It’s the NFL offseason, and those that follow their teams closely are all too familiar with the platitudinous retrospective pieces describing their teams past successes that come with the territory (unless you’re a Cleveland Browns fan).
Rather than take the self congratulatory trip down memory lane, the disappointing 8-8 season that was 2016 has me feeling some type of way, so I’ve decided to revel in the unfortunate misses that our beloved purple and black have suffered in their 20 years in the league.
Instead of discussing draft and free agent busts that haunt our collective fan consciousness, I’d rather take a look at a group of players who at some point or another were linked to the Ravens in some fashion, or were even on their team.
The only ground rules here are that there needs to have been some concrete connection, with an exception or two being made for the partnerships that would have made just too much sense. So with all that said, let’s get into it shall we?
I often pride myself on my ability to not be a prisoner of the moment as a sports fan. But after what transpired in the 2016 season, and thanks to some recent reports that came out, I’m almost obligated to include Matty Ice on this list.
I know, I know, we all love us some Joe Flacco here in Charm City, and in fact, he’s the only reason Ryan isn’t higher on this list. However, that doesnt change the fact that his stock is at perhaps an all time low after eight years in the league, while an MVP award and Super Bowl appearance has Ryan’s soaring.
The connection here comes from NFL Media insider Ian Rapaport, who reported on Super Bowl Sunday that the Ravens were very close to trading their entire 2008 draft class as well as a 2009 second round pick to move up to the number one spot and select the former Boston College standout. They ultimately shied away and opted to select the small school Flacco after some trade trickery, but it certainly is interesting to think about what might be different had they gone through with the blockbuster deal.
They would have missed out on Flacco, Ray Rice, Tom Zbikowski, and Haruki Nakamura in that draft alone, as well as Paul Kruger in the second round a year later. While Zbikowski and Nakamura were role players, they certainly made their contributions, while the other three players listed were crucial to their improbable 2012 Super Bowl run.
Maybe Ryan would have been able to take our team all the way, especially with the stalwart defense already in place, but now we’ll only be able to speculate. To quote the great PFTCommenter, “it really makes u think.”
I could sit …
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