Your Monday Reality Check-Umenyiora? Crabtree? Sure, make the call

May 07, 2012 | Glenn Clark

I have no real idea of what the 49ers would want in exchange for Crabtree in a prospective trade, but league sources have given me the idea that a second round pick would be most likely. Trading a second round pick for any player is a risky proposition, more so with a player like Crabtree. Crabtree is only halfway through his rookie deal (with the 2014 season likely voidable) and his cap numbers aren’t particularly punishing, but the Ravens have no room for punishment at any level.

I don’t know for sure that Crabtree would be available in exchange for a second round pick. I don’t know for sure that I’d be willing to deal a second round pick for Crabtree. I definitely don’t know if the Ravens would be able to make the necessary maneuvers to acquire Crabtree with extensions for QB Joe Flacco and RB Ray Rice still hanging in the balance and upcoming decisions needed to be made for OT Michael Oher and CB Cary Williams.

The reality is that unlike in Fantasy Football (or usually in Major League Baseball), NFL teams just can’t add any player they want.

The same is true about another rumored Ravens trade target, New York Giants DE Osi Umenyiora. Judge appeared on my show Friday to discuss the possibility of the Ravens making this move, a move he offered a thumbs up to in a recent column after the team learned their reigning Defensive Player of the Year LB Terrell Suggs had suffered a torn achilles.

Despite a level of concern on my part about where Umenyiora translates in Dean Pees’ 3-4 scheme, I’d make the call about Umenyiora myself. That said, the same questions will need to be asked.

“What is he worth in a trade?”
“Are we willing to give that up for the player?”
“How much will he cost us in cap space? Will we have to consider cutting another player to make it work?”
“If we have to cut another player, who can we afford to lose?”
“What is the player’s long-term contract situation?”

Let’s consider what the answers would be to those questions for Ravens General Manager Ozzie Newsome and company.

“They’ll definitely want a second round pick, perhaps something less could become a reality.”
“If it’s a 2nd rounder I don’t think so, if it’s less than that maybe.”
“Roughly four million dollars in 2012. At the moment, yes. But we do have some options with how we handle the Suggs situation if we want to go down that road.”
“I guess Bryant McKinnie, but we just gave him a bonus and don’t really feel great about the tackle position. Anquan Boldin? We’re still looking for receiver depth. Dannell Ellerbe? He only makes $2 million anyway. There’s not an easy answer here.”
“He’s a free agent after this season and is already unhappy with his contract situation.”

In fantasy football, we ask a so-called “expert” what they think about a prospective deal and then we click “yes” or “no.” When a deal is completed we smile and hope it works out.

That’s clearly not the case here.

So for guys like Umenyiora and Crabtree, there’s no reason for the Baltimore Ravens NOT to make the call. I’d have to assume the team has a pretty lucrative deal with Verizon, so I can’t fathom the call would be particularly costly.

But there’s also no reason to think deals like this are just going to get done. Unlike the call, deals like this can ABSOLUTELY become very costly.

Carry on.