Both Scott Garceau, from 105.7 The Fan, and WNST's Drew Forrester are citing unnamed Ravens' team sources today saying the salary cap will likely preclude the Ravens from participating in the Anquan Boldin sweepstakes. This appears to be the exact opposite of what unnamed sources have told the Sun's Jamison Hensley and ESPN's John Clayton -- unless you want to think the Ravens weren't aware there was a salary cap last week but suddenly remembered this giant hurdle today.
Know what that sounds like to me? Grist for the draft-week mill. Teams that want to create cap space figure out ways. If the Ravens want Boldin bad enough, they make it happen, even if that requires some tough decisions. A lot of what you hear this week will be posturing, leaked snippets intended to move the needle and play a role in negotiations. Time will tell.
[Update: Jamison has a new report of his own, citing an unnamed team source, saying a trade is "unlikely," unless the Cardinals lower their demands. It seems to confirm what I was alluding to. By going the anonymous-source route, the Ravens are sending word to the Cardinals and the rest of the league that a first- and third-round pick is too steep of an asking price. It might not have seemed especially steep a week ago -- remember Roy Williams brought a first-, third- and a sixth-round pick last year -- but the market for Boldin doesn't seem to be as big as originally thought. If the Ravens stay in the Boldin hunt, you can bet they do not want to give up any more than they have to.
If you're a Peter King disciple, here's what he said in this morning's column: "I think the Cardinals have to get serious about trading Anquan Boldin. He's not going to be happy there, and he's not going to bring back a first-round pick PLUS something else."]
I did want to pass something along that originally appeared last week on Foxsports.com. John Czarnecki is an editorial consultant for FOX NFL Sunday and one of 44 selectors to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He went through each team's drafts since 2003 and handed out grades. He gave the Ravens a C-, which is worse than teams like the Redskins (B), the 49ers (C), the Steelers (A), the Patriots (A+), and the Cowboys (A).
Here's what Czarnecki had to say about the Ravens:
If you missed it, the New York Times didn't hand out grades but did write a complimentary story over the weekend on the Ravens' draft process and history.