Ted Ginn Jr. was inside the Ravens facilities on Friday to discuss a possible contract with the team. The news of this meeting did not emerge until Sunday, which should prove to doubtful Ravens fans that there is more happening at the Castle than meets the Eyes. The visit also should be looked upon as a big step in the right direction for the Ravens as I strongly believe signing Ted Ginn Jr. to a modest contract would be one of the better personnel moves that the Ravens have ever made.
If you asked anyone what the biggest need for the Ravens was 99% of the time they would likely say Linebacker, Receiver or Offensive Guard. Now im not going to argue with any of those three. they are all big time needs to be sure. The Ravens have no depth at linebacker at all and they dont even have a starter, much less depth at guard and Behind Boldin and Smith, the Ravens have pretty much nothing at WR either. I understand that as well as anyone. but I disagree with that list. The Ravens biggest area of need? Return specialist.
How many times over the past few years has the Ravens special teams play lost them a game(or played a big part in a loss). I can think of several right off the top of my head. This year at Seattle is the first one. 3 fumbles inside the 20 yard line each turned into field goals for the Seahawks. If I had to point at any game on the season as the one that was most detrimental to the Ravens Super Bowl chances, I would point to that one. or how about the game in Jacksonville? one special teams fumble and an average return of 16.1 yards, which is completely pathetic (average starting field position was the 13 yard line). How about the Vikings game a couple years ago. not one return to the 20 yard line. The point is, the Ravens lack of a top-flight return man has been tripping them up for years.
David Reed is a decent player, but lets be honest, if the Ravens cut him tomorrow, would anybody sign him?he is a special teams only type player, who has been suspended for drug use, doesn’t have high top end speed and is coming off an ACL tear. he is not the answer. Enter Ted Ginn Jr.. Ginn is one of the top return men in the league. he has 5 career return TDs, including 2 career games with 2 return TDs. Over the past 2 years, only Devin Hester has more returns of 40 yards or more than Ginn.
I’m not under the impression that Ginn can suddenly turn into a good WR. he wont. He is 5 foot 11, has not physicality to speak of, doesn’t have a ton of lateral quickness and has one of the longest strides in the NFL which, while great for retuning, is one of the cardinal sins of receiving. it basically means he cant change direction fast, has poor route running skills, iffy hands and as mentioned before, he has no physicality in his game at all. to be honest, being a no. 4 WR is about as close as he should ever get to being a starter.
You know what the best part about all that is? I don’t care about any of it. not one word. The Ravens don’t need him to be a WR. I would be willing to put any amount of money down that the Ravens will select a future WR in the first 2 rounds of the draft, I strongly believe it will be in the first round. lock it in. I am not worried in the least about Ginn playing much on offense. I just want to see him returning punts and Kicks. I never ever ever want to see Lardarius Webb line up to return a punt for the rest of my life. Webb is way way to talented to be risking him like that. I don’t care that he is one of the better punt returners in the league, he is also the best corner, and that’s where he should play.
So I say let Ted Ginn Jr. return punts and kicks. he is better than anyone the Ravens have had on the roster since Jermaine Lewis. to be honest, Ginn might be better than JLew was. The best part? Ginn wont be expensive. he visited the Lions last week, they don’t seem to have a ton of interest, and the Ravens appear to be the only team heavily pursuing him right now (though heavily might be a stretch). The draft doesnt have a glut of WRs, because of that Free agent WRs have been getting ludicrous paydays, but not Ginn. nobody wants Ginn that much. they certainly don’t want him to play receiver. Ginn’s market value is at an all time low, lets snag him now and secure the next 3-5 years of special teams play while we can.
Another thing to keep an eye on is that not one person in the NFL believes in Ted Ginn more than Cam Cameron, who took him in the top 10 of the draft in his only year as a head coach. that bond alone might be enough to get Ginn in Purple next year.