Should the Ravens pursue a trade?
Dec 11, 2011; Dallas, TX, USA; New York Giants receiver Mario Manningham (82) has a pass broken up by Dallas Cowboys cornerback Mike Jenkins (21) and safety Abram Elam (26) at Cowboys Stadium. The Giants beat the Cowboys 37-34. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE
The Ravens are off this week so they have plenty of time to look out across the NFL to see if any trades are interesting to them. My guess is that they won’t be, but lets take a look anyway.
Trade Players away
There are a couple of players the Ravens might look at trading right now. The first is Paul Kruger. Kruger has been a disappointment for most of his time in Baltimore. He does do better as a backup option which means his stats could swell now that Suggs is back, but considering his contract is up at the end of the year and the Ravens have Courtney Upshaw who has improved every week this season and looks to be entrenched as a starter. Kruger, as a result, is expendable and will likely walk at the end of the season. The Ravens could look to get anything they can for Kruger now, If they could get a 5th round pick in this years draft it would be worth it.
Williams has been maligned for much of the season, but he is a legitimate starting corner in the NFL and is coming off of three good performances in 4 weeks. Williams has already denied a 3 year 15 million contract extension so the odds of him walking at the end of the year are pretty high. The reasoning with Williams is similar to that of Kruger(Williams has been a much better and more consistent player though) but the problem with this is that the Ravens are already excruciatingly thin at corner with Lardarius Webb out for the season. To part with Williams the Ravens would need an offer they couldn’t refuse.
Dennis Pitta has emerged as the Ravens top dog at TE and Dickson has slid down to the no.2 job. Dickson is a very talented player but his inconsistency is frustrating and you can bet the Ravens coaches are just as frustrated as the fans. Dickson has led the team in drops each of the last two years and struggles to run his routes correctly. Dickson never established the chemistry that Pitta did with Flacco. Dickson isn’t likely to be resigned, but he probably isn’t worth much on the trade market either.
Reed, to me, is the most pivotal player on the Ravens defense and he is a legitimate difference maker. He changes the way offenses play against the Ravens. That said, he has repeatedly voiced his discontent with his contract, It is up at the end of the season, and many analysts have suggested that he might walk away. The Ravens might be able to get good value from Reed but there is a good chance it might split the locker-room.
There were rampent rumors linking the Ravens and Umenyiora during the 2011 free agency period, they popped up again on draft night this year. Umenyiora is signed for a reasonable 2.5 million and is a free agent after the season. The Ravens could plug him in at DE where Pernell McPhee and Art Jones have underachieved this season. The Ravens pass rush should improve with Suggs back, but it never hurts to bring in some more fire power.
The Ravens are thin at corner right now. really thin. Jenkins is the odd man out in the Dallas secondary and has been in trade rumors for months. Jenkins doesn’t have a horrendous cap number and he is still a very good player with several good years left in him. He could be a short and long term fix for the Ravens at corner, short being he would assume no.3 CB duties behind Williams and Smith and long being that he holds the same spot behind Webb and Smith when Williams likely leaves in free agency. Jenkins would likely only cost a 3rd round pick, maybe even a fourth.