In Ozzie We Trust: Problems Facing Baltimore Ravens in the Offseason
This team has some major decisions to make this offseason. First off, news has been spreading that Pro Bowl and future Hall of Fame safety Ed Reed is thinking of retirement. Reed told reporters he is "50-50" on his decision and doesn't want to make any emotional choices right after a loss.
Also, Derrick Mason, the team's most reliable receiver, is also thinking about the same thing. "I got some months to think about it," Mason said. "I’m not in a rush. If I decide to play, obviously this would be a place that I’ll come back to. All the pieces are in place. But I have to think about my two little ones."
These would be pretty big blows to the Ravens organization, as these two are our better players on both sides of the ball.
But even if Mason wasn't thinking retirement, a change is strongly needed at the position. Basically, the receiving corps as a whole is up for free agency this offseason. This is a great chance to clean house and bring in some fresh, young weapons for Joe Flacco, even though Flacco might have chemistry with the old corps.
I don't know if Ozzie is going to bring any of the receivers back, though, because the Ravens have a few major players possibly leaving. Strong safety Dawan Landry (UFA), Pro-Bowl full back Le'Ron McClain (RFA), and left tackle Jared Gaither (RFA) all have expiring contracts. And, remember, Terrell Suggs' contract is eating up a lot of cap room.
These three have been great for the Ravens—despite their youth.
Also, the secondary needs help. I don't know if Fabian Washington will be brought back due to the money Domonique Foxworth is getting paid as well as the play of Ladarius Webb.
But that's also in question. Webb suffered a very serious leg injury against the Chicago Bears, and it's not clear if he'll be ready for next season's kickoff. Even so, will he be the same right away? Frank Walker might have also played his last game as a Raven.
Who's going to be the other middle linebacker next to Ray Lewis? It has been a revolving door between Darnell Ellerbee and Tavares Gooden the whole year. I'm not really sold on either of them.
How much longer will defensive staples like Trevor Pryce and Kelly Gregg be around? These players are not exactly in their prime (even though Kelly Gregg still plays like it). I don't see Pryce playing past the 2010-2011 season.
A scenery change for running back Willis McGahee is also a possibility. Due to the emergence of Ray Rice, McGahee has watched his carries go down dramatically. He's being paid starter money, and I doubt he has any desire to sit on the sidelines any longer.
For now the Ravens are just thinking about relaxing after a really long season. But I can assure you Ozzie definitely is going over everything. He has some really tough decisions to go over and obstacles this offseason so it's not going to be easy.
But, in Ozzie I trust.
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