Friday, March 6, 2009

Free Agency

Ozzy Newsome and company again look like they know what they are doing.

Some commentary:

Bart Scott to the Jets. Scott is a hell of a player, and probably has the most potential long term upside given his age. However, he's not worth $8million a year. The Jets overpaid, and are going to find out that the Ravens' defensive schemes and the other players make these guys better. Take a look at some other Ravens who moved on and haven't been anywhere near as productive. Certainly a loss, but good for him to go get the payday.

Jason Brown to the Rams. As with Scott, Brown is a great inside lineman and good for him for getting the big payday. But also as with Scott, he's just not worth the $7million a year he's getting. I know there was a disagreement on how he should be paid, as a guard or center, but in my opinion, that just didn't matter. He's good, but can be replaced.

Jim Leonhard to the Jets. Who doesn't love this player? He wanted and deserved a shot at a starting spot, and the Ravens' depth at safety just wasn't going to give him that opportunity. I think he's worth the money even as a backup/special teams guy (3 years at $6million), but the cap limits I think precluded signing him, and he wasn't going to be happy if he didn't have a starting spot. Another good for him, he's going to be a factor.

Terrell Suggs franchised by the Ravens. I don't like this move at all. I think they needed to find a way to work something out without using the tag, and I think now they need to work out a long term deal before the season starts. If they don't, he'll be gone in 2010. While there's a lot of depth at linebacker, I think Suggs is worth locking up for 5 years.

Matt Birk to the Ravens. Great signing, good deal, some experience on the line and a little better protection for Flacco. Sign a big play reciever, and you'll see this pay off.

Ray Lewis re-signed. 3 years and $22million seems about right. I was suprised he didn't get more interest, but I think it was true the Ravens were willing to outbid anyone for Lewis. He's going to retire a Raven, and his leadership and passion have unlimited value. He's going to be the reason these young linebackers are going to be great for years to come.

Matt Stover let go. Well, maybe. He got an offer from the Jets, the Ravens said they would let him go, and the Jets signed someone else. From an emotional standpoint, I hate that Stover might play somewhere else or retire like this, but from a business standpoint, I think carrying two kickers takes up a roster spot better used for something else, and it probably is time to move on. I'm not happy about it, though. We love this guy.

I can't wait for the season to start!

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