During an offseason where Ozzie Newsome has been rather quiet, he has had no problem transforming his defense. By the time the GM is done, the defense might need nametags on the first few days of training camp.
Newsome has made a few signings on the defense that have bolstered the line and added depth to a rather “injury prone” staff. Chris Canty and Marcus Spears should have some role in the 2013 season, but there is still a bit of a hole left by Paul Kruger, who was lured by the Browns to be a starter in the “Factory of Sadness”.
Courtney Upshaw has been named to be that replacement, and deservingly so. Upshaw played a great rookie season and many thought he would be the man from day one.
The Wizard of Oz has other plans in the works too, however.
On Tuesday, Mike Klis of the Denver Post reported that the Ravens had reached out to former Denver Bronco, Elvis Dumervil, and offered him a contract. Klis said that the Broncos also have offered the 29-year old Dumervil a contract, and that it had slightly more amount of money in the early portion of the deal.
An interesting move by the Ravens, for sure. The rumors swirling around early in free agency were that Newsome was making a strong push for James Harrison, but it seems now he is very set on reeling in Dumervil to be a Baltimore Raven.
The move makes sense, as the Ravens have clearly been set all along on getting this defense back to top-5 caliber. Dumervil is several years younger than the aging Harrison (29 to 34), and certainly has more gas left in the tank to help any team. He tallied 11 sacks last season, and has shown no signs of slowing down.
Obviously, nothing is set in stone, but it sounds like the Ravens could have actually offered the defensive star more money than Denver. Klis states in his piece that the Broncos offered Elvis more money in the “early portion of the deal.” This could mean Newsome has spread out the deal with more money, making the deal work for both sides.
Assuming the Ravens sign a marquee pass-rusher like Dumervil, don’t count previously-mentioned Courtney Upshaw out. Whoever the team signs will not be an every-down player. Upshaw will get plenty of time filling in for the new edge rusher, and for Terrell Suggs, who has shown signs that he could be entering the downside of his career in his 11th year.