Let the NFL Free Agency games begin!

February 27, 2009 | Nestor Aparicio

This morning if you awoke to read any website with NFL-related headlines, it appears that the world is upside down and the apocolypse is near. Albert Haynesworth found a cash-rich suitor in Daniel Snyder down in D.C. (yes, he’s at it again!) Linebacker Bart Scott is off to see Rex Ryan and potentially get overwhelmed with a generous offer by the New York Jets. Peter King of SI.com is reporting that No. 57 will get $8 million per year in a deal that could be five or six years in length. Jason Brown and his agent released the “news” that the Ravens aren’t interested in him anymore, when the truth is that they were never “not interested” in the free agent center/guard. In fact, they made him a multi-million dollar offer. Brown will apparently be in St. Louis today.

It all makes good radio and good web rumorama. But the truth is that this free agent game hasn’t changed so much over the years. It’s just that the Ravens and several of their key players are involved in the fray in a major way this weekend and this year. Let’s be honest: today is the first day that Ozzie Newsome and the franchise have ever had to ponder “life without Ray.” The fact that by dinner time today the team might be without Ray Lewis, Bart Scott and Jason Brown is a bit disconcerting but Newsome has had more than a month to ponder the Ravens’ “cap number” as to the value of each of their star players. Keep in mind, it’s all a negotiation and Newsome has never been one to jump at ghosts or ghastly signing bonuses.

“Right player, right price” has always been Newsome’s mantra. Newsome did his homework and offered all three of them deals that he felt the Ravens could afford.

Baltimore fans might scream bloody murder if the trio are all gone by nightfall, but rest assured the money saved will be spent elsewhere in the market by Newsome. The extra $4 million in cap money might have a slight effect on the entire market, but today is the day for the aforementioned players to see if the rest of the NFL thinks they are more valuable than the Ravens do.

It seems that Bart Scott will be a N.Y. Jet by the end of the day.

It also seems that Jason Brown will be backing up a Brink’s truck in St. Louis.

All has been quite quiet so far this morning on the Ray Lewis front, but we all know that Dallas and the Jets will both be a factor, as will dark horse Denver.

I’m on the air at 2 p.m. By then, some of this stuff will begin to shake out. It’s an exciting day and it will probably feel like a “loss” day for any Ravens fan. Losing your core guys to free agency is never fun or exciting but the reality of life in the NFL salary cap system. It could be a painful day, but Newsome and the organization have been prepared all along to potentially lose these guys to other teams.

The team made its statement last week when it franchised Terrell Suggs. Let’s see where the money is and where it goes this weekend.

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