In Ozzie we trust, in Ozzie we trust. I swear I’m experiencing déjà vu. Just a mere 24 hours ago I was crying over the loss of fan favorite Anquan Boldin and this evening another two bite the dust as we say sayonara to Paul Kruger and Dannell Ellerbe.
It’s tradition at this time every year for annual cellar dwellers to make desperate moves by throwing a huge chunk of cash at popular free agents, and today was no different. Ozzie will never pay a player more than he’s worth and that was once again proven today as he let Kruger fly off to Cleveland and let Ellerbe take his talents to South Beach.
We live in a now league with a “what have you done for me lately” mentality. So it was no surprise that other teams were ready to pounce on any over hyped player they could get especially one that was part of the 2012 Super Bowl Championship team.
You can’t blame Kruger or Ellerbe for leaving Baltimore and taking the money. Players have a very short life span in the NFL and you have to strike while the irons hot. They both were already crowned Super Bowl Champions so the next part was to set up their bank account for life after football.
Now I know what you are thinking, Ozzie paid Joe Flacco and he wasn’t worth his $120 Million, but I would beg to differ. From the time he stepped onto the football field five years ago Flacco proved that he had the talent that could make him a top QB in this league. And Ozzie and company know how hard it is to find a franchise QB after personally suffering through all of the trials and tribulations at that position throughout the franchise’s history. However, this isn’t the time where I explain in detail why I give Flacco major props, I’ve done that before with my blog “Why Does Joe Lack Respect” just add what he did this past post season and Super Bowl MVP to that list and you will know why I think Flacco deserves every penny.
Whereas on the other hand both Kruger and Ellerbe just so happened to luck out by having stellar seasons during their contract years. I know myself along with many other pundits were ready to cast off both of these players at the end of the 2011 season if not before. Neither player really had much of a career up until this season. The only memorable play for Kruger was his interception of Dennis Dixon in OT which led to the Ravens victory over the Steelers in 2009. And prior to this season the only thing that came to mind when someone mentioned Ellerbe was that he can’t tackle. I would’ve never thought people would eventually be touting him as the heir to the Ray Lewis throne a few months after I marked him for the cut sheet.
What does this tell you? Well it tells you if these two players could break out from the shadows then why can’t the there be a new Kruger and Ellerbe next season? There can always be someone just flying under the radar ready to break loose. Ozzie and the Ravens have always had their motto, which is also the title of a famous book (well to Ravens fans at least), “Next Man Up.” We will just have to wait and see who that man will be.
We have been here before and while it still hurts to lose players that we have grown to love, we need to remember that there’s a reason that we aren’t making the big bucks sitting in the Ravens front office.
The Ravens have one of the best front office staffs in the NFL and that is proven with the two Lombardi trophies they have been able to hoist in just their 17th year of existence. There are 14 other teams in the NFL that don’t even have one Lombardi to their name, so the Ravens have to be doing something right.
Surely the Great and Powerful Ozzie has something amazing behind that curtain for 2013. Right?