At a time when the Ravens are bringing in guys to fill in blanks on offense based on offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell’s Colts memories of them, it’s easy to think how much they could use wide receiver Anquan Boldin.
But Ravens General Manager Ozzie Newsome told Peter King of the TheMMQB.com that he had no regrets over trading his veteran wideout for a sack of beans, saying the money saved helped rebuild their defense.
“The acquisitions of Elvis Dumervil and Michael Huff are a direct result of the money we saved from that contract,” Newsome said. “And other guys we got—Chris Canty, Marcus Spears, Daryl Smith—were helped by the savings. So if you ask the question, you can’t just say, ‘Do you wish you kept him?’ You also have to look at the unintended consequences of your actions.”
Boldin was shipped to San Francisco for a sixth-round pick, but the real benefit was the $6 million in salary Newsome peeled off the books. Losing tight end Dennis Pitta for the season leaves the Ravens with a hole in the middle of their offense, but Newsome filled many more gaps on the other side with the savings (Dumervil, Huff, Canty and Smith count $6.47 million against the cap this year).
“You have to have an owner who understands the long haul, and I’m fortunate that Steve Bisciotti does,” said Newsome. “When Dumervil came free, unexpected of course, we weren’t looking to spend that kind of money [five years, $27 million], but Steve’s point was, ‘We’re going to be winning, and we’ll never be able to get a pass rusher like that in the draft where we’ll be picking.’ That’s really beneficial for a GM like me, to have an owner who can see down the road and see the big picture. . . .
“I took a safety net from Joe [Flacco], and I’m well aware of that. I’ve been a safety net for Brian Sipe and Bernie Kosar, so I understand what he’ll be missing.”
Dumervil also gives the Ravens long-term cover for outside linebacker Terrell Suggs, who’s scheduled to make $7.8 million in 2014, the last year of his current deal. That’s the kind of long-term thinking that has put the Ravens in a consistently successful place, and they’re willing to sacrifice an immediate need for that stability.