"Some player that can cover these guys better than Webb" is not going to magically appear between now and September. They just gave him a $50 million deal ($20 million guaranteed) to be their shutdown CB. For the record, Webb didn't give up a TD catch last year and opposing QBs had a 55.6 rating when they threw at him. Whether or not you think he is a shutdown CB, the Ravens do think so and are paying him to be one. They're not suddenly going to move him to Safety.
And they're not going to cut Reed. If they were going to cut him, they would have done it before now to free up the money to keep Grubbs.
Well, I see where your coming from. First, they gave him $10 million guaranteed. Moreover, he will face a much
better set of receivers this year. Not to mention that Stephen Gilmore, Dre Kirkpatrick, Josh Robinson, Janzen Jackson may all be viable options as cover corners. Webb came into the league as a safety and maybe he can do an even better job there than at corner. The Ravens, IMO, pay players to play defense. They use players' skills to put them all over the field where they will be most successful. And they got one heck of a bargain to do that with Webb. It's clear he was their first priority since he was under the weakest restriction to other teams.
Now they are focusing on the draft, Flacco, and Rice. Probably in that order. I wouldn't be surprised to see the Ravens draft Alshon Jefferey, who I think is the best receiver in the draft, and a guy like T.Y. Hilton later and then release Boldin. In addition, I wouldn't be surprised to see them cut Reed if there is a way to keep the team as strong, at least, for cheaper. Both Reed and Boldin are not part of the future and if they can shed some salary, and find some decent replacements, then they can sign Rice and Flacco to front loaded contracts which will give them more cap room next year. Not to mention that they will have them signed. Regardless they will be competitive this year, so it does make sense to continue extending that streak.
Second, just because Reed hasn't been cut yet doesn't preclude them from doing it. It also doesn't preclude them from cutting him, and resigning him for cheaper; or even getting him to sign an inexpensive extension... All I'm saying is that he's too expensive. He is the highest paid safety in the league. And even though he is definitely still one of the best, this team might not view him as being that valuable. ####, the entire league might not view him that way, which is why it might make sense to cut him. Even if they can get his cap hit to $8 million, it is worth the risk, I think.
I haven't been over here in a while, but this thread got interesting in a hurry. Welcome aboard, Jaruta.
One area that the Ravens need big-time help on that I haven't seen mentioned is ST - not the kickers themselves (as long as Cundiff hasn't mentally imploded after the NE game), but both returns and coverage. It baffles me that they aren't better in this area. They haven't had a real return threat since Jermaine Lewis (well, I guess Ed Reed but he's only been used sporadically). And the coverage drives me crazy, though I'll admit I have no idea where they rank among other teams. Just seems like they give up a ton of yards to start opposing drives when the ball is actually returned.
In any case, I'm OL-paranoid these days and don't think you can win without good play up front unless you are elite almost everywhere else. Losing Grubbs was a huge blow to a unit I thought was shaky with him. McKinnie either plays like a HOFer for a game or a scrub (see: Hou playoff game). I've almost gotten used to Oher's false starts, but it's time for him to be something other than just mean. Birk's 1,000 years old. And I thought Yanda had his worst year as a pro. This is where I would be concentrating if I were running the team - I know LB and S are concerns, too, but they're not going anywhere without getting that OL to play more consistently (I say this fullly realizing that other contenders ##### about theirs too).
The Graham, Considine, Ayanbadejo signings were an answer to their STs problems. I agree that OL is huge. I don't think that they will draft a guard too high because Jah Reid is expected to compete for the starting job, but I wouldn't be surprised if there was value and they took it. That is, I did a mock today just to see what was up, and it is making more and more sense for them to move out of the first. If that is the case, then I'd look for a guard either in the second or third, depending on who is available. This draft just happens to be very deep in the positions of need such as DEF front seven, interior O-line and WR.
Heck, the WR I think is the best fit for them isn't projected to go until rounds 3-5, T.Y. Hilton. Ryan Miller, Michael Brewster, Kelechi Osemele all represent value at their potential draft positions for the interior line. A little competition with Reid may be great, not just good. And consider the front seven: What do the Ravens have in Arthur Jones and Pernell McPhee; and Kurger and Kindle? Each of these guys has the potential to take the next step. Then again, each of them might be what they are.
I really cannot see this team competing for anything less than a championship in 2012-13. A draft like they had in 2010 will only solidify that feeling. It's certainly possible since they have so many options and great minds choosing.
Edited by Jaruta, 11 April 2012 - 11:43 AM.