Reporting Rob Long
For the past two or three weeks, all of the talk surrounding the Baltimore Ravens cornerback battle is that the team is so deep at the position, they may need to trade away some parts for positions of greater need. Pump your brakes on that theory, maybe they aren’t as deep as we previously thought.
Thursday night’s preseason game against the Washington Redskins raised some red flags about the quality of play the team’s been getting from the cornerback position. The may be deep in numbers, but not in ability.
Yes, Domonique Foxworth was brought in to be the team’s number one cornerback, but no one can make an argument that he’s earned the four-year $27.2 million dollar deal that he signed in 2009. At this point, he has sort of handcuffed the organization with a contract that they appear to be stuck with. One could argue that if Foxworth has played up to expectations, the team would not have spent a first-round pick on rookie Jimmy Smith.
Now, the team’s relying on the inexperienced Cary Williams, perhaps, to be the team’s other starting cornerback. The question remains whether or not Williams starts opposite of Foxworth, Smith, or Lardarius Webb?
Webb was rolling in 2009 before a season ending knee injury. He came back last season, but it was obvious that he was not playing at 100%. He just did not have the explosiveness that he had before the injury.
Now, Webb is fighting for a definitive role on this Ravens team. Will he start? Will he play in the nickel package? Will Webb be reduced to a role on the special teams?
So, we have Smith, Foxworth, Williams and Webb and none of us can make claim that either of these guys have separated themselves from the pack. They’ve all shown vulnerabilities from time to time in the preseason. I don’t think anyone would say they rest easy at night knowing the combination of either of these players were the starting cornerbacks for the Baltimore Ravens. That could change, but for now, it is what it is…
Before you start more trade rumors, ask yourself, can the Ravens afford to trade Foxworth or anyone else in that group of cornerbacks? While I haven’t been impressed with Foxworth, maybe the team will need him just for numbers alone. How long before Cary Williams gets exposed? Can you rely on Jimmy Smith and Lardarius Webb all season? Foxworth’s experience maybe too valuable to let him go. Yes, he has the big contract, but maybe his existence is similar to the reason the team signed him in the first place. Who else are you going to turn to?
Rob Long – 105.7 The Fan On-air Host & Staff Writer
Follow Rob on Twitter: @RobLongSports