Anyone have an extra panic button laying around?
The sports fans of Baltimore broke the one they use on Tuesday afternoon when the Ravens didn’t do anything in the first two hours of free agency.
If only the baseball team in town was held to the same standard as the football team, huh?
In what has now become a rite of passage every March, the football supporters in town lost their minds on day one of free agency when a couple of decent players left the nest just moments after the bell rung and signings were permitted to become official. Remember what happened last spring when Ben Grubbs left for New Orleans? Panic. Doom and gloom. “How are we going to replace our Pro Bowl left guard?” people wondered. Enter Kelechi Osemele, via the draft. Problem solved.
It’s laughable when folks who say they follow the team and the NFL expose themselves as neophytes after a player or two scamper off for more money and the Ravens don’t immediately overpay for someone else’s half-decent free agent.
In case you haven’t been paying attention – and based on what I heard and read yesterday, you haven’t – the Ravens just don’t operate like that. They’re NOT the Redskins or the Eagles. You remember those two teams, right? They’re the ones that spend, spend, spend every spring. They’re the ones who go out and scoop up the big free agents to bolster an already talented roster. They’re also ring-less since 2000, while the Ravens have won the Super Bowl twice. Checkmate.
For those of you who ARE sane, give me one minute to explain what happened yesterday with the Ravens. It will all make sense.
Here’s the truth — the Ravens weren’t really all that interested in retaining Dannell Ellerbe and Paul Kruger. They made Ellerbe an offer that might be considered token by most folks. Somehow, a story out there had Ellerbe as a “major priority” for the Ravens, but that turned out to not be true at all. The Ravens would have taken him back, but only at their price. They were perfectly OK with losing him on Tuesday. With Kruger, the Ravens didn’t even bother getting involved. He was always going to leave for more money and greener pastures and the Ravens were fine with that, too.
So, to say the Ravens “lost” Ellerbe and Kruger would be like saying you “lost” your girlfriend after you broke up with her.
Yeah, they might have lost those two, but they also drove them to the airport.
Ellerbe and Kruger – both free agents – did what most decent football players coming off of good seasons would do. They parlayed their success and that of the team they played for into contracts larger than their production will yield over the next five years. Ellerbe collected $35 million from the Dolphins and Kruger got $40 million from the Browns. Both of those men are decent football players. And they’re both now officially overpaid, which is what happens when you win a championship and you have some value. I don’t blame them for moving on and collecting new contracts elsewhere. It’s the American way.
(Please see next page)