When an NFL team drafts well, they will eventually experience the cruelty of the salary cap and its razor edge. Mix in a Super Bowl title, and the blade becomes even sharper.
That’s just the way of the world in the NFL.
Talent begets winning and winning begets bigger paychecks. And once those checks push a team’s salary cap out of whack some players will move on to teams that have more inviting cap climates.
You can’t blame the players really. One crushing blow to the knee or another shot to the head that registers a scar to the brain are violent reminders of how fleeting a career can be in the National Football League. The players have to get it when the going is good.
Paul Kruger, Dannell Ellerbe and Cary Williams will get their big paydays. In all likelihood Maryland State Tax deductions won’t be part of their checks. Sure they’ll want to stay – everyone wants to remain a Raven, all things being equal. What’s not to like?
But all things will not be equal and these players will find better offers from teams with cap space who are attracted to winners. It’s the downside to hoisting The Lombardi.
So naturally the Ravens will employ their dependable credos:
Next man up!
Right player, right price!
A couple of seasons ago the Ravens parted ways with Kelly Gregg, Willis McGahee, Derrick Mason and Todd Heap. Last year they said goodbye to Jarret Johnson and Ben Grubbs. And despite the loss of all that talent, since the departures the Ravens are one dropped pass away from two consecutive Super Bowl appearances.