Ravens Offseason Moves: Method to Their Madness?

The makeup of the Ravens roster going into their first preseason game is concerning to many Ravens faithful.  The cuts of four veterans Mason, Heap, McGahee and Gregg and loss of several other players via free agency has some fans even questioning the wisdom of Ozzie Newsome and the Ravens front office considering the only unrestricted free agents the Ravens retained were Marshall Yanda and Chris Carr.

With compensation shifting from younger players to veterans in the new CBA, some teams will be relying on their ability to draft well to stay younger and cheaper, while other teams will choose to spend their money on proven players rather than newly drafted players.  The Ravens appear to be attempting to get younger and cheaper relying on their stellar draft record and building for the future.  Some teams like the Eagles, Panthers and Bucs already had low payrolls in the old system and decided to add some veteran pieces by signing players to make their teams better in a buyers market.  Other teams like the Jets are adding veteran pieces to short contracts in order to help get them over the hump.

Like the NFL draft it will take a couple of years for judgments to be made on which teams made the right and wrong moves, but the Ravens are clearly making an effort to get younger and preserve cap room to retain young players like Joe Flacco and Ray Rice in upcoming years when they will become free agents.

This season in particular will be interesting, because players moving to new teams will only have a month of practice to be ready for the season on their new teams.  Rookies in particular could have a hard time getting up to speed on their new teams.  On the otherhand, rookies that do see immediate playing time may actually benefit from the short preparation by avoiding the “rookie wall” the befalls most rookies come November and December.

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