Ravens won’t restructure contracts to keep team together

Reuters

When the Ravens won Super Bowl XXXV, they restructured a lot of contracts to ensure that the nucleus of their title team remained together as long as possible.

The result was not a repeat championship. The Ravens made the playoffs in two of the next three years, but they slowly decended into salary cap hell as a result of those post-Super Bowl decisions and the team slumped before Brian Billick was fired.

According to General Manager Ozzie Newsome, the team learned its lesson that time and won’t let history repeat itself. At a press conference in Baltimore Thursday, Newsome was explicit in saying that the team wouldn’t restructure deals just to maintain the presence of veterans from the current team.

“We have a great nucleus of young players,” Newsome said.

Newsome said he’d consider restructuring particular players, specifically ones likely to reach the end of their deals, but his message can’t be seen as a good sign for those hoping to see wide receiver Anquan Boldin back next season. Boldin’s $5.5 million salary has been pointed to as one the Ravens may need to erase in order to get under the cap and it’s worth wondering how long the Ravens will want to remain in business with a player who turns 33 in October.

Newsome also expressed confidence that a deal will get done with quarterback Joe Flacco and said he hasn’t had any official discussions with safety Ed Reed about returning next season. If Reed does return, it sounds like the team would like him to be a mentor to younger players as the Ravens prepare to move forward without some of the players who helped them win the Super Bowl this year.

59 responses to “Ravens won’t restructure contracts to keep team together

  1. that didnt last long now did it…

    at least Ozzie Newsome knows from experience what will happen if you try to keep every dinosaur on the squad….eventually, you have to let some of the older players go…..

    the same thing will happen to the Ravens rival up north, the Steelers, but the steel curtain will have to cut way more veterans to get out of their cap hell…

  2. Did anyone watch the game? Ray Lewis couldn’t cover anyone.

    Kudos to the Ravens on winning the title, but they won it in spite of Lewis, not because of him. They are thrilled that Lewis won’t be sucking up a roster spot in ’13, believe me.

  3. It’s good that they learned from last time, but that does not bode well for the fans or the current players. Avoiding salary cap hell is a must, though, and I predict the team will look very different over the next few years.

  4. That play in the picture was huge reason why the 9ers lost that game; Boldin has always been a 9er killer. They needed to make the stop there and couldn’t due to his strong hands and leaping ability; Rogers had it played fairly well.

    At the right price, I’d love to have Boldin in SF over Randy Moss. Boldin still has something in his tank and he would be a great compliment to Crab. They would still need a speedster, but it isn’t Randy.

    The Ravens have a lot of cap work to do, but they don’t ever stray too far from being a playoff team/contender so they are in good hands with Oz.

  5. That was a good presser, I watched it on NFLN. I’m a Pats fans so I am not used to interesting pressers. It was funny when Harbaugh was talking about “shades of grey” then said..”.wasn’t that a book?” Then someone asked him if he read it. Heh.

  6. Boldin leaving would hurt. You could argue that Boldin helped Flacco to a big pay day. How many times did we see him bail Joe out during the playoffs?

  7. Good move. Ravens are one of the best front offices in all the NFL. I am confident in their abilities to manage the cap accordingly while putting the best possible product on the field.

  8. pretty sure they wont let the top receiver leave, maybe Kruger will, but he only was getting pressure when Suggs was in.

    Reed will be back

  9. Boldin has to stay; there isn’t anyone with his skill set who will do it for less. He’s a stronger Derrick Mason without the self-control issues or the mouth. Ed Dickson could eventually be that type of player but he’s been the opposite of sure-handed to this point. Tandon Doss can supposedly catch anything thrown his way but he hasn’t been on the field much at all to prove it.

    I think Ozzie is going to surprise everyone and give Joe a 7 year deal to preserve some cap space.

  10. So glad to hear this, never will I forget the most dreadful summer ever in 2002 when I would watch ESPN all day and it was like star after star leaving in a week span. Rod Woodson, Jamie Sharper, Ed Hartwell, Sam Adams and so on. Love Boldin and hope we can retain him, but cap casualty’s happen every year and when the kid gets his opportunity I really think Tandon Doss can fill those shoes one day. I think Ellerbe stays and Kruger and Williams go and Upshaw and Webby fill their voids.

  11. As bad I want Boldin back in Baltimore, I can’t help but remember 2 years ago when the Ravens released Flacco’s 2 safety valves in Todd Heap and Derrick Mason. Everyone went into panic mode and assumed Joe would falter. And yet…here we are. Boldin is a great player, there’s no doubt, but having Torrey and Jacoby in place for a few years to come (Jacoby I believe WILL be extended and restructured) is a great start. I think the only real concern in Baltimore is receiver depth- LaQuan Williams missed most of the year injured, David Reed is an RFA who couldn’t catch a cold, Tommy Streeter ended up spending most of the year on the Practice Squad, and Tandon Doss, no matter how hard Joe tried to get him involved, had no separation and horrendous hands. Next thought? Draft. Then you think about every single bust prior to Torrey at the position (Yamon Figurs still has me laughing). Scary thought to not have a guy like Boldin. Haven’t looked into the big boards yet but it be nice to have someone out there that we can grab late in the 2nd round (1st will be best available as always, hopefully an ILB not named Manti).

  12. Way to go, Ozzie. Look at the Steelers. They are going to have to have a massacre to get under the cap. We let Ray test the waters and got him back. Maybe the market for an old safety that has a problem tackling won’t be as great as Ed thinks it will be. Let Williams and Krueger walk. It sure would be nice to keep Boldin though.

  13. “When the Ravens won Super Bowl XXXV, they restructured a lot of contracts to ensure that the nucleus of their title team remained together as long as possible.”

    Then, the so called at the time “offensive guru”, thought Elvis Grbac would be an upgrade over Trent Dilfer, who had just won a Super Bowl.

    If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, Brian. SMH.

  14. So I follow this logic:

    Tag Flacco and/or give him a $20M deal.

    Let Boldin walk vs. paying him $5M a year , who, if the Ravens did NOT have, would not have made the Super Bowl let alone WIN it.

    Every time Flacco threw up one of his prayers to him, Boldin caught it. Remove that, and those turn into incompletions or INT’s.

    It’s to the point now with the NFL you can’t tie up $20M in one player and expect to have enough left over to fill 52 other spots on your roster. Especially not a guy who’s been as inconsistent as Flacco has been.

  15. You can’t rate a player against his age. You rate him relative to his production versus their cost. I would say that Boldin is WORTH his salary in terms of points provided, and you cut elsewhere. You won’t make up the points on more cheaper players. You take Boldin out of the lineup and Flacco is back to his pedestrian self in a heartbeat. Until this playoff run Flacco was like 25th in QB points provided – about 100 points behind Peyton Manning. If the Ravens pay Flacco top3 money (let alone # 1 money) and he plays like he has for the last 5 years- the Ravens are toast. His salary is a salary for work expected – not a prize for winning the Super Bowl.

  16. Lewis out, a young ILB in. Look at what Kuechly did for Carolina, and Wagner did in Seattle. Yes, you’re losing a lot of experience, but you can go a long way for making up for that in youth and athletic ability alone. Just coach ’em up right.

  17. The one that stands out to me the most is Paul Kruger. Not taking anything away from any of the other players espeically bolden. But Kruger is young and he’s a great pass rusher. If bolden was younger then I would say he stands out, but he’s getting up there in age and not good at getting separation but his hands are amazing.

  18. I don’t think the 2000 Raven’s failure to repeat has as much to do with salary cap issues as it was that their 2000 team was merely the flukey hot team for that month that wouldn’t have even made it to the SB if not for TN’s Al Del Greco and his unprecedented and fishy 3 FG’s returned by the other team.

  19. The Ravens need to re-sign Ellerbe. Kruger can go we have Upshaw and we also have Hamilton, granted both are unproven they have high potential and i will take them two and save money over Kruger even though Kruger is one of my favorite players. The Boldin situtation is scary. We dont have anyone with his skills. Cary can go we get webby back and graham and smith will be fine. Reed needs to stay if possible cuz we have nobody who can take his place. we could use ihedajbo or even web, but rather use reed on a 3 yr deal like birks.

  20. Great job Oz! I heard Steve B discussed competing annually but seemed to be focused on the 2015 Super Bowl due to the history of champions not repeating in quite some time. Makes sense to rebuild now for a very strong run in a couple of years!!!! Grow and develop Ravens in the Next Man Up system! Solid leadership and management and that’s why we’re a great organization!!! Go Ravens!!!!!

  21. You know what’s great about being a Raven fan, knowing Ozzie Newsome will make the right decisions. How many players that the Ravens let go of went on to be great or even good after leaving. One, Priest Holmes and the Ravens couldn’t keep him because they had Jamal Lewis.

  22. Also Ravens fans i have a question. How would u feel about a switch to the 4-3. Suggs and Upshaw at the ends, backed up by McAdo and Hamilton and McPhee. Inside you have Ngata, Jones, Backed up by Tyson, Cody, and McBean. Strong side linebacker would be McClain with a draft pick back up and MLB be Ellerbe with Bynes as back up and weak side be McClellan with Ayanbadejo as back up. We could also sign Mauluga as a strong or weak side LB.

    The thought is we are in the nickle 90% of the time anyway so we use 4 down lineman a lot. I think this saves us money and we dont have to draft a LB high or need to keep kruger. We could also get rid of Cody if we want and get a cheap back up.

  23. “Feb 7, 2013 12:58 PM
    I don’t think the 2000 Raven’s failure to repeat has as much to do with salary cap issues as it was that their 2000 team was merely the flukey hot team for that month that wouldn’t have even made it to the SB if not for TN’s Al Del Greco and his unprecedented and fishy 3 FG’s returned by the other team.”

    The 2000 team didn’t have a flukey hot month. They had the greatest defense that ever played the game.

  24. Boldin is, hands down, the most clutch receiver in the entire NFL.

    How many chances does a team get to have that player on their roster? How many would pay $5 million to have that chance?

    The guy looks nowhere close to being past his prime. Keep him. When the playoffs roll around again, you’ll remember why you did, and you’ll be glad.

  25. I am a huge Ravens fans, but come on folks…Kruger is disposable. It took him 3 years to start playing more consistently, he finally has 1 good year and everyone wants to pay the kid. Not worth it. Go stat tracking. Kruger had about 5 or 6 of his 10.5 sacks this year against rookie tackles. Don’t get me wrong 10.5 sacks is not too shabby, but he’s a situational pass rusher, marginal in coverage, and not worth paying what the market will determine his value to be. Give Upshaw a shot at starting in 2013, draft another pass rusher to back him up, and we can go from there.

  26. So two years ago the Ravens lost Heap, Mason and Gregg. Big loss? They were out of the league or on the bench, so no it wasn’t. Last year they lost Grubbs, Redding, Nakamura, Zbikowski, McKinney, Ricky Williams, and Jarret Johnson. Granted all but of few of these guys are making significant contributions but, it resulted in the Ravens winning a Super Bowl. So tell me why all of the sudden will losing a few more people, when the Ravens already have their respective replacements on the team, make this team crumble? -silence-

    That’s what I thought….

  27. I just don’t see how Oz could let Anquan walk. I think he probably realizes Cam Cameron completely and totally misused Boldin in that kindergarten offense. Cameron was Boldin’s worst enemy in terms of production. In the five games he’s played in since Caldwell took over? 29 receptions for 473 and 4 TDs. He is far to valuable to let go. I’m thinking Oz extends the contract to free up more cap space.

  28. In Ozzie We Trust. He’ll retool this team, trade down early into the second, pick up an extra third or fouth and get us two starters in the 2nd round. Then, build depth from there. The Ravens may or may not repeat, but they’ll definitely be back in the dance at least next year.

  29. The Ravens had a cap purge after the 2001 season.
    Do a little research before you embarass yourself again.
    BTW-the team slumped before Billick was fired? Does that include them going 13-3 in 2006? You are poorly informed or stupid or both.

  30. So the ravens potentially might allow one of the toughest WR in the league who has the physical strength to fight for and pull in the many air balls that Flacco throws go? While at the same time possibly be paying an above average QB top dollar. Have they watch the same Flacco play that I have? He’s good at times but not consistently great. Without Boldin they don’t win that Superbowl. I was hoping the pats would sign him back when the Ravens did, now I really hope they release him and pats sign him. His ability to beat dbacks with his physical strength is very underrated. I’m sure Brady would love a hard nosed receiver like him.

  31. It wouldn’t make any sense to pay Flacco and then not pay another 5 million to keep Boldin. I don’t think the O would sink without him, but AB was clutch for every Raven game I watched.

  32. I want to know where this 5 million over the cap number is coming from. Just a few weeks ago Clayton had them 15 million under, which sounds more accurate.

    And anyway they could lower Boldin’s cap number by extending him 1 or 2 years. Derrick Mason played well until he was 36.

    If they get a deal with Flacco done, they will be in much better shape.

  33. Boldin should be extended, in his case the age thing does not matter. His play is about strength and route running not speed. He was 4.7 out of college for cripes sake. Older receivers that base their game on speed should be cut, but Boldin is a completely different situation.

  34. Finally, a Ravens article without al the negative Ray Ray stuff by the posters. Whew. I’m as big a Ravens (and Ray Lewis) fan as anyone but I am glad the retirement tour is over.

    As for next year, just look at all the talent we lost from last year’s team. When the season started, given those losses and given what appeared to be a ferocious schedule, I thought 8-8 was a distinct possibility. Winning the SB was not on my radar. I agree with most of you that we have to trust our extraordinarily strong GM and front office and hope for the best.

  35. No chance they let Boldin walk. This isn’t like cutting David Tyree or something. They think Torrey Smith is going to replace his production? Newsome is smart but not crazy.

  36. Oz didn’t say that he wouldn’t EXTEND contracts, just that he wouldn’t RESTRUCTURE them. I see Boldin & Jones getting contract extentions of 2 – 3 years.

  37. The Ravens didnt win another superbowl last time because they dumped their average QB and replaced him with a series of really bad QBs, wasting several years of superbowl caliber defenses in the process.

  38. I thought a famous raven fan boy said the ravens don’t have cap problems because Ozzie is blah blah….so what is it cap problems or just another stupid post ravenator?

  39. This seems like a deep WR class, so if there is a time to replace Boldin, I think the time is now. Between Justin Hunter, Terrance Williams, DeAndre Hopkins and Da’Rick Rogers a few should still be on board at pick 32, and all of them are big physical guys just like Q but they are also younger and faster.

  40. This seems like a deep WR class, so if there is a time to replace Boldin, I think the time is now. Between Justin Hunter, Terrance Williams, DeAndre Hopkins and Da’Rick Rogers a few should still be on board at pick 32, and all of them are big physical guys just like Q but they are also younger and faster.

    Think Raven fans will be very surprised to see the decline in victories if Boldin goes…think about it before you so cavalierly let him go…don’t let one SB blind you to reality.

  41. now we will see if the hc can coach for once. instead of riding the coats tail of a descent defense and average offence. Answer NO. This team from Cleveland will suck for years to come.

  42. Nofoolnodrool says:
    Feb 7, 2013 6:36 PM
    This seems like a deep WR class, so if there is a time to replace Boldin, I think the time is now. Between Justin Hunter, Terrance Williams, DeAndre Hopkins and Da’Rick Rogers a few should still be on board at pick 32, and all of them are big physical guys just like Q but they are also younger and faster.

    Think Raven fans will be very surprised to see the decline in victories if Boldin goes…think about it before you so cavalierly let him go…don’t let one SB blind you to reality.

    ===================================

    Back to trolling Raven articles again I see…

    Oh BTW, your team and your opinion are irrelevant.

  43. That’s usually the problem when you win it all. Every player all of the sudden thinks they’re underpaid and look to cash in – And there always seems to be a a few foolish teams out there waiting to over-pay.

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