Feb 22, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Baltimore Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome speaks at the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports
Never is there a better time to gauge what direction the Baltimore Ravens brain trust is headed in than the annual “State of the Ravens” address. On Tuesday, Ozzie Newsome, John Harbaugh, Steve Bisciotti, and Dick Cass sat down to field questions from the media, and they were quite coy about issues like pending free agents and contract issues.
Ravens Won’t Overpay Free Agents
Right off the bat, Newsome and Bisciotti discussed the importance of not overpaying free agents. Every guy has a value, and smart teams stick to their guns when it comes to that figure. Unfortunately, there are teams out there that will overpay, and that reality is making the Ravens a little pessimistic regarding their ability to resign Torrey Smith and Pernell McPhee, in particular.
In regards to Torrey, Bisciotti told the press “There’s always a team that has lots of money that wants to bring in playmakers. Those guys are going to get those deals. I think we’re going to have to take it on the chin and move on.” He even cited Mike Wallace as a (great) example.
The Ravens didn’t sound very confident that they will be able to retain Pernell McPhee either, with Newsome going so far as to say “we can’t pay everybody market value.” “You have to look at it this way,” Ozzie said. “If we were to go after the market on Pernell, how many other players would we not have on the Baltimore Ravens? And that’s kind of the way we look at this thing.”
McPhee is more of a luxury for the team than Torrey at this point, but you can’t blame them for sticking to their guns. If they pay Smith top receiver money and he doesn’t produce like a top receiver, they are wasting precious cap space. Better to find a guy who will live up to the contract.
Newsome Hopes to Retain Justin Forsett
The Ravens were more optimistic about retaining Justin Forsett, but obviously the price has to be right. Newsome went so far as to say that “we would like to retain Justin,” and pointed out that he doesn’t have the typical wear and tear of a 29 year old running back. It’s a valid point, but it remains to be seen if a team like the Falcons will overpay the one year wonder.
Owen Daniels Wants to Return, Dennis Pitta’s Status Unknown
John Harbaugh told the press that Owen Daniels had expressed a desire to return to the Ravens next season, even with old pal Gary Kubiak landing in Denver. I’ll still believe this one when I see it, especially if Denver loses Julius Thomas to free agency.
The Ravens might have more of a need to keep Daniels if Dennis Pitta doesn’t check out medically. Newsome said that the team is in “wait-and-see” mode in regards to Pitta’s playing status and may not know anything until summer. They obviously can’t count on him playing a role next season and need to be looking elsewhere.
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