A Michael Oher reunion in Baltimore doesn’t make sense

NASHVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 15: Michael Oher
NASHVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 15: Michael Oher /
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Former Baltimore Ravens offensive lineman Michael Oher was released by the Panthers today. Should his former team consider signing him? Not so fast.

For Michael Oher, his NFL career couldn’t have started any better. The ‘Blind Side’ star was a first round pick by the Baltimore Ravens and played 5 seasons with the team. He started all 16 games every season and was a pivotal part of the team when they won the Super Bowl in 2013.

Since then, it’s been an up and down ride.

The former Raven was released by the Carolina Panthers today after spending two years with the team. This came after a failed physical designation.

After news of the release, the question came up, could there be a reunion in Baltimore? On paper it makes sense. Oher returning to his former team that’s in desperate need on the offensive line.

But if you really take a look at the situation, it wouldn’t be a smart move.

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Injury Concerns

There’s a reason the Panthers released Oher and that is because of injury concerns. Since September he’s been under concussion protocol. It’s a problem that limited him to just 3 games last season. That was a quite the turn around from 2015 when he started all 16 games and was a crucial part of a Panthers team that reached the Super Bowl.

It would be less concerning if Oher was dealing with a different injury, but concussions are as tricky as they come. Every case is different for each player. The fact that he wasn’t cleared for team activities after 10 months is a major red flag.

Back in May, Oher posted an Instagram of 10 pill bottles with the caption “All for the brain smh.” The post was deleted shortly after, but that again is another concern. At that point you worry more about his personal health than anything football related.

The last thing the Ravens need right now is to bring in an offensive lineman with injury history. I don’t care how bad they need depth at the position. We saw what injuries and inconsistencies on the offensive line can do to this team. The balanced offensive style they want to commit to this season starts with the guys up front.

Possible Suspension?

Along with injuries, Oher could also be facing discipline from the NFL.

According to reports, he was cited for allegedly assaulting an Uber drive back in April. He turned himself into police, but is still due in court. The league could take action depending on the outcome.

Does it make sense for the Ravens to sign a lineman that might not even play at the start of the season? Absolutely not. If the point is to bring him in and replace James Hurst then the suspension would negate that.

The Ravens already are among the NFL leaders in dead money this season. With limited cap space to begin with, it doesn’t seem like a risk to take right now. Who even knows how long a possible suspension could be?

The Bottom Line

Baltimore Ravens beat reporter Jeff Zrebiec said it best: Oher is an insurance policy later in the summer or early in the season if things don’t work out at tackle.

Don’t get me wrong, I am a fan of Michael Oher and respect what he did for the Ravens, but right now the move just doesn’t make any sense.The injuries and possible suspension are too much of a risk right now. Say what you want about James Hurst but he’s the best option the Ravens have right now.

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With training camp still yet to start, it’s better to take a step back and see what’s there before rushing to bring back a former player.