The Baltimore Ravens Should Cut Haloti Ngata if he Rejects a New Deal


Oct 26, 2014; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Baltimore Ravens defensive end Haloti Ngata (92) knocks the ball away from Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14) during the fourth quarter at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

If there’s one thing that’s become abundantly clear this week in regards to the contract negotiations taking place between Haloti Ngata and the Baltimore Ravens, it’s that the process is getting ugly.  The showdown began when word leaked out that the Ravens had made a nice offer to the big man.

Steve Bisciotti and John Harbaugh professed their admiration for the franchise legend through the press, and the warm fuzzies were flying.  The team is simply trying to reduce the $16 million dollar cap hit Ngata would account for in 2015, a huge number in spite of Ngata’s strong performance on the field in 2014.

Apparently, Ngata didn’t share the same feelings about how “good” his offer was.  Jason La Canfora reported the very next day that he was skeptical that a deal would get done.  It isn’t entirely unsurprising considering Ngata’s unwillingness to work with the team last offseason in regards to an extention.

"Barring some significant progress I would not be surprised if Haloti Ngata has played his last game as a Raven. He’s been with the team his entire career and is a iconic player in Baltimore, but I wouldn’t underestimate his willingness to play elsewhere in 2015 if need be and reports about the sides being close and the Ravens making a “strong” offer aren’t jibing with me. There is still time to work something out, and we’ll see, but some things would have to change."

This report was taken one step further when Adam Schefter mentioned in a tweet the possibility that the Ravens could indeed release Haloti Ngata if the two sides can’t work something out.

I will catch a ton of flak for this, but I think that the Ravens have to release Ngata if he doesn’t agree to a deal.  Did he have a great season last year?  Yes.  Is he worth $16 million this year?  No.  On top of that, the team has some glaring needs on the roster that should be addressed.  Instead of using a huge chunk of cap space retaining a player at a position of strength, they could be signing a receiver or corner.

What bothers me most is the fact that Ngata isn’t a little more willing to budge on the issue.   Sure, guys want to get paid, but he’s made a lot of money over the last few years.  This team is on the verge of contending for another Super Bowl, and he is entering the twilight of his career.

Would you rather have a couple more million (on top of your tens of millions), or a lasting legacy as one of the greatest players in franchise history, plus maybe another ring?  Players who leave the teams and fans who love them often tarnish their legacies and never regain the love they once had.

We’ll find out soon enough if Ngata cares more about his money or his teammates and fans.  And if he chooses to leave, the Ravens have a ready made replacement in the promising Timmy Jernigan.  If that truly is what happens, I think they’ll be just fine.

Next: The Ravens stick to defense in our latest mock draft

More from Ebony Bird