Peter King: Torrey 'Absolutely' Will Get Bigger Deal Elsewhere
Peter King freely admits he has no insider knowledge. He hasn't spoken to Head Coach John Harbaugh, General Manager Ozzie Newsome or Torrey Smith.
But the respected Sports Illustrated MMQB.com reporter has a hunch that Smith could find more money outside of Baltimore. It's just a matter of how much more, and whether it's enough for Smith to leave.
"My gut feeling is Torrey Smith absolutely is going to get a bigger offer somewhere else. And the question is: Is he going to take it?" King told WNST's Nestor Aparicio and Luke Jones at the NFL Scouting Combine yesterday.
"I'm making this up because I don't know what the numbers are … would he take four years, $28 million from the Ravens? Or, if somebody offers him four years, $35 million would he take that? Again, I don't know what he would do because I don't really know Torrey Smith."
An unconfirmed report from CBSSports.com's Jason La Canfora said the Ravens already offered Smith $35 million, but it was for five years instead of four. Regardless of the actual figures, the point King is making is that he believes Smith can find slightly more money elsewhere, and then he'll have to weigh whether he'd take less to remain a Raven.
King is partly making his gut prediction based on the way the Ravens front office has traditionally done business. It's a formula he says the team adopted after its 2000 Super Bowl victory. The Ravens found themselves in salary cap prison for trying to keep their championship team together.
"The one thing that Ozzie Newsome has always done that I have so much great admiration for is that he has been willing to say goodbye," King said. "Ever since the year 2000, when he wasn't willing to say goodbye, when they scotch taped everything to try to get it back together again. Ever since then, they've been willing to say goodbye."
Why do you think the Ravens lead the NFL in garnering compensatory picks? King says it's because of their willingness to let solid veterans go to higher bidders.
"It is a brilliant way to do business," King said.
"If they lose four veterans, I almost think they rub their hands together and say, 'Hey, more draft picks for us.'"
Of course, the Ravens wouldn't care about getting compensatory picks for what King calls "cornerstone players" like quarterback Joe Flacco. No mid-round draft pick could make up for losing the franchise quarterback and Super Bowl XLVII MVP. King also says Haloti Ngata fits into this category.
But they've let other starters go such as Paul Kruger, Art Jones, Danell Ellerbe and even Ed Reed at the end of his career. Then they'll lay in the grass until a cap casualty gem – think Elvis Dumervil – lands on the market and then they pounce.
"There are some players who are cornerstone guys that you absolutely don't want to lose," King said. "Then, you have players almost every year – I put Torrey Smith into that class – you've seen them three or four times every single year where [players like Paul Kruger went to the Browns]. Every year there are those guys and you say, 'You know what? We like Paul Kruger, but he's not a franchise cornerstone.'"
What Happens If Troubled WR Dorial Green-Beckham Falls To Ravens?If wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham is on the board when the Ravens are on the clock at No. 26, he would be among the most gifted receivers ever available to the Ravens in franchise history.
But even if he's there, the Ravens might say, "Thanks, but no thanks."
Green-Beckham has been described by some draft experts as the next Calvin Johnson and there's a real chance he could slide faaaaaar down the board.
"There's just one problem: Green-Beckham was linked to domestic violence, a hot-button issue that for the past year has put the Ravens on the wrong side of the cause against the abuse of women," wrote ESPN's Jamison Hensley.
"Is the thought of Green-Beckham catching clutch touchdown passes from Joe Flacco too enticing to pass up? Or will the potential negative backlash preclude the Ravens from taking a chance on someone who could become the franchise's first bona fide No. 1 wide receiver?" In terms of football attributes, Green-Beckham has all the tools. The gargantuan 6-foot-5, 237-pounder combines his size with speed, athleticism and ball skills.
But as an 18-year-old student at Missouri, he was accused of pushing a woman down a flight of stairs while looking for his girlfriend. Police closed the case without an arrest, but Missouri dismissed him from their team and he hasn't played football in a year. He was also arrested twice on marijuana charges.
"History has shown that talented but troubled receivers such as Randy Moss and Dez Bryant fell to the bottom half of the first round before immediately becoming Pro Bowl playmakers," Hensley wrote. "But there have been other instances, such as with Josh Gordon and Justin Blackmon, where past problems were a precursor to repeated offenses and suspensions.
"If he is available, the Ravens have to weigh the risk of another Ray Rice scandal against the reward of landing a game-changer for their offense."
Harbaugh Outlines Offseason Needs
What needs do the Ravens want to fill this offseason?
"I don't think it's any secret," Harbaugh told the folks at FOX Sports in the video below.
He then listed off several positions, including:
He also spoke in depth about the desire to retain Torrey. Check out Harbaugh's full interview below:
- Tight end Owen Daniels made Pat Kirwan's list for the best over-30 free agents to hit the market. [CBSSports.com]
- The Ravens best ever free agent signing. [Russell Street Report]
- Texas linebacker Cecil Cherry finds the perfect mentor in Ray Lewis. [Texas.247Sports}
- The NFL doesn't pay much attention to analytics like other professional sports. In ESPN The Magazine's Top 10 Analytics teams, not a single NFL organization was listed. But of all the NFL teams that do seem to have interest, Kevin Seifert says the Ravens are taking the lead. [ESPN]