When the NFL lockout ends, one of the Ravens' higher offseason priorities will be retaining backup quarterback Marc Bulger, who last season only got off the bench to stretch his now 34-year-old legs and get cups of Gatorade. The Ravens want a veteran behind Joe Flacco on the depth chart, and keeping Bulger is ideal.
But does Bulger want to be a backup quarterback, or is he itching to be a starter again? That's one of the many things that has been speculated upon this offseason as we wait for actual moves to converse about.
In April, as teams were preparing for the draft, it was reported that Bulger already had an under-the-table agreement with the Cardinals, but now the word on the street is that Arizona will trade for Philadelphia's Kevin Kolb. Then former Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner said he thinks Bulger doesn't care about starting.
Bulger, who started 85 games for the Rams from 2002 to 2009, hasn't commented about his intentions publicly. But Len Pasquarelli of Sports Xchange reported this week that a person close to Bulger told him that the former Pro Bowl quarterback "still has the fire to play" if the right opportunity presents itself.
"Last year, when he didn't get off the bench it wasn't like he got completely cozy with being the No. 2 guy," the Bulger source told Pasquarelli. "The situation, though, will have to be the right one."
Bulger had a few options before the draft, but they started to dry up when teams such as the Vikings, the Bengals and the Vikings drafted young quarterbacks. But the pickings are slim on the free-agent market, which is good for Bulger and bad for the Ravens if he leaves for the "right" situation elsewhere.
Sixth-round pick Tyrod Taylor has promise, but he is a bit of a project, so I can't imagine the Ravens will feel comfortable with him as their No. 2 quarterback. Flacco has been durable, but they don't want to take that risk as they try to win one for the Gipper -- well, veteran linebacker Ray Lewis -- before he retires.
We'll see how the Ravens proceed once free agency begins -- it's hard to know in these still-uncertain times -- but you have to figure that trying to ink Bulger will be one of their first acts of business.