After capturing their second Super Bowl in franchise history, the Ravens off season is off and running, as expected more than a few members that were a part of that storybook run to the Super Bowl, will not return. Some, not so surprising, but players such as Anquan Boldin and Ed Reed departing are mildly shocking. Do not panic Baltimore; Ravens General Manager Ozzie Newsome hasn’t been entirely quiet this off season. The team has signed DE Marcus Spears along with DL Chris Canty. Or, as Newsome explained: The base of a good defense is to be good along the defensive line. “With the expected better health of players like Haloti Ngata and Pernell McPhee and the addition of Marcus Spears and Chris Canty, we have a chance to improve.”
Then came Sunday’s maneuver – three time Pro Bowler Elvis Dumervil agreed to a five-year contract worth $35 Million – including $12 million guaranteed. He replaces Paul Kruger, who the Browns overpaid at $40.5 million over five years, including $20 million guaranteed. Point, Ozzie.
The 29-year old Dumervil has spent the last seven seasons with the Broncos. Appearing in 91 career games, making 75 starts. He has registered double-digit sacks in three different seasons and posted 16 multi-sack games during his career.
The most important key factor that separates a pretender from a contender is making the subtle adjustments to keep giving the team the best chance to win no matter how many players are not healthy, or do not return. For the last five seasons the Ravens have mastered that by making the playoffs. If Newsome and the Ravens can return to playoffs for a sixth consecutive season, it will be a true testament to what the franchise is built on and how to “properly “transition.
The team is doing whatever they can to make sure they continue the winning tradition of the Ravens franchise. They might have lost some key players, but the “hope” in Owings Mills is the players that are coming in, can be just as good or even better. As one door closes another one opens – the same adage that the franchise is based on. Yes, it would have been wonderful to have Reed retire a Raven, just like Lewis. Or watch Boldin continue making catches thrown from Flacco, but it is a business and whatever gives the team the best chance to win is the number one priority.
Still trust Ozzie?