Was Wednesday’s announcement from the Ravens a coincidence?

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With the benefit of: (a) a night of sleep; (b) a cup or two of coffee; and (c) a chance to talk through the situation during the opening segment of PFT Live, it’s possible that I’ve figured out the connection between the Ravens announcing on Wednesday that quarterback Robert Griffin III will be signed (not has been signed, but will be signed) and G.M. Ozzie Newsome and coach John Harbaugh being questioned on Thursday in quarterback Colin Kaepernick‘s pending collusion grievance.

Newsome and Harbaugh likely will be saying that they regarded Griffin as being a superior talent to Kaepernick. If they would have been saying that on Thursday without letting the world know on Wednesday that they’ll be signing him next week, the line of questioning would have gone something like this:

Lawyer: Why did you offer a contract to Griffin last year and not to Kaepernick?

Witness: We think Griffin is a better player than Kaepernick.

Lawyer: How much better?

Witness: Dramatically better.

Lawyer: Dramatically better?

Witness: Dramatically better.

Lawyer: Better than any other option on the backup quarterback market?

Witness: (Pauses.) Yes, better than any other option of the backup quarterback market.

Lawyer: Tell me, which NFL team currently employs Griffin?

Witness: (Pauses.) Well, none of them.

Lawyer: Well, why don’t you?

By adding Griffin, that line of questioning goes away. And while it’s odd to think that the Ravens would allow legal strategy to influence football decisions, it’s too coincidental that they held a press conference on Wednesday announcing that Griffin will join the team next week, a day before Newsome and Harbaugh are scheduled to answer plenty of questions about why they picked Griffin over Kaepernick.

Besides, the truth seems to be that the Ravens previously allowed business strategy to influence football decisions, based on the decision not to sign Kaepernick last year. The challenge for the Ravens and the NFL on Thursday ultimately will consist of showing that the Ravens made their decisions about Kaepernick on their own, and without any influence of a league office that arguably was spreading the word that signing Kaepernick would be bad for business.

40 responses to “Was Wednesday’s announcement from the Ravens a coincidence?

  1. “Newsome and Harbaugh likely will be saying that they regarded Griffin as being a superior talent to Kaepernick.”

    — No, They don’t have to regard him as superior, just better.

  2. Actually you have this completely wrong (as usual) and backwards. The challenge isn’t for the Raven’s and NFL to prove they did so “without influence of a league office that arguably was spreading the word that signing Kaepernick would be bad for business”. The burden of proof is on Kaepernick’s law team to prove they did collude with other owners or league officials in not signing Kaepernick to a contract.

  3. Couldn’t they simply answer that Kaep’s skills did not outweigh the negative effect/distractions of the following media circus?

    After all, the charge is collusion. Right or wrong, Baltimore could have easily come to this conclusion on their own (along with every other team).

  4. Dude, who cares is signing Kaepernick is bad for business. We are talking about Social Justice here. What the fans think doesn’t matter and they can stay home and not watch if they don’t like it.

  5. How about this line of questioning:

    Lawyer: Why did you offer a contract to Griffin and not Kaepernick?

    Witness: We felt Griffin would be a better fit.

    Lawyer: Do you believe he’s a better player than Kaepernick?

    Witness: Not necessarily.

    Lawyer: Then why did you choose him over Kaepernick?

    Witness: Kaepernick is an anti-American communist. We felt our fan base would be outraged at his signing and would stop watching Ravens football and buying Ravens merchandise.

    Lawyer: (long pause) I got nothing.

  6. No collusion, just common sense. Hiring Kap will upset a large portion of your fanbase. Who needs the media distraction and fan uproar over a backup player? For that reason alone, he is done in the NFL.

  7. How about the fact that RGIII is only getting a million dollars, whereas Kaep may want 5 times that?

    Is that somehow not relevant?

  8. Browns taking advantage of the situation. Trading their backup QBs for 7th round draft picks so trade partners don’t have to answer questions. Its only a 7th but, who knows?

  9. This is the first I’ve read about the league office arguably spreading the word that signing Kaepernick would be bad for business. What evidence supports that argument?

  10. I think the two are related, but I don’t think this was a defensive move by the Ravens. I think they are angry they have to waste time on Kaep’s nonsense lawsuit when they should be focused on the draft. Kaep opted out of his contract — with another team — and when the Ravens took a look at him anyway the thanks they got was his girlfriend publicly calling their owner a racist. Signing RGIII is a thumb in Kaep’s eye on both points, and I love it.

  11. jrmotiz says:

    How about the fact that RGIII is only getting a million dollars, whereas Kaep may want 5 times that?

    Is that somehow not relevant?

    Good point. Kaep had the chance to go to Denver but the deal was held up because Denver only wanted to pay $7M and wanted the 49ers to pick up the remaining $4.9M. But the 49ers have been unwilling to pay the remaining $4.9 million of Kaepernick’s salary, and the quarterback is unwilling to forfeit that money so the deal can go through… In other words. Kaep would have probably still been playing if he had agreed to take a paycut. $7M is better than $0M. Here’s the rub. Nobody knows what Kaep wants. If he really wanted a job why isn’t he doing something about it instead of filing a collusion lawsuit. What are his demands? He doesn’t want to be a backup and he likely doesn’t want to sign a contract for a measly $1M so who knows what he wants. I’m sure that will be brought up in the collusion lawsuit. That and the pig socks and the pro-Castro shirt. There’s no chance he wins this collusion lawsuit. That’s like Jeff George trying to file a lawsuit because nobody wanted to give him a job because he was such a pain in the backside. No collusion. Teams saw what was going on and independently came to the decision he was more trouble than what he was worth.

  12. WITNESS: If we were the only team who recently announced the addition of a backup QB then I suppose you could make it seem nefarious but many teams have recently announced the signing of backup QBs. It is the Free Agency period after all.

  13. briang123 says:
    Dude, who cares is signing Kaepernick is bad for business. We are talking about Social Justice here. What the fans think doesn’t matter and they can stay home and not watch if they don’t like it.

    –Social justice? Please. We are talking about reality here.

  14. Maybe John Harbaugh could explain that he talked to his brother Jim Harbaugh who previously coached The Cancer formerly known as Kap.

  15. This has nothing to do with race – signing Kaepernick is not worth the baggage he brings with him and Kaepernick brought this upon himself. It’s called living with the choices you’ve made and it doesn’t appear that Kaepernick is mature enough to understand that.

  16. That’s the first thing I thought of when I saw those two headlines on the PFT home page.

    When does anyone ever say, “yeah, we’re going to sign him next week”?

  17. Couldn’t their answer simply be “Colin Kaepernick has never been employed by the Baltimore Ravens. We don’t owe Colin Kaepernick anything. We will hire whomever we wish. Thanks for asking – now please go away.”

  18. jrmotiz says:
    April 5, 2018 at 9:55 am
    How about the fact that RGIII is only getting a million dollars, whereas Kaep may want 5 times that?

    Is that somehow not relevant?

    ———————

    Only five times? He turned down a contract extension for 15 times that amount. He had an opportunity and he opted out.

  19. Pretty sure Ryan Leaf would be a “victim” if the same logic were applied to his situation.
    Could probably throw a ball as far or farther than anyone in the league when he got cut. Where is/was the outrage?

  20. You forget to add the financial aspect of it as well, assuming RG3 is taking less than Kap asked for. Lets not forget we are talking about a back-up position… makes no sense paying over 3 million for a back-up, unless it’s one you want to keep from leaving to another team. RG# doesn’t need to be a superior QB, just a better option it term of ability vs cost.

  21. A player with RG3’s ego will never be humbled, but he at least learned a lesson from his diva past – he’s kept his head down and worked. Kapernick’s head is in the clouds in some kind of fantasy land where law enforcement is evil instead of guardian angels.

  22. Millennial entitlement run amok. Football teams should be able to employ the players they wish, especially at the most important position on the team. If they simply don’t like the personality of a player, that should be enough. They shouldn’t have to justify and answer for every decision. Meanwhile, there is a Safety on the market who many people are freaking out about…even though the ENTIRE Safety market has moved at the pace of a glacier. This is the single biggest issue in our societal dialogue today: any time someone sees a disparity involving a member of a “disadvantaged” group, it is ASSUMED that the disparity is the result of discrimination, even in the face of logical alternative explanations. It’s awful. Getting angry about discrimination that in reality doesn’t exist is the easiest way to create “enemies”, victims who are labeled discriminatory even though they aren’t being that at all.

  23. “Sir, we did collude against Mr. Kaepernick. We admit that Myself (G.M. Ozzie Newsome), coach John Harbaugh, and owner Steve Bisciotti agreed among ourselves not to hire Mr. Kaepernick.”

  24. I think it’s clear the Ravens like a mobile type QB as a back up. Look at Tyrod as an example. They brought Kap in when no one else would, and he wanted too much money plain and simple. They we’re thinking of countering an offer up until Kap’s girlfriend went nuts on social media about blasting the Ravens. RGIII is a similar style QB as the other two and he was signed for next to nothing. Very cap friendly. what’s with all of the other nonsense? seems like a basic football decision.

  25. “while it’s odd to think that the Ravens would allow legal strategy to influence football decisions”

    Not really since they can cut Griffin with no repercussions once the hearing is behind them.

  26. whenwilliteverend says:
    April 5, 2018 at 10:24 am
    jrmotiz says:

    How about the fact that RGIII is only getting a million dollars, whereas Kaep may want 5 times that?

    Is that somehow not relevant?

    Good point.

    ***************
    Exactly, especially considering the salary cap issues facing the Ravens. Pretty obvious to anyone truly looking at the big picture, as opposed to pursuing an agenda point.

    Of course the problem with dedicated conspiracy theorists is that they never accept an answer, they just move on to the next claim that hasn’t been disproven.

  27. Not a lawyer, but, seems to me that hiring someone who is suing you must be able to be construed as some kind of admission of guilt in their lawsuit.
    Besides, IF the NFL did tell the owners not to hire him, where is the collusion? The NFL is a single entity who can tell the teams to do whatever they, the NFL management, want them to do or face league backlash. IF Goodell advised the teams not to hire him, the only person guilty of blacklisting him would be the NFL management.

  28. Griffin was a Heisman winner and a ROY. Kap is a malcontent who bit the hand that fed him a ton of money. His girlfriend demeaned the owner of the team. The team made a decision that it was not in their best interest to employ the man. He would not be well received in Baltimore. Kap has spent his time politicking his views. Griffin kept his head down, kept in shape and was willing to sign for what is a small contract as an NFL backup. It is really simple. Florio and Mike Freeman want to make this much more than it is.

  29. The question is who will be the next player to flush their career down the toilet protesting against our great United States in front of their customers?

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