Every evening, after about an hour struggle of getting four kids into pajamas, teeth brushed, and in bed, I do what any normal dad does for the next 30-45 minutes: I scour the Twitters whilst listening to excessive chatter from their bedrooms until they pass out.
And no, that kid count was not a typo. FOUR. My Venmo is open. For the less financially endowed, I’m also accepting T&P (thoughts & prayers).
During my scours over the past few weeks, do you know what I’ve found of Twitter? Specifically Sports Twitter? Even more specifically, Ravens Sports Twitter?
Here’s what many Ravens fans think the team can do in Free Agency:
I imagine in many of the heads of these dreamers, they envision something like this…
*queue dream sequence wavy lines*
Stevie Biscuits, Uncle Oz & EDC are all sitting around a 20′ conference table, sipping mimosas, in some top-floor penthouse overlooking the Baltimore skyline (facing the Inner Harbor/Harbor East/Fells, not facing the downtrodden side of the city- hey! Metaphorical!). Ozzie turns down the music (no, it’s not Seven Nation Army), and chimes in.
“Alexa, call Allen Robinson‘s agent,” he proclaims confidently. The call is placed and a man answers with an annoyed “hello?!” on the other end. Before responding, Ozzie looks at his boss, looks at his protege, and they all collectively hold back a chuckle under sneering grins, knowing what’s about to go down. “This is Ozzie Newsome with the Baltimore Ravens, and we would like to make an offer to your client, Allen Robinson. Sure, he’s likely to have a dozen other offers, and some may be for more guaranteed money, while others may offer a better chance at a ring, but… and I hate to pull this card… we want him more, as do our fans.”
The startled agent is taken aback, and pauses. “Just a moment Ozzie… may I call you Ozzie?” he inquires.
“My apologies Mr. Newsome, bear with me just one moment,” the frazzled agent mutters, as he muffles the receiver by covering the phone to talk to his client, AR-15. After a brief moment, he clears his throat, and comes back to the call. “Mr. Newsome, my client is willing to take your offer, as he feels the Ravens are the cream of the crop when it comes to NFL franchises! Congratulations!”
So take that scenario, then rinse & repeat for literally every big name free agent, and BOOM. Ravens Twitter.
Ah, pipe dreams…
Unfortunately, Stevie Biscuits’ wallet, in terms of cap space, looks like the inside of my fridge right now: mostly empty, a little frustrating, but I also know it’s a self-inflicted dilemma, so it is what it is.
In short- that stud player you think they can ‘just go get?’
IT. AIN’T. HAPPENIN’.
I’ve already explained why this is the case for Jarvis Landry. Now, let’s run down a few more names that have Ravens fans salivating…
So you want Jimmy Graham? Guess what? SO DO A DOZEN OTHER TEAMS! The dude is the pinnacle of the Tight End market in an otherwise weak Free Agent crop, and he’s gonna have more potential partners than an Antonio Cromartie Family Reunion. Why would he want to come to Baltimore for less when he can cash in with a team like the Jets who aren’t likely to keep Austin Sefarian-Jenkins at the price tag he’s asking? Maybe he would rather ride out his career with a Saints reunion? Perhaps join Ba-la-ke Bortles in Jacksonville instead where he has a much better shot at another ring?
It Ain’t Happenin’
Ah, former Bills/Rams Wide Receiver Sammy Watkins is your ideal target for the Ravens! After all, the Ravens offense doesn’t have a player anywhere close to Watkins caliber… OH WAIT. THE RAVENS HAD A BETTER PLAYER. Did you honestly think Watkins (67 receptions, 1,023 yds, 10 TD from 2016-17) is a better player/threat than Mike Wallace (124 receptions, 1,765 yds, 8 TD in the same 2 yr stretch)? Go ahead and excuse Watkins’ 2016 stats with a ‘he missed 8 games!’ Now let me shove a ‘yea my dude, injury issues!’ back at ya: 13 missed games in four years, while Wallace has missed TWO.
TWO WHOLE FREAKING GAMES IN NINE SEASONS. Wow, we really need to keep Mikey…
Back to Watkins: take away the money for a moment and the fact that he’s overrated… Sammy went from an awful QB situation in Buffalo to a phenomenal situation with Jared Goff in LA. Why in God’s name would he want to regress back to a worse QB situation for less money than he can get on the open market from the cap rich teams?
It Ain’t Happenin’
Allen Robinson is the most recent addition to the Free Agent pool, once the Jags opted to not tag him. AR-15 is just getting out of a bad relationship with his good QB… Scratch that. I meant a good relationship with his bad QB. Regardless, he’ll be looking for a primo rebound, and the last thing he’ll want to deal with is more offensive mediocrity. Been there, done that!
From a Ravens standpoint, let’s just go ahead and throw all of our cap space at a receiver who missed 2017 with an ACL injury, so that our QB (who short changes his deep balls on a regular basis and can’t hit a receiver in stride) can turn a should-be stud into something more pedestrian… oh, and there goes your cap space, by the way. All of it. Better hope you nail every single draft pick or else you’re looking at 9-7 and a playoff whiff again!
Not good enough to justify it? Fine, but let me drop a Snapple Fact on you. You may want to sit down for this…
Yup. A lower catch percentage than Breshad Perriman! Vomit in your mouth a little? Doesn’t matter though, because a team like the 49ers or Bears will overpay him…
It Ain’t Happenin’
Hey guys! Let’s go get the Eagles backup Tight End and pay him like a Top-5 stud! After all, he did hit Nick Foles with a clean pass on the Philly Special in the Super Bowl!
If Graham is the best Tight End in Free Agency, then Trey Burton is the best Tight End option for a team to sign to a long-term deal (younger, upside, etc.). But are you really willing to pay a premium (the TE market sucks beyond Graham & Burton) for a guy with a career 63 receptions, 629 yds, 6 TD in his four-year rookie stint? Sure, he’s been ‘stuck’ behind Zach Ertz, but you’re honestly banking on a guy suddenly becoming insta-starter material, whose best game in his career was 72 yards, 2 TD… then absolutely nothing close to those numbers in terms of yards or scoring?
Same Graham concept applies here – do you think the Ravens offer him anything special that other teams aren’t? Sure as hell isn’t money, or success… Besides, Trey Burton is a guy you bring in to a franchise heading in the right direction with a young quarterback he can grow with, not a QB who is a few ‘WHO THE HELL WAS THAT PASS TO, JOE?!” away from keeping his team out of the playoffs (again), thus forcing a change in the coaching staff, and starting the rebuild in 2019…
It Ain’t Happenin’
Of course, none of this matters because we’re getting Eric Ebron and he’ll ball out and I’m gonna #TweetLikeLaCanfora with a litany of “Told ya so” tweets.
Let’s bang out some one-liners for the other big names…
Derrick Johnson– “hey guys, I’m barely hanging onto an NFL career and just want a ring… Baltimore makes sense!” said no one, ever. Or at least since 2012.
Donte Moncrief– It makes too much sense. They’ll take the Angelos/Duquette angle and pass.
Austin Sefarian-Jenkins- He’s overvaluing himself already, after turning down the Jets offer. Plus, he’s too young. We like our Ravens TEs in the 30+ category.
Paul Richardson– Why are we so enamored with speedy deep threat guys, when our QB can’t hit the deep threats we DO have in stride?
Sorry to say the Ravens won’t be splashing in free agency next week, but let’s be optimistic for a moment here: it’s a good thing the Ravens are so efficient at drafting Week 1 starters to fill those big holes in the roster!