It’s not all bad news for the Ravens on the first day of free agency. Despite trading receiver Anquan Boldin on Monday and then losing linebackers Paul Kruger and Dannell Ellerbe on Tuesday, the Ravens still might have a shot at retaining safety Ed Reed and offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie.
Free agency is basically a young man’s game, and the big names usually sign during the first couple of days when the market opens.
So far, the interest has been lukewarm for McKinnie and Reed. If they aren’t signed by the weekend that usually means they can be signed for value or below market value, which is good for the Ravens because they don’t have much salary-cap room to sign players.
As for Kruger and Ellerbe, they earned their deals even though they were overpaid by their respective new teams.
Kruger got a five-year, $40 million contract from the Cleveland Browns. That’s ludicrous, especially for a part-time player who comes in only on pass rushing situations. They better keep Kruger on the left side because he won’t have as much success going against left tackles in the NFL.
To pay Kruger that amount just shows you why the Cleveland Browns are the Cleveland Browns. Kruger, though, worked hard and turned himself into a solid player. As for Ellerbe, the Ravens underestimated what he would get on the open market. But few expected him to get the five-year, $35 million contract he got from Miami.
Unlike Kruger, he’ll be missed because the Ravens have no presence, no run stopper in the middle, especially with inside linebacker Jameel McClain still recovering from a spinal injury.
Some Ravens fans will complain that Ellerbe and Kruger showed no loyalty to the Ravens, but they just made good business decisions. They got their rings last season, and now they are cashing in on big pay days.
Free agency is still a young man’s game.
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