The Baltimore Ravens free agency gamble fails

The Baltimore Ravens were among the first teams to break big news when the NFL got back to business. Of course that news was the cutting of several veteran players, and in all honesty a few of them, the teams more popular players. We could argue their actual productivity till we were blue in the face, and in the end it would be all semantics and personal prejudice. The simple fact is Willis McGahee, Todd Heap, Derrick Mason, and Kelly Gregg were all shown the door, and all four have signed on with other teams.

I think the Ravens tried to employ a strategy of getting rid of guys one year early instead of one year too late, and General Manger Ozzie Newsome has done a terrific job running this team so he gets some benefit of the doubt here. However, I really think he expected there to be no market for these guys and that they would return to his team at a discounted rate.

Granted some of these players may already be past their prime, but QB Joe Flacco and WR Anquan Boldin both wanted Mason back. I also suspect that Heap was a player this team still wanted. His 10 years in Baltimore saw were very successful, and I think the offense will miss him. Now this team needs to find adequate replacements for four veteran players, which is fine. However, I have not seen this team being really active on the free agent market. We shall see how this one plays out.

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•Joshua Lobdell.com