DeCosta Plays The Long Game
Brian McFarland joined the Big Bad Morning Show with Rob Long, Jeremy Conn and Ed Norris this morning. The gang touched down on several Ravens topics including:
• The Ravens apparent lack of interest in re-signing Matt Judon or Yannick Ngakoue
• The chance that they could sign Jadeveon Clowney
• Melvin Ingram could represent a bargain buy for the Ravens
• Might the cost of signing a wide receiver be more affordable than initially thought?
• Could there be some Ravens cap casualties?
Back to Clowney for a moment, you may recall back in September that the Ravens attempted to pull off a crafty little trade that would have brought the explosive edge defender to Baltimore. That said, the clever, outside-the-box thinking wasn’t an original thought of GM Eric DeCosta’s.
According to reports, the Browns and Saints were engaged in trade talks that would have been consummated after the Browns signed the free agent Clowney. The Browns would have immediately traded the former No. 1 overall pick of the Texans to the Saints. The intent was to help the Saints land Clowney while sidestepping cap limitations.
The Ravens were alerted of the move, presumably by Clowney’s agent. Apparently the talented but oft-injured defender preferred to be in Baltimore. Connecting the dots, I assume DeCosta then reached out to Jacksonville, a team with plenty of cap space to emulate the proposed deal between Cleveland and New Orleans.
One of DeCosta’s best friends in the league is former Jags’ GM David Caldwell. The pair apparently struck an agreement in principal that would ultimately put Clowney in a Ravens uniform but the league would not approve the structure of the trade. A potential loophole was closed by league officials and the trade was DOA.
Judging from DeCosta’s seemingly passive approach to free agency so far and the bleeding of defensive personnel (Judon, Ngakoue and Jahid Ward), one would think that there’s a countermove forthcoming. But patience is a trait of DeCosta’s and it would be no surprise to see him allow the big spending to flush out, watch more cap casualties hit the market and then pounce on the Nordstrom Rack-like deals.