Mark Zinno: Ravens Losing AFC Arms Race
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I try never to compare football and baseball. The sports are so completely different. They way they are played, the schedules and even the economics never allow for anything remotely close to a fair comparison. But if there is one way to start to compare them these days is in free agency. When the NFL began it’s free agency period, over one billion dollars was spent in the first 72 hours. Granted, that was 32 teams at work – in Major League Baseball that would be the Yankees, Dodgers and Angels in the same off-season. Regardless, teams in the NFL are using free agency more and more to build their rosters to get into the post season.
The Broncos and Patriots are the Yankees and Red Sox of the NFL. Both the teams in the AFC Championship game were aggressive and ruthless. They went after the best players. They move the fastest. They made the biggest strides and improvements. Denver grabbed DeMarcus Ware, Aqib Talib, TJ Ward and Emmanuel Sanders. New England landed Darrelle Revis, Brandon Browner, Brandon LaFell and re-signed Julian Edleman. The Ravens did re-sign all of their own key players, but have only added wide receiver Steve Smith will be 35 in two months. Baltimore also lost starters Art Jones, Michael Oher, Corey Graham and eventually James Ihedigbo who isn’t returning to the team. It’s clear to say that they’ve lost more than they’ve gained and have not made big improvements.
It’s only March and the games will be played out on the field come September and beyond, but in the “arms race” for weapons to get back to the post season, the Ravens have been firing blanks.
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