Ray Made His Bed — Now He Has To Sleep In It

February 27, 2009 |

Nestor brought up a really good point early this afternoon on his show Limited Access sponsored by Royal Farms.

I had been wondering about this all day, and hadn’t had the chance to blog about it until now – Ray Lewis is not garnering the attention he thought he would from potential suitors in the NFL.

Bart Scott has an offer from the Jets, and is in the process of allowing Ozzie Newsome to match the offer. (By the way, good for him…maybe Ray should take a lesson from Bart on how to properly do business in the NFL.)

The Redskins have made Albert Haynesworth a very rich man.

Jason Brown is on a plane to St. Louis.

Domonique Foxworth is signed with the Ravens, which I am very excited about. I think he’s an upgrade over Corey Ivy, and he has a great reputation as a community leader and a positive influence in the NFL.

Fred Taylor is the newest member of the New England Patriots.

Corey Ivy is sitting down with Rex Ryan and Jets brass later today.

Sage Rosenfels has inked a two year deal with the Vikings.

And where’s Ray Lewis? He’s not on a plane. He’s not in an owner’s office. He’s not on the phone with NFL GMs.

He’s sitting at home waiting like the rest of us.

Obviously, there is not a dire need in the league for Ray Lewis’ services, and he obviously thinks much more of himself than other teams do.

And it’s not like teams don’t have money to spend. Tampa Bay just cleared tons of room under the salary cap. The Dolphins also have money to spend.

The Jets used to have money to spend until they jumped on the Bart Scott bandwagon, effectively leaving Ray Lewis out in the cold. In reality, the Jets cannot afford to sign both Scott and Lewis, and the Jets were probably the most logical fit for Ray Lewis considering the ties with Rex Ryan and the need for linebacker help.

I am a huge Ray Lewis fan, and I still hope that he winds up in purple next year, but he has handled the free agency situation all wrong. From start to finish, he has botched every opportunity possible to not only appease his fans in Baltimore, but to do what’s economically right for him.

Now that he’s made his bed, he’ll have to sleep in it. He may leave here with a tarnished reputation because of the crap he’s pulled via the Jamie Dukes interview and the Demarcus Ware story.

And what’s worse, one of Ray’s cronies told Adam Schefter that he no longer wants to play in Baltimore because he is insulted beyond repair. He thinks the Ravens have continually low-balled him, when on the contrary, he’s proverbially ball-tapping himself.

This not only upsets Ravens fans, but it’s detrimental to Ray’s wallet. Other teams are not going to like the way this is all unfolding, and all teams except for the Cowboys tend to shy away from these three-ring circus acts. In case you haven’t heard, Jerry Jones has repeatedly told the media that he is not going to sign big name free agents this off-season.

In my mind, I think he’ll end up coming back to Baltimore for less money than he could have collected in the first place. And he has nobody to blame but himself.

He has left $17 million in guaranteed money on the table in Baltimore, an offer that is very fair for a 34 year old linebacker, and he may never see that dollar amount again.

I think he’ll test the market and find out that teams like the Dolphins are willing to give him something like $12-13 million guaranteed. He’ll come crawling back to Ozzie Newsome and ask for the original offer after struggling to remove his foot from his mouth.

The only problem is, the Ravens won’t offer him that much money after they see his true market value. And truth be told, they probably won’t even be able to afford the original offer anymore. The Ravens will be in the hunt for a strong wide receiver this off-season, and good wide outs don’t come cheap.

As much as I love Ray, I really wish he would have handled this situation better. It would have been better for him, the Baltimore Ravens, and the fans to go to every media outlet and sing the praises of John Harbaugh and Steve Bisciotti. You know, say something like: “I’d love to be a Raven, why would I want to go anywhere else?”

If anything, saying something like that would put all the pressure on the Ravens to re-sign the future Hall of Famer. Instead, Ray has royally ticked off a lot of Baltimoreans, a group of people who by-and-large have had his back throughout all of his off-the-field struggles.

It’s too bad, really. For as intelligent of a football player as Ray Lewis is, he has demonstrated time and time again that he’s not too bright when it comes to business savvy and public relations, and he may seriously regret some of these decisions when it comes time to sign a contract this spring.

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