Today could be the day that we get a definitive answer on the future of Jonathan Ogden.
Today is the weekly day for the media to attend the next to last team practice, albeit voluntary, of the Ravens offseason until training camp. Ogden is supposed to be in town for a golf tournament that he is having this week.
It would make sense for the Ravens to have a quick press conference for Ogden to say that he is finished. The media will be at 1 Winning Drive today for practice and interviews with the players afterward, so it would make it easy to do something quick today. Ogden has said all along that he does not want some big parade or great farewell thing to happen when he does make his decision.
Here is how I have come to the conclusion that this could be the end:
- Ogden has seen Mike Flynn and Edwin Mulitalo, who are two of his very close friends released by the Ravens the last two years. Ed, Mike and Jonathan were extremely close and it was thought that Flynn could have talked Ogden into coming back. But Flynn is gone as well.
- The retirement of Steve McNair. Steve was a guy that also could have talked Ogden into coming back this year. I would not be surprised if Ogden and McNair have had some phone conversations this offseason as far as their future here in Baltimore. McNair, I am sure, would have liked to have a guy like Ogden on the offensive line with him if he was going to play in 2008.
- His toe will never be ready for the grind of an NFL season. If Ogden did decide to come back this year, I think it would be more of what we saw last year. He would be a question mark every single week, and constantly be with the training staff, something that he was clearly frustrated with last season.
- There has been an obvious change in the way of doing things after the firing of Brian Billick, and most of his staff. Ogden would be coming back to a situation were he is having to deal with a new head coach, offensive line coach, offensive coordinator, and as we have clearly seen, a different way of doing things than what Ogden has been used to for 10 years. That is hard to get anyone to do, let alone convince someone that wonders if he wants to play anymore.
- There is no doubt that one of the biggest motivating factors for Ogden coming back the last couple of years is to get another Super Bowl ring. Players say all the time that the worst part of winning a Super Bowl is that you always want another because you realize how special of a moment that it is. Money is not what Ogden has played for; he has taken care of himself very well financially. Looking at this team and the season they are coming off of, there are not a lot of people predicting the Ravens to make the playoffs, so that is something I am sure Ogden is thinking about.
There is also a segment on the Ravens website of pictures
of Ogden titled Legendary 75 that was posted yesterday. I felt that on the final game of last season when Ogden had his wife and son on the sideline for the final couple of minutes that he was done playing.
So in the next 24 hours, I expect we will get closure on the career of Ogden. I consider myself fortunate to have covered him for the last 5 seasons, and realize that I watched one of the truly best ever at his position, and a sure fire Hall of Famer. That is going to be one heck of a class in Canton in 2013 when Ogden, Brett Favre, Michael Strahan, Warren Sapp, and possibly Steve McNair, could be inducted.