Not So Fast…
Some local observers and many who cover the Ravens from a national perspective, believe that the team is as certain to dive into the free agent pool to pick up a veteran wide receiver as it is for someone to save when they buy bitcoin with a credit card. This possibility may eventually come to fruition and if it does, look for it to be a receiver who brings a skill set that doesn’t mirror that of a player they already have. Said player should may be a specialist who can make contested catches in the red zone and one that doesn’t command a big pay check.
Reaching into the heap of available wide receivers today only serves to take away snaps from the young receivers that the team needs to develop. We know that Rashod Bateman will get an opportunity but Devin Duvernay, James Proche and Tylan Wallace all deserve their shot. To bring in a vet with similar talents is simply repeating the free agent signing mistake of Sammy Watkins. The T.Y. Hiltons and Will Fullers and Julio Joneses of the world, like Watkins, struggle to stay on the field. Been there, done that. Besides, in a market that is really overpaying receivers, it behooves the Ravens to see what their young pass catchers can do before they get to that second contract.
“The [receivers] do have a chip on their shoulder, and they want to go out and prove that they’re ready for their opportunity. And when we don’t draft a WR, what the organization is saying to you is, ‘We brought you here for a reason, and it’s your time.’” ~ Ravens WR Coach Tee Martin
I’ve beaten the Derek Wolfe drum quite a bit over the past couple of weeks, probably because I’m disappointed by the outcome. But that aside, the Wolfe era in Baltimore is now over as the sides have agreed upon an injury settlement.
What that settlement is in anyone’s guess at this point. But it’s safe to say that Wolfe accepted something less than the guaranteed $2M salary that he was set to earn during the 2022 season. What that number is remains to be seen. The settlement did hit the official transaction wire and according to RSR’s Brian McFarland the NFLPA lags about 5 days behind when posting the official numbers. Follow Brian on Twitter @RavensSalaryCap. He’ll keep you up to date.
You may be wondering why Wolfe agreed to a settlement at all since the $2M was guaranteed. Well let’s just say he hasn’t exactly been a model employee of the Ravens. Wolfe hasn’t been very upfront with the team about his commitment to rehabbing after surgery. I’ve outlined and chronicled his shenanigans in a piece from yesterday, A Wolfe in Black Sheep’s Clothing. Given the evidence, it’s possible that the Ravens threatened to classify Wolfe’s injury as NFI (Non-Football Injury) and dropped overtures of a grievance – one the team may have won.
Instead, Wolfe gets something less than $2M but what he does receive will be in a lump sum. The difference between that number and the $2M will materialize as cap savings for the Ravens.
EDC: We are going to file a grievance against Derek.
Wolfe's Agent: On what grounds?
EDC: We have pictures of him carrying a 300 pound bear while he claims his hip needs surgery.
Wolfe's Agent: Can we settle?
EDC: I'll make you an offer you can't refuse… pic.twitter.com/xm0G8lX4cO
— Tony Lombardi (@RSRLombardi) June 14, 2022
Earlier today I shared my thoughts on the absence of Michael Pierce. If Pierce doesn’t go this season for some reason, the Ravens will immediately pick up some cap relief which they could then use to fill in other areas of weakness.
I thought that it was interesting back during rookie camp, that veteran DT Marcell Dareus practiced with the team. Dareus is a 2-time Pro Bowler and he was a first-team AP All Pro in 2014. The 32-year-old was the 3rd overall pick by the Bills in 2011 but he hasn’t played a down of football since October 20, 2019.
Perhaps the Ravens were doing Dareus and his agent a favor by bringing the vet in for a look. But maybe they sensed a potential problem with Pierce and wanted to consider a cheap alternative. Could said cheap alternative be JPP?
The Ravens, according to a few reputable sources, had a good meeting with Jason Pierre Paul last week and from what I’ve been told, the team put the owner of 91 ½ sacks through the paces – medically. JPP was hampered by a torn rotator cuff in 2021 which limited him to just 12 games and just 2 ½ sacks.
According to OverTheCap.com, JPP has earned $99.8M during his 12-year career, which includes 3 Pro Bowl nominations and he’s a two-time Super Bowl Champion. Given the level of pay he’s accustomed to, Pierre-Paul might opt to sit on the sidelines for a while until the right number falls into his lap. After all, things have been especially quiet since JPP toured The Castle just five days ago.
Or maybe the wine-and-dine tour of Owings Mills was nothing more than a veiled threat to get another potential free agent to come down from his proposed number.
He delivered music, joy & laughter. The energy he brought to any club made us feel good & inspired us to leave our worries behind. Mike Beatty, aka DJ Batman was a pioneer & an icon in Maryland & will never be forgotten because he made a difference in the lives of others. #Social pic.twitter.com/4AzVjbQuYc
— Tony Lombardi (@RSRLombardi) June 14, 2022
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