The Pittsburgh Steelers rival Ravens were on top of the NFL and football world when they won the Super Bowl back in February. They next signed their ‘elite’ QB, Joe Flacco, to a huge overpaid contract…. but that’s about where the warm fuzzy feelings cease for the Ratbirds. Ray Lewis took his mantle within the world wide leader of
soap operas sports and the loss of their franchise linebacker quickly became a harsh reality. Because of Flacco’s ridiculous pay day ($120.6 million) and some other high paid players sitting on that roster, the Raven’s had to make some hard choices and dumped some dumped some and let others walk via free agency.
The Raven’s have lost 12 players so far in the offseason: Ray Lewis, Dannell Ellerbe, Paul Kruger, Cary Williams, Bernard Pollard, Anquan Boldin (trade), Tom Zbikowski, Cory Redding, Ben Grubbs, Jarret Johnson, Haruki Nakamura, and Ed Reed. Nine of them were starters or had huge roles on the Super Bowl roster. It’s nearly half the defense. The joke, funny for all but the Ravens and their fans, is that folks are jumping ship and the team is but a shell of itself. It’s a little early to be making that kind of assessment, but seeing how the Browns, Bengals and Steelers are handling themselves in free agency, it looks like the Ravens might be looking from the bottom up when divisional play starts this fall. Who will be left to take the team picture?
The Ravens added a bit of confidence back into fans when they recently added former Broncos linebacker Elvis Dumervil to the roster. Dumervil was booted from the Broncos in a bizarre paperwork snafu that left him team’less and then agent’less. Numerous teams, such as the Steelers and Ravens, sought out Dumervil after they themselves lost key linebackers of their own. The Ravens ended up landing Dumervil and for quite a bargain - $35 million for five years, and average of $6-7 million a year. That’s practically peanuts for one of Dumervil’s stats and prowess. It’s a brilliant play by GM Ozzie Newsome, but I wouldn’t say he’s the best GM in the league after having the dam practically burst over the last few weeks.
The excitement of Dumervil filtered down through the Ravens roster. Asked what he thought of the addition of Elvis Dumervil, and defensive lineman Arthur Jones said,
That’s awesome. It’s like a dream team in the making.
So you can see that…. *record scratch*…. wait. Did he just say dream team? Jones, who only started six games for the Ravens in 2012, has made a proclamation that can only rival the Madden Curse – The Dream Team. Eagles fans are all too familiar with this when Vince Young made the reference to his team back before the 2011 season started when the picked up a bunch of players in free agency. How did that turn out? The Eagles went 8-8 and were a far cry from being a dream…. well perhaps a nightmare for Eagles fans. Maybe the NFL owners should bring this up in the next rules committee meeting – banning the phrase.
I for one encourage it from the Ravens – mainly because I hope they swirl so far down the drain it will be incredibly sweet to see them wallowing in the clippings from Flacco’s unibrow. Dream team? Please. It’s ok to get excited that there’s finally some good news coming out of camp Ratbird, Mr. Jones. But, I would be careful with your words. As the Steelers and Steeler fans are well aware of, a single person can’t turn an entire season around – especially when practically half of the starting defense is missing.
Free agency is far from over before we hit the draft. The Ravens could make some more moves, but it’s doubtful now since they were cash strapped even prior to the Dumervil signing. The same goes for the Steelers. With Dumervil going to the Ravens, some are now starting to speculate that James Harrison could make his way back onto the Steelers roster (the Ravens were reported to be interested in Harrison). Even though that would be lovely, there’s one word preventing that from happening, and it’s not ‘dream.’ It’s ‘pride.’ This probably also means the Ravens are out of the running for former Colts DE Dwight Freeney, who might get an offer from the Steelers.