Originally written March 20, 2012 on Ravens Football Machine:
Ravnes__patriots_47a5

The formula never deviates. So the Ravens took a shot at landing suddenly blossoming left guard Evan Mathis to replace Ben Grubbs...but Mathis decided to stay with Philly for 5 years at $25 million and $7 milz guaranteed...

No biggie...

It may have been the right player, but it was definitely not the right price for the Ravens.

So now, back to the drawing board...plenty of time...


Mathis would have been nice... a guy who understands zone-blocking, too... but the Ravens can look to converting LT Jah Reid to left guard...or even moving Michael Oher there, and...well, the combinations are endless. Plus, there's still plenty of free agents out there at an increasingly realistic price tag.

“Ozzie [Newsome] always calls it, ‘Right player, right price. Ravens player, Ravens price.’ That’s really what you’re looking for. That’s what I mean by value.” The Ravens have been quiet thus far in free agency, the result of reportedly not having much cap space because of signing their own franchise players. Baltimore has seen five unrestricted free agents depart: outside linebacker Jarret Johnson, defensive end Cory Redding, guard Ben Grubbs and safeties Tom Zbikowski and Haruki Nakamura. That’s nothing new for the Ravens, who saw guard Chris Chester, cornerback Josh Wilson, and safety Dawan Landry sign elsewhere last season. They’ve re-signed one player, center Matt Birk, to a three-year deal. The Ravens did reportedly try to make a bigger signing in the first week of free agency with guard Evan Mathis, but he opted to re-sign with the Philadelphia Eagles, who reportedly were willing to better any offer the Ravens made.

Ozzie don't play that!

Baltimore will move on, and there are still plenty of free agents remaining on the market and more that will become available as teams make cuts throughout the offseason. Waiting out the process has long worked for the Ravens, using last year as a prime example. Baltimore signed strong safety Bernard Pollard on August 4 last year after training camp had already begun, and he quickly turned into a starter. They inked running back Ricky Williams four days later, and he served as a valuable backup to Ray Rice. The Ravens brought Bryant McKinnie on board on Aug. 23 and he started all 16 games at left tackle. It’s almost like musical chairs. You've got guys who are around and around and maybe they were talking to a couple teams, but for whatever reason they didn’t get a deal done, and now the music stops and they’re looking for a team. You get a player who from a production standpoint is right up there, but you can get him for a lot less.

That's the Ravens way...Ozzie's way...he knows football stuff.

Everybody throughout the league turns their eyes to the Ravens front-office around this time of year and starts talking about what Ozzie is going to do--- and every year he does something everybody takes notice of--- and without fail here we are again...

I'm also wondering with the way the Ravens tagged cornerbacks Cary Williams and Lardarius Webb with 2nd and 1st round tenders respectively, if the front office isn't actually trying to encourage a team in the market for a corner to swipe Cary Williams, or at least to trade for Cary over Webb. For example, the Pats have 2 first-round picks, but it would make more sense in terms of value to give up their second-rounder for Cary Williams than a first-rounder for Webb. Same with a team like the Tampa Bay Bucs - they obviously signed Wright, but if they were still in the market for a CB, I could see them parting with their second-rounder for Cary Williams moreso than their first for Lardarius Webb, since they pick top 10....

Oh, it's a chess game...and the Ravens are stocked up with cornerbacks...so we move on with Ozzie still holding many of the key pieces.  Didn't get the prime-time left guard you wanted?---no worries. Child's play for Ozzie...

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