John Eisenberg, a columnist for Baltimoreravens.com, joins Ed & Steve to talk about what ravens fans can expect the team to do in the off-season.
The first topic of conversation is the article by Peter King of Sports Illustrated on Flacco going to the Cleveland Browns. When King heard Ozzie Newsome talk about the Redskins being happy that they gave up their first round picks for the next few years to get RG3, he took that as Ozzie saying that they’d be willing to let Flacco go for the same sort of deal. Ed, Steve and John all heard that press conference as well and didn’t take that away from it. If anything they saw Ozzie and Bisciotti sitting there and talking about that as saying they wouldn’t allow that. They knew that Cleveland would gladly give up their picks for Flacco if they gave him the lower Franchise tag around $14 Million. They don’t want to do that.
Eisenberg recognized that when the Ravens have players they need to keep, they do so. They’ve held on to a Linebacker and Safety as long as they have. Once they finally have a QB they like and want to keep, they’re not going to let him walk. Understandably in keeping Flacco and giving him the Franchise Tag of $20.6 Million there would be some casualties; “I don’t think there is any way they can keep the team intact.” Leach, Boldin, and McKinnie are all vulnerable, especially Leach and McKinnie. Boldin may be willing to restructure his contract and stick around, based upon his statements about retiring if the Ravens cut him.
When asked about who he would chose to keep on the Defensive side of the ball: Paul Kruger, Dannell Ellerbe or Cary Williams, he responded without hesitation. “Number one, I would take Ellerbe, for sure… I think they need to be athletic in the middle of the field.” He believes Kruger’s price would be much too high for “a guy who isn’t a 3-down player.” There has also been speculation that he could receive about $9 Million on the open market. Cary Williams may be expendable purely based on the fact that we have Lardarius Webb returning next year and Jimmy Smith is still learning and improving.
As far as Bryant McKinnie goes there are just too many factors to speculate on. Yes, the Ravens like their younger players on the O-line. Yes, he does have off the field issues that may motivate him to take whatever money he can get. No, there may not be interest in him from other teams yet. That topic we’ll just have to take a “wait and see” position on, but speculation is that he will more than likely NOT be returning.
Final Question: Will Ed Reed be back in Purple next season? Yes or No? A confident YES.
Listen to the full conversation here: