Thursday, January 29, 2009

Okay, last time we looked at the Ravens' Unrestricted Free Agents.  One sidebar to that, and that is the Franchise Tag.  After some careful consideration by me, and going with the assumption that the Ravens can actually sign Suggs and Lewis, then Jason Brown would be a prime candidate for the Franchise Tag.  And I think the team should seriously consider it.

Now on to the other free agents.  The ones that aren't all that free.  They're more like indentured servants with an option to buy.  First, the Exclusive Rights Free Agents or EFA's).  These are the players that can be retained outright by the team as long as a qualifying offer is made.  The offer has to be either $310K, $385K, or $460K depending on their accrued service time in the league.

RB – Jalen Parmlee

TE – Scott Kuhn

DT – Kelly Talavou

LB – Edgar Jones

LB – Jameel McClain

LB – Robert McCune

S –   Darren Stone

PK – Steven Hauschka

The only ones worth giving a thought to here are Edgar Jones, Jameel McClain, and Steve Hauschka.  I think all three will be tendered.  The other ones are special teams players and have not made any impact in any games.  Except of course for Mr. Darren Stone.  He is the schmuck that got the personal foul penalty on the Ravens possession late in the 4th quarter.  The one after the Ravens had scored another touchdown to make it 16-14, then held the Steelers to a 3 and out.  And THEN taken the punt back to the 40 yard line.  With about 5 minutes left we were approximately 30-35 yards out of field goal range, with the wind at our backs.  If any one play changed the game for the Ravens, it was moving from the 40 to the 12 (if memory serves, that is where the drive wound up starting from).  A couple of plays later, trying to force it on 3rd down, Flacco threw the game icing interception.  I have the feeling he might be looking for other employment in the near future.

So that is the ones who don't really have a say.  Now for the ones who have about a half of a say, the Restricted Free Agents or RFA's)...

RB – P.J. Daniels

WR – Demetrius Williams

WR – Marcus Maxwell

TE – Quinn Sypniewski

DT – Brandon McKinney

CB – Derrick Martin

CB – Evan Oglesby

S –   Dawan Landry

P –   Sam Koch

These are players whose contracts have expired and who have less than 4 years of accrued service time. The team must tender the player with an RFA offer.  Once done, another team can sign the RFA to an RFA offer sheet for any amount or with any terms that they choose, but the Ravens then have 7 days to match that offer sheet and retain the player under the terms of that offer sheet.  There have been cases recently with RFA players being signed to contracts by other teams with poison pills in order to make the original team unable to sign the player.  Look at Steve Hutchinson for an example of this.  If the Ravens were to choose not to match the offer sheet, then they would receive compensation based on which level of RFA tender was made to the player.  In other words, if the Ravens gave Sam Koch an RFA offer equivalent to a 2nd round choice, then another team signed him and the Ravens could / would not match that other team's offer, than the Ravens would get a compensatory draft pick in the 2nd round.

As far as signing these players, I look at Koch to be the most important signing.  I know he is a punter, but he is one of the better punters in the league, and the way this team plays the field position battle is always important.  Koch is excellent at placing the ball inside the opponent's 20 yard line.  He has the ability to control his kicks a lot more precisely than the majority of punters out there, and punter's offer sheets are not cap killers.  After that, Daniels and Maxwell are pretty much expendable except for special teams play.  The rest contribute on offense and defense and I look for the team to make quality offers to all of them.

So there isn't much here to talk about.  Most of this is cut and dry stuff.  So next time we will get into the imagination game and look ahead at what the team needs and where they might get it.  Also, who on the team that IS under contract that might not be here when training camp starts.


And coming soon, the BSR MLB PREVIEW POST!!!!!!!  Get your peanuts and Crackerjack ready.

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