Notes from the North

Help me to understand the Baltimore Ravens.

Seriously. Two players on offense (in addition to a massive contribution  from your defense) carry you to a Super Bowl Championship. You reward one of those offensive players with a massive new contract, making him the highest paid player in the league at his position. You tell the other offensive player you want him to take a 33% pay cut in order to stay with the team for another year.

And then, when he protests, you trade him. To the team you barely beat in the title game, making it even stronger for the coming season.

Explain that to me. Please.

Sure. It has become clear, even to me, that I'm no fan of Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco. I don't doubt that he's a decent player but I just don't think his performance on the field is worthy of all the accolades he's been receiving since the Ravens' Super Bowl win over San Francisco. And of that shiny new contract.

I mean, the guy is inaccurate with many of his throws, uncomfortable in the pocket and just too inconsistent to be trusted. He completed only 57.9% of his passes in that glorious postseason run.

He made a couple of big throws at key times, yes, but so did Tim Tebow the year before in Denver and Tebow was dumped unceremoniously for his troubles.

People want to point to Flacco's impressive postseason TD-to-Int ratio (11-0) to support the argument that he's an elite QB.

Well, the guy the Ravens have deemed expendable, Anquan Boldin, was on the receiving end of 22 of Flacco's 73 completions and four of the TDs.

And, if you watch the tape of Boldin's postseason catches, you'll see that many of them would have been INTs if Boldin wasn't such a tough competitor.

If you want to focus on the fact that, over a four-game run, Flacco threw zero interceptions, then you have to give Boldin a lot of credit for that accomplishment. A lesser receiver would not have caught all those poorly thrown passes into tight coverage; worse, a lesser receiver would have allowed the throws to be intercepted.

Without Boldin, I submit, Flacco would have given up four or five picks in the 2013/13 post-season and Baltimore would have made an early exit.

So how do the Ravens justify the way they're treating Anquan Boldin? They basically told him: "The quarterback whose butt you saved time and again in the playoffs is worth more than four times what you are. We're going to pay Joe Flacco $20-mil a year and cut your salary down to just $4-mil."

Makes no sense to me. And I think the Ravens are going to pay for that mistake in the coming season.

March 12, 2013  12:03 PM ET

The trade was surprising to me too - seems a slap in the face to the guy who played a large part in getting you to the SB. But, I suppose the team looked at their WRs and figure they have Smith and Jones to fill the gap, in addition to having some funds to pay Ellerbe.

I too think they'll regret the trade in the long run, but I also think they were going to have serious issues next year anyway just with the players they lost and have potential to lose in FA.

March 12, 2013  02:14 PM ET

As a 49er fan, I don't think there was anything wrong with the trade.


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