s ability to find the diamonds in the rough, the Ravens will more than make up for these lost â€™07 picks.
Now, to throw a fly into the ointment of my pre-draft musing, I wonder what Jonathan Ogden is thinkingâ€¦â€¦..
No prediction here, folks.