“Looks like we’re going 4-12 next season” (said the dummy who tells people he knows football)

March 13, 2013 | Drew Forrester

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.

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16 Comments For This Post

  1. Lisa, Aberdeen Says:

    Well written Drew. It’s ashame some people still won’t get it after reading this.

  2. Lisa, Aberdeen Says:

    Well written Drew. It’s ashame some people still won’t get it after reading this.

    If being a GM in the NFL was such an easy job, just ask some of these fans you mentioned in your blog, the league would be flooded with such GM talent (note: sarcasm).

  3. unitastoberry Says:

    Was a bit surprised to hear about Ellerbe.I always liked how this kid played. Don’t forget he was forced into a starter role last season by injuries to Ray and McClain at ILB in a 3-4 defense.Going back several years Ellerbe stood out to me in preseason games and I often questioned why McClain got the nod the last 2 years. I think it goes back to a preseason game where Ellerbe intercepted a pass and ran it in for a score then taunted the defender with the ball. Harbs came running off the bench and got into his face like I have never seen him do since. I think Daniel has been in the doghouse from that point on ala McKinnie.Either way he is gone and the Dolphins did overpay him. Crazy world of pro sports strikes again.

  4. Vince Says:

    Name one Ravens free agent casualty that made Ozzie look dumb for letting him go, I can’t think of one. The guy makes a living not overpaying for talent, and telling players to go get paid somewhere else. Adalius Thomas and Gary Baxter come to mind recently, it was like they disappeared when they left Baltimore. I have utmost faith in Ozzie, zero in the Orioles. Not a low blow, just a fact.

  5. Troy Says:

    I feel much better now. Thanks Drew!

  6. charlie Says:

    thanks for being a voice of sanity on this one, drew. the team just won the darn super bowl, for heaven’s sake. when that happens, other teams overpay for some of the residual magic that supposedly adheres to players on the roster. if the defending champs are stupid, they’ll overreact, treat each player as indispensable, blow their cap. . . and then we’ll really hear from some angry fans.

    even though the ‘q’ loss stings, this front office deserves better than for us to hit that panic button.

  7. matt Says:

    when flacco got his contract i predicted the ravens would miss the playoffs, regardless of if those bums went to other teams. so im with you on the ‘step back’ thing. 7-9 or 8-8 with the bengals winning the division

  8. Steve From Sandpoint Says:

    Just how many March departures from the past have really come back to haunt us, none that I can remember. Let Ozzie & his staff do there thing for God’s sake !!!

  9. The Armchair QB Says:

    Same fans, no doubt, that had dire predictions after we let Mason, Heap, McClain, Gregg and McGahee go. Also, many who predicted the Eagles would win the Super Bowl prior to the 2011 season because of all their free agent acquisitions as well as predicting the Colts to have a losing season last year due to rookie QB,personnel changes, new head coach and front office changes. What the average football fan doesn’t know about football would fill volumes…..

  10. Such Says:

    It’s Chicken Little Season in Baltimore again. “The sky is falling!” Fans have no patience. I’m sure glad the Front Office does. Come off the ledge, people,you’re exhausting…

  11. matt Says:

    stuff just got real with pollard leaving though

  12. jpetrosino Says:

    I think it’s a positive the Raven fans to voice their frustration b/c that shows that we care about the team unlike the Orioles. In fact, the Orioles have turned off their fan base to a point we don’t care or, to be honest, don’t notice.

    For me, there is only one sport in town and that’s football 365.

    Go ahead, let the Yanks, Sox, Phills, Dodgers buy all the players and they can play amongst themselves.

  13. Jackie Says:

    Call me a ‘girl’ but the thing I LOVE about the Ravens is not just how awesome they are on the field, but how classy they are off the field. I’m glad to see the players be a part if their community. That’s the piece I hope we don’t lose with all the moves.

    Since you brought up dem O’s… As someone who still follows BMore sports, even though I live half way across the country, let me see I couldn’t name a single O’s player today (after having followed them religiously since I was about 10). I won’t recognize them as anything having to do with my hometown until Angelo’s is gone!!!

    Will travel for Ravens (and have)!!!! Orioles – where do they play?

  14. The Armchair QB Says:

    It bears repeating that fans who think they know more about personnel moves than Ozzie Newsome are simply….delusional!

  15. Robbie Says:

    Have Pollard and Williams and probably Reed leaving changed your opinion at all? Will there be a point that you won’t “trust Ozzie?” (DF: Nothing about my opinion changes until we see what the Ravens roster looks like in September. They haven’t signed any players yet.)

  16. f4phantomphreak Says:

    Who really cares, they gave Flacco all the cash and now they’re a one man team, I shall follow my O’s all the way to the playoffs baby, all the way!

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