Could Another Team Lure Ozzie Newsome Away From Ravens?
As Eric DeCosta prepares to become the next Ozzie Newsome, there’s a chance that Newsome becomes the next DeCosta.
What I mean by that is there will always be NFL owners desperately searching for front-office executives capable of reversing their franchises’ fortunes, and it wouldn’t be surprising if they turn their attention from DeCosta and to Newsome after this season.
It became an annual tradition for NFL teams to call the Ravens and seek permission to interview DeCosta for their general manager openings. After it happened the first few times, it didn’t cause many in Baltimore to stress out because DeCosta was clearly intent on sticking around. It was widely known that he was the GM-in-waiting, and he patiently waited his turn.
Well, once Newsome steps down from the GM role after this season, would it at all be surprising if the Ravens’ phones start ringing again, this time asking for permission to speak to Newsome about job opportunities?
Former Ravens scout and NFL analyst Daniel Jeremiah already sees the Carolina Panthers, a franchise that will come under new ownership this offseason, as a team who could call the Ravens to see if Newsome might be interested in a promotion.
Blank check to become a team president?
That’d be mighty tempting … at least to most people, but Newsome isn’t most people.
Jeremiah makes two important points. We don’t know what Newsome’s contract situation is/will be once he steps down. We also don’t know how interested he would be in starting over with a new team at age 63, even if it is for more money and a better title.
We do know that he currently plans on returning to the Ravens in a support role … with the details to be determined.
“[My role will be] very similar to what [DeCosta has] done for me. I’ll be there,” Newsome said at the NFL Scouting Combine. “The offline conversations that we have now, we’ll continue to have. I’ll be a resource for him, a resource for Steve [Bisciotti] and a resource for [Head Coach] John [Harbaugh].”
A Running Back Trade Worth Exploring
Running back is an area the Ravens wished they could’ve addressed with one of their 12 picks in the NFL Draft a few weeks ago.
DeCosta said he got “kind of angry” when a running back that the team was targeting was nabbed by another team “right in front of us.”
“That happens every year. I think I had less patience for it this year for some reason,” DeCosta said after the draft. “As Ozzie always says, ‘We don’t play games until September.’ We’ll have some chances between now and then maybe to add a couple backs.”
One of those ways was by signing a couple undrafted running backs a few days after the draft, but are the Ravens done searching? Could another way to add a back be via trade?
Some rumors have swirled about the Detroit Lions’ Ameer Abdullah being a trade candidate as he enters his last year of his rookie deal.
“Abdullah has been a disappointment since the Detroit Lions picked him out of Nebraska in the second round in 2015, but if he is indeed on the trading block and could be had for a future Day 3 draft pick, it would make sense for the Ravens to explore it,” wrote The Baltimore Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec.
The Ravens are happy with Alex Collins’ emergence and Buck Allen’s improvement last year. Kenneth Dixon returning from injury could also become a big piece of the puzzle.
Baltimore likely isn’t interested in one of the older veterans sitting on the market, such as 33-year-old Adrian Peterson (see Ravens Mailbag later today), but the team hasn’t been shy about wanting to add more youthful backs that could complement the players already on the roster.
“Abdullah would bring a different dimension than the team’s current backs with his big-play ability and receiving skills out of the backfield,” wrote Zrebiec.
Dez Bryant Grateful for Ravens Offer, But Doesn’t Regret Turning It Down
It’s May 16, and former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant still hasn’t found a new home.
His former teammate Jason Witten, who was recently hired by ESPN, said this week that he thinks Bryant will ultimately sign with the Green Bay Packers. The problem is the Packers are content with the three wide receivers they added in the draft, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, and aren’t currently engaged in any talks with Bryant.
ProFootballTalk picked up the comments by both Witten and Rapoport, adding commentary that Bryant’s reputation as a tough person to get along with could “scare some teams off.”
It didn’t seem to scare off the Ravens, who reportedly offered Bryant a deal similar to the three-year, $21 million contract Michael Crabtree signed.
Bryant turned it down, and even though he still sits on the market, he says he doesn’t regret that decision.
Will Ravens Have THE Best Defensive Backfield This Season?
Baltimore has invested quite a few assets into its defensive backfield, including two first-round draft picks (Jimmy Smith and Marlon Humphrey) and the most cap dollars in the league ($48.5 million, per Spotrac).
In the past two offseasons, the Ravens signed safeties Eric Weddle (2016) and Tony Jefferson (2017), along with cornerback Brandon Carr (2017). In addition to last year’s first-round selection of Humphrey, they’ve used recent mid-round draft picks on Tavon Young (2016) and Anthony Averett (2018).
Last year, the Ravens had the 10th best pass defense, and there could be a big jump this season as Humphrey heads into his sophomore year and Smith (Achilles) and Young (knee) return from injuries.