Ravens Swinging the Axe In An Unfair System

Featured, Sports and Bets — March 14, 2013 at 3:37 pm by

As I was watching the Ravens front office pulling a Genghis Khan the last few days, I couldn’t help wondering what it was really like in the early 1200’s.  Old Genghis  screamin’ and waving that heavy sword as his enemies scattered before him.  Seems like Ozzie feels like Genghis these days, his sword seems just as sharp and quick, except his victims seem like friends not enemies.  Okay, maybe that’s a little much, I mean it’s hard to feel sorry for players who make millions of dollars.  But the fact is the Ravens, as well as all of their other contemporaries, don’t play games when it comes to their own players hanging around, even after a  Super Bowl win.  The Ravens have whacked star players very quickly, and if they are immediately successful after such an approach,  they  may become  the model for the other 31 teams.  The losses include Bouldin, Krueger, Ellerbe, Pollard, and potentially Ed Reed. The Ravens either let go or failed to make serious offers to any of these key players.  This has to leave the rest of the team, or what is left of it, walking on egg shells.

I can just picture  the far-reaching dismay of every Raven fan when they low ball Ed Reed and force  him to  leave.  Ozzie and the rest of the front office should just come out with a statement and say that the Raven’s are playing for the future and  not this upcoming year.  Please don’t insult our intelligence and say you are making serious offers to players only for us to then find out that these offers aren’t anywhere near the ball park.  I’ll bet the Ravens are hoping Ed Reed gets an offer that they cannot get near.  They will then be able to save some face with the fan base.  What would happen if Ed got a low offer from elsewhere, say $3.5 million, and the Ravens were given a chance to match?  Would they?  I doubt it.  The point is they do not want Ed back period.

I must preface this by saying that I am a sports purist.  With all due respect to the late Pete Rozelle, the NFL commissioner of years past,  I believe in teams coming back the next year to try to defend their championship.  It is one of the things that makes sports so great.  Ole Pete didn’t see it this way. You see, Pete Rozelle wanted all the teams of the NFL on a level playing field financially and competitively.  I get it.  But when a team is purged so badly that you don’t recognize any of the players the next year;  that really has the potential to draw the fans  ire.  With Flacco’s number just $6.5 million against the cap, I thought the Ravens would be able to sign some key components, and make a run at this thing again.  Boy was I ever wrong.  The Ravens don’t see that as being prudent. But what does it say to veteran players?  Just a memo to all the rest of the league, and the Ravens.  It goes both ways.  More players need to demand even more upfront money. It’s only fair for them to get their piece of the NFL pie. The game itself is very, very dangerous, and with a major injury, these so-called long term deals can turn into really unfair short term disasters for the players. 

My point is that with all the chips on the owners side every year, you have to question who would really want to play this game in another decade or so.  Jerry Richardson, owner of the poor Carolina Panthers, profited $80 million dollars  in 2011 while his team played to a 3 and 13 year.  Carolina is a small market team.  $80 million profit for a small market team with a losing record.  The owners are making the dough hand over fist. Yet these franchises have set up a system where they don’t even have to honor the contracts they tender to their players.  I realize that fully guaranteed  contracts are dangerous and ridiculous too.  (See Major League Baseball.) But the players union really should have held out for some sort of concession to protect players in the instance of  the salary cap casualty. It is unfair to the veteran player and to the fan who wants to see some sort of continuity to his/her favorite team.  Raising the cap sooner than later would help.  Meanwhile, we watch these teams hack,whack, and rip their teams apart for a few extra dollars. I can’t help but wonder what the owners really think of the players union and it’s president.  The joke is on the players.  Roger Goodell received a $19 million dollar raise this year.  That was for a job well done. Well done because despite labor strife, he managed to  keep the salary cap about the same. Which of course means more profit for the owners.  Even bad ones like Jerry Richardson.  Do we really need to say any more?









Cliff Brooks


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