When a team gets to sign a key free agent from a division rival, it’s looked upon as doing double the damage.
It takes the player away from their team, and the acquiring team has a motivated player to show his former team what they gave up.
The Cleveland Browns are sitting in the middle of a deep AFC North free agent class, and they can help themselves, while hurting their foes.
According to Tony Grossi of ESPNCleveland, the Browns are looking to do just that. Grossi writes:
‘Giving up two No. 1s to the Ravens and signing Flacco to a $100 million-plus contract?
Or stealing Kruger, a 3-4 pass rush linebacker, and Ellerbe, Ray Lewis’ replacement in the middle of the Ravens’ defense, while keeping first-round picks in 2013 (No. 6 overall) and 2014?
The Ravens have to consider the same possibilities. If they fail to re-sign Flacco by March 4, they will have to decide which tag they give him – exclusive or non-exclusive.
In an appearance in Cleveland in May, Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome lamented his inability to draft and develop a franchise quarterback.
Now that the Ravens finally have realized a return on their five-year investment in Flacco, it’s extremely doubtful they would allow him to leave.
However, the possibility of two Browns’ No. 1s and the ability to retain Kruger and Ellerbe might – might – cause Newsome to call the Browns’ bluff.’