The Madubuike marriage and life in salary cap jail

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As the WNST Texts keeping coming with “Former Ravens player signs elsewhere,” Luke Jones and Nestor discuss the commitment that Eric DeCosta and the club made with a big signing of Justin Madubuike and what happens next in the free agency flurry around the NFL this week. Tamper here…

SUMMARY KEYWORDS

ravens, talking, bk, year, mata, cap, deal, player, week, point, terms, number, lamar, team, play, big, quarterback, part, gave, free agents

SPEAKERS

Luke Jones, Nestor J. Aparicio

Nestor J. Aparicio  00:01

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Welcome home we are wn S T am 5070, Towson, Baltimore and Baltimore positive. If you are out on YouTube, you’re supposed to subscribe. Click here find me to all those things real estate people do. And speaking of real estate, you have some real estate on your radio dial just set a spot for us. We’re going to be bringing it pretty hard and fast here once oil season begins. Lots of things going on. We’re going down to Florida, the crabcake Tour presented by the Maryland lottery conjunction with weathernation Our friends at Jiffy Lube, multi care as well as Liberty pure solutions. It’s coming back I swear like I’m working on this documentary that Greg Landry is doing on 25 years of WNS T Lucas and I are running amok in southwest Florida. Naples I’ve always wanted to go to Naples. Oh, not that Naples, the other Naples and Fort Myers of course and Sarasota and am I see see you soon. Luke Jones joins us now. Just a matter of BK has a deal. The Orioles are still getting sold. I swear. Everybody tells me this. I see David Rubenstein point towards the new day of of royal baseball but the man blank on a weekend and it snows and then it’s going to be 70 degrees. Dude, it’s March. Like they’re not playing games. But all sorts of weird stuffs happening. And I think the mad a BK deal is not stunning. But a little bit like, wow. Okay. I mean, you sort of think when you can’t get to the finish line at the beginning of the week, by the end of the week feels like the Ravens Blanca.

Luke Jones  01:39

No question about it. I think when the tag was announced three hours prior to the deadline, I think there’s an assumption that you’re not terribly close to having a deal. And I think that’s where most people assume where the Ravens were with just a matter BK. And from his perspective, if what the Ravens were offering wasn’t appealing enough for you to say yes, prior to the tag deadline, what’s going to change in the matter of nine days. And really less than that in terms of the tampering window, the other negotiating window opening this week. So I think there was an assumption that not that they couldn’t get a deal done at some point this offseason, but I don’t think anyone assumed it was going to be imminent. So when I look at it through that lens, understanding where the Ravens were from a salary cap perspective, knowing that they with with that tag number were 10 $11 million over the cap somewhere in that neighborhood. You kind of assumed the Ravens improve their offer, knowing that, hey, we’re gonna have to create space somehow, whether it’s restructuring Lamar Jackson’s deal restructuring, Mark Andrews deal restructuring, Marcus Williams deal, you look at the biggest deals that they have, on their payroll, so to speak, and guys that have years left that you want to keep, you know, you’re not going to, you’re not going to extend or do a simple restructure on Ronnie Stanley, for example. So I think you were looking at those guys, and then whatever potential cuts that they still might make at some point here as the new league year opens up, but to me, I think it’s safe to assume that the Ravens improve their offer enough for just a matter BK to say, You know what, I like it here. But you’re also giving me close to nine figures, you know, a 490 $8 million contract over four years, which I told you over and over, he was going to get close to $100 million on the open market. And I think that played out pretty accurately considering then what Kansas City gave Chris Jones later in the weekend, which blew that out of the water. So I think this is the kind of deal that is exciting. Certainly for Justin Mata BK, it’s exciting for the ravens, assuming what we saw from him in 2023 is a sign of more to come. And that doesn’t mean he has to be better moving forward. But it means this is what the expectation is going to be for him and I went back and looked at it even before they made the deal. Nestor over the last five NFL seasons, there have been a total of 15 years from interior defensive lineman to post double digit sacks now, Aaron Donald, more than one of those cam Hayward of the Steelers more than one of those and Chris Jones of Kansas City who of course got his monster deal later in the weekend. The other one so the point is and we’ve talked about this a lot, interior pass rushers are unicorns, you’ll see a guy maybe do that at one point in his career, but very few of them sustain it. So well

Nestor J. Aparicio  04:40

look at what we’ve had here. We’ve had 30 years of football here right? And we’ve had really good I mean, we’ve had Sam Adams we’ve had Elodie nada we had goose for you know, it was a good player, but goose has a legend that precedes his football. It’s sort of like Rick Dempsey you know what I mean? Like sort of good player, great player, you know, good player, but you And that Hall of Fame player but a solid player. Um, but not Sam Adams and certainly not Hello de nada and certainly not this kid. And when you say unicorn and you compare him to these, I mean, one of those guys is a Hall of Famer maybe all three of them are Hall of Famers. It just depends, right like interior lineman, it takes a little while we had John Randall look pissed off. We don’t wanna piss John Randall off at seven in the morning, you and I found that out, I think on radio row a few years ago. By the way, is a great NFL films piece on John Randles history that I got to gander at the other day, because I like football Luca. Contrary to popular opinion, I’ve studied this stuff, but this is to me. Um, you know, I think where I’ve been when they’ve made big decisions. Example, I was in the fedexfield. Press box, in the middle of the season, on a Sunday night game, when they walked in and said, they gave Chris McAllister whatever it was 28 million, whatever, whatever absurd number was 20 years ago, right? Where they they Inc, a player, and you’re like, hey, Marian, that would have really, and then they don’t marry. Don’t go through the list, dude, right? I mean, all these developmental, all these third fourth round picks they’ve had for 30 years are all names like Ed Hartwell and Dwayne Starks and just go through the list of all these players that want other somewhere else, that they didn’t really get married. Right. And when marriage is 98 million at this point, right, and when you’ve already got a quarterback that’s taken up 20% of your cap. One of the two of us was a little upset when ro Quan Smith came in and that was a marriage moment like boom Trial by Fire week 12 The football season boom we’re giving him you know more money and Patrick Queens gonna get his feelings hurt. And we know that and they know all of this, but marrying the player and this is something you and I If we burn the tape from last week on Wednesday, Thursday, where we got together talking about Bradish his arm which if he’s if he makes 18 starts we’ll definitely have to burn that tape. That’ll be the worst segment we’ve done all year. Right. But in the case of MATA became when the the deadline passed. I think the assumption of veteran guys like you and me is Oh, it’s a it’s an IT Delos Thomas it’s it’s a it’s a matt Jude on it’s uh oh, you know, we love you. We were gonna pay you 21 million we love you. But the cat thing changes all of this, right? Like the real math of this is. It’s not a flat world one way or another and whether they like him love and they better love him. Right? I mean, they better really think he’s Aaron Donald, the next three years, right? Or like that. And this, this is a different kid than the kid they drafted to some degree, right? Like, this kid has moved into their hearts and into their wallets in a different way than maybe we thought a week ago, given their cap and given everything they are this is a really complex signing one way or another. They might win three Super Bowls the next couple years, right, or? Maybe not? Yeah, I mean,

Luke Jones  08:14

I don’t know if I put them in the same category as some of the guys you mentioned that they ultimately didn’t sign. I think if you look at the ravens, historically, they’ve used the franchise tag as buying time to get a long term deal. I mean, I think they’ve used the franchise tag nine times in the history of the franchise. And they’ve signed seven of those guys long term eventually. I mean, the only ones who didn’t get a long term deal were Wiley Williams Way back when, and Matthew judon, a few years ago, so So I would disagree in the sense of putting him in that, through that looking at him through that lens. But I think, for me, I look at this. And you know, we’ll hear from Eric the cost about this at some point. I don’t know if he’ll say much of substance. I don’t know if Matta BK will say much of substance

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Nestor J. Aparicio  08:56

as to what the costs are on. Like. I’m just saying, waiting on these guys to give stories that don’t really, always provide color. Unless it’s on the lounge or, you know, I don’t know, I mean, I don’t know what to believe is what I’m saying. And I’m sitting here, even in my mind say, Well, I know they love him. They gave him a lot of money. I mean, they clearly love him. Sure.

Luke Jones  09:18

Well, I mean, they wouldn’t have tagged them if they didn’t love them. I mean, you’re talking about a $22 million tag number in a year where they didn’t have a whole lot of salary cap space at that point in time. So

Nestor J. Aparicio  09:27

they clearly are for a year but not a lifetime too. Sure. Sure. Right. Oh, no

Luke Jones  09:31

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question. But you know, I but I guess I’m disagreeing with your assumption that just because they tagged them and didn’t sign them outright to begin with, meant they didn’t love Well, no, I think negotiations take time. Lamar Jackson was as good of an example, as you’ll find in terms of negotiating tickets. I love them

Nestor J. Aparicio  09:48

too. Right? He could have said no, no, dude, I’ll play for 21 next year. I’ll go God that you know, like he could have gone that route. Right? They really had to wow him. It

Luke Jones  09:57

was 32 He would have been crazy. Play 32 That was a major undervalue. Anyway, I don’t want to talk about Lamar

Nestor J. Aparicio  10:03

Jackson’s car. No, I’m just talking about. I’m talking about Mata BK could have just played on the tag and but they needed to make it really sweet for him, I guess was the point, right? Sure. Yeah. Yeah. I

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Luke Jones  10:16

mean, that’s exactly. And again, when we did our previous segment on this late last week, the assumption was, especially because the Ravens didn’t even wait until that four o’clock deadline, they announced it shortly, right around one o’clock. So they announced it three hours prior to needing to announce it, so to speak. To me, that was a sign that they weren’t terribly close. You know, typically, if you’re really close on the day on deadline day, you’re gonna keep working, and you’re going to try to see if you can strike a deal at 350. And you announce it right then. And then you’re not even talking about the salary cap, or, you know, and I had a few people asked me over the weekend, what does this mean for the franchise tag? In terms of, you know, the salary cap in terms of can you use it on another player, the franchise tag is dead. Now. You know, the deadline was last week, Mata BK had the franchise tag, albeit unsigned. And now that he’s signed a long term deal, the franchise tag just goes away this year, and the Ravens weren’t going to use it on anyone else. I mean, it’s expected something No, it’s something that’s prohibitive on the salary cap unless you’re talking about a position you know, like kicker for example, where you know, it’s not a dramatically high numbers. So so so this franchise tag is dead for the Ravens for this offseason, but they got mad a BK sign long term. But But yeah, to go back to your point, I think, to me, what was more likely the ravens, markedly increasing their offer, compared to where they were a week ago, or really just three or four days earlier than that, or Mata BK changing his stance, even though he is about to see what Chris Jones is going to get about to see what some other guys on the open market is going to get? Now, the more likely scenario was the ravens, knowing they had to create some cap space anyway, looked at Mata BK and said, You know what helps now?

Nestor J. Aparicio  12:07

Here’s some, well, I mean, cutting other things, then they’re not gonna go back to mid June and give him money, I don’t think. No,

Luke Jones  12:16

I disagree with that. I mean, they, you know, they have until July to get a long term deal done. But but the point was, if you didn’t get it done last Tuesday, if he said no to you, what’s changing after you give him the tag in a matter of three days, unless you bump your offer significantly, and what it was for the Ravens at that point, because they were 111 or $12 million over the cap. Once they gave him the tag. At that point in time. They’re saying all right, we need to create cap space somehow. Now we can do a simple restructure with Lamar we can do that with Andrews we can do that with Marcus Williams, for example. We can cut ties bows you know go down the list, we can give Matt a BK too much money and love him up and bring him in where we can give him a money. And yeah, we’re gonna be we’re going to be making a bet here that his career year was the start of great things that will continue. And that not that he has to be better than that he wasn’t 23. But they want to see a guy that’s more like the player. He wasn’t 23 than the player. He wasn’t 21 and 22, which was good player, but not special player. So they just paid

Nestor J. Aparicio  13:25

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him to be a game changer for like, not for a year but for like we better not be talking about him the way we talked about Ronnie Stanley and Marlon Humphrey. In two years in March, I mean, seriously? Well,

Luke Jones  13:36

I’m not putting my I think putting Marlon Humphrey in the same category as Ronnie Stanley is unfair. But I think for

Nestor J. Aparicio  13:43

future production. Sure, well, that’s just saying like, are they gonna play? Like, the most expensive guy on your team? That’s it. But like that, you can say that about

Luke Jones  13:53

anyone? No, I mean, that’s that’s how this works. You know, I mean, you’re, it’s all about trying to look at what a player has been, and trying to project what he’s going to be moving forward. And I think a big part of this Nestor is the salary cap itself. I mean, the salary cap is $255 million this year. I mean, we just talked about a $30 million jump, roughly. And when you consider they’re finally kind of out from the, you know, the the cap restrictions that we saw in the pandemic year, with revenue being depressed the way it was, at that point in time, they’re out from under that the TV deals become more and more lucrative and will continue to become more lucrative, I assume. So part of this is also okay. It feels like a lot of money right now. But then Chris Jones gets his deal a day later. And you’ll see players a, b and c and x, y, and z get their deals in free agency and you’re going to see, these numbers continue to go up. And then at that point in time, in the same way that Lamar Jackson’s deal looks better now than it did a year ago because of where the salary cap Up in the same way that Mark Andrews deal looks better than it looks better than it did a year ago because of the salary cap increase. You know the point that are the bet that Eric d’acosta is making is Juan Mata BK will continue to be an elite pass rusher and to the salary cap is going to continue to go up anyway so those dollars that look as lucrative as they look right now, relative to the cap won’t be quite as lucrative in the same way that 13 years ago the Ravens game Hello de nada five years $61 million contract which looks like chump change now in terms of money for an elite player in 2024. But relative to the cap, it was a very high percentage in the same way that matter BK Yeah, it’s gonna be a bigger part of their cap savings, but are a bit bigger part of their cap in general, but they needed savings. So again, it’s a matter of to me they looked at this and said, we’re gonna we’re making a calculated bet here that he’s going to one continue to be the player that he is and to the prices for interior pass rushers which, if you look at the money that Aaron Donald got from the Rams a few years back and understanding he’s older, but you know, a guy who’s gonna be in the Hall of Fame, like you said, if you look at the money that the Chiefs just gave Chris Jones who is a few years you know, he’s four years older than Mata BK, they’re paying those guys kind of like their edge rushers, when you look at their compensation, you know, that they’re kind of in their own group. So Mata BK is not in his own group in that same way. But in terms of everyone else, he’s at the top now. So

Nestor J. Aparicio  16:34

I know the way Kyle Hamilton is going to be in his own group when he negotiates, right?

Luke Jones  16:38

Well, and part of this is these, these contracts kind of cycle in and out, right, I mean, to your point, when Kyle Hamilton’s up for an extension as early as the end of next year, next offseason, he would be eligible, you know, it’s after your third year, they’re not gonna be paying Ronnie Stanley at that point in time when, when Tyler Linder bottoms up for an extension, you know, at some point, you know, over the next couple years, probably Marlon Humphrey at that point, won’t be paying playing on a big numbers. So they’ll probably have a new corner that they’re paying at that point in time. So So you know, you kind of look at your, your, the number of deals you have, you know, you look at your elite players that you’re trying to pay, and you kind of manage it, and you go off of off of that. And then in the meantime, you’re trying to trying to find value guys elsewhere. And I think that’s going to continue to be a big part of what they tried to do in free agency. I mean, yeah, I think they’d love to resign a Davey on clowny, you know, as it pertains to their group of free agents not named Matt to be gay. But you know, the numbers got to make sense for them, you know, especially considering where they are with their overall cat picture. And not just that, but where they’re going over the next three, four years. So this, but this is the big ticket item, you know, this is the monster deal that they did not want to see Mata BK hit the market. That’s why they use the tag to begin with. And that’s why at this point, knowing that they were going to need space. And by the way, let’s be clear, still moves to come to create some more space. I mean, with Mata BK is number which is right around, I believe it’s $12.25 million on the cap this year. Now, obviously, the cash he’s making his way higher than that. But on the cap, it’s 12.25. So they shaved about $10 million off of that number, it gets them right around, even with the cap. So they’re still gonna have to restructure Lamar is deal and when I say restructure, I don’t mean something that’s going to compromise them big time in the future. It’s more so simple restructures, where you take what his base salary is, you turn that into a bonus, yeah, you do increase his numbers in the future a little bit here and there, but it creates cap space for you this year. Those deals are made they structure those deals, when they sign them with with the idea in mind that you’re going to adjust those numbers over the course of time because you’re always going to need cap space because you don’t know what’s going to come up players get hurt you want to sign guys during the season. Certainly you want to be in a position where you can make a free agent move or to you know, even if it’s not going to be a lucrative one so so so they’re still gonna have to do some of that but getting like it’s different. Life is different now after Lamar this is well and it’s not even so much this year because Mars cat numbers this year, and that’s before they do any restructuring is 32.4. But that deals on the books you know that those numbers will increase you know that it’s going to be more challenging and look, the same thing applies when you sign ro Quan Smith when you signed Justin Mata BK when you’ve been dealing with the Ronnie Stanley contract when you’ve been dealing with the Marlin Humphrey Corwin Hamilton

Nestor J. Aparicio  19:46

or Linder bomb come up and if these other players come along and where’s Andrews after this and you know the, the money he’s earned like, and then you give back a bunch of money last year because Have you got Lamar sort of done to some degree? And that was sort of, you know, we’re out of sync wasted money but sort of big one ticket one item, money, one year money, that they won’t have any more, right, they won’t be able to add that kind of player. And that’s we live with that with Flacco. We remember 15 1617 We don’t want to remember it, especially with Flacco gets hurt. We don’t want to remember Bolden leaving you don’t want to remember any of that. But this is the week for that. And I look, Jones is here. He’s Baltimore. Look, there’s anything else you want to add to Mata BK please throw it in. But I guess the other part of this is, you don’t want to be back on the horn again, you’re little later on in the week, checking off the boxes of where all the former ravens are going because tis the season. And as much as they brought the U haul into the back of the building out there and took his whole defensive crew. Here’s where the players are going to get nitpick. And I think, from what I’ve seen from the pundits and everywhere, the ravens are expected to get, you know, come after more than any other team but it’ll be headlines of how many guys former Ravens have signed elsewhere? Yeah, I

Luke Jones  21:11

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mean, I they’re certainly going to be up there. I mean, they had 20 Plus Free Agents going into the start of free agency. Now some of those guys are Dalvin Cook and Josh Johnson and guys of that nature. Darrell Warli. Who by the way, Darryl Worley someone that I could see them resigning, you know, because there’s, they’re gonna need a third safety because I assume I assumed Gino stone is probably going to land somewhere else, although I’ll throw out there are a lot of there are a lot of safeties on the open market. So that can obviously impact the money you get.

Nestor J. Aparicio  21:38

We get back to what we said a minute ago, they’re gonna need cheap help. Sure,

Luke Jones  21:41

I mean, you always and look, even last year, when they were in this a much more advantageous position from a salary cap standpoint. Look at the value they got for Ronald Darby. Look at the value they got for Davian clowny look at the value they got for Kyle van Noy and Arthur Mallette. And go down

Nestor J. Aparicio  21:59

from maybe rocky seen, they didn’t get that from Bowser they didn’t get you know, I

Luke Jones  22:05

mean, you’re, you’re never gonna bat 1000 Yeah, I mean, you’re always gonna have some value concerns. But for the most part, some of those more modest deals and, you know, put Bowser to the side because he’s someone who was already under contract and was hurt and just didn’t play all year. But of all those value, veteran signings that they made, even throw throw in John Simpson, who was the weak link on their offensive line, but hey, he played more snaps and started more games on their own line than anyone else. So on the team, like he was durable for them, that’s there’s value to that, even if you’re not a great player. So that’s going to be the challenge of is going to be hitting on three or four or five, veteran value signings like that again, and having some, you know, having success and getting surplus value. I mean, look at the surplus value they got for clowny and Kyle van Noy. I mean, that was absurd. I mean, you’re talking about two of the best value signings and franchise history in terms of what they paid compared to the production they got for those guys. So you were 13 games, bro? You’re not gonna do that every year, though. So so but that’s the challenge. That’s what you’re trying to do. So I think where the Ravens stand right now and and sticking to the defense because you kind of look at most of their free agents, you’re looking at clowny you’re looking at Vannoy obviously Patrick queens, the big ticket guy, that’s that’s still unsigned, in terms of the Ravens free agents that as someone’s listening to our conversation, there may already be a deal for him to go to Seattle or somewhere like that, in principle, because I think he’s gonna get, you know, he’s gonna get lucrative money, as I’ve been saying for a while he’s going to, you know, he’s going to be getting somewhere in the neighborhood of probably 1314 $15 million a year. I mean, that’s what I would think he’s going to get. So, you know, yeah, you’re gonna have that attrition. You’re going to experience that, but I’ll say this, and I, you know, I’ve even seen some pundits and people that I respect people that I agree with on a lot of issues. I’ve seen some people kind of characterize this this offseason for the Ravens in terms of being really critical or really tough, that they’re going to endure. I don’t know if it’s historic, you know, I, they’ve done they’ve gone through this a lot. You know, I mean, you can think of post 2001 You can think of post Super Bowl 47 I think back to post 2014 When Hello de nada was gone and Torrey Smith was gone. And you know a few other guys that were

Nestor J. Aparicio  24:28

won Super Bowls after those though. That’s good stuff. Kind of the harder part, right?

Luke Jones  24:32

Yeah. I mean, it’s you know, I mean, that’s right. I mean, I mean, you but it’s the name of the game. I mean, look at how many guys buffalo just cut. And, you know, Buffalo has been in a similar position. Not exactly the same, but a similar position to the Ravens in terms of they’ve been there in January, but they’ve come up short against number 15. And the chiefs. They’ve they’ve come up short more times in the Ravens AB in January against Kansas City. So it’s tough but yeah, I mean it’s this is part of the cost of doing business when you do have a franchise quarterback and you know the chiefs are gonna be dealing with it as much as they’re happy that they just resigned Chris Jones but what what happens with the Jerry is Sneed and some of their other free agents and other moves they’re going to have to make so I mean, it’s this is how it works NFL Not for long, right i mean roster turnover is a big part of it and we’ll see how this plays out. That’s why I you know, as we’ve talked about over and over, it’s why I haven’t been someone that’s jumping on the table about going out and giving real money to a veteran running back because, frankly, I just think they have bigger fish to fry right now. They need a running back. They need another running back. Let me be clear about that. But I don’t know if it’s up to me. And look, no one cares. And Eric, the cost is not ringing my phone to see what Luke Jones thinks. But, you know, if it’s up to me, I’m not sitting there saying I need to have a running back on day one, a free agency. You know, I see the I see the surplus of supply that’s out there on the open market of okay, not just say Quan Barkley and Josh Jacobs and Tony Pollard and Derrick Henry, but some other guys that I think might be on the market for a while that you could even go through maybe the draft and see where you are draft wise, and it’s not a deep draft class for running backs. At least that’s the perception. But post draft, there’s a chance there could still be some decent backs that are out there that you might be able to get for very not pennies on the dollar, but a 50 cent piece.

Nestor J. Aparicio  26:32

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That’s always the shopping price, right? It’s you look at it now, as Aussie would always say, we can play this week, but we don’t have to. And if you don’t have to play that you don’t worry about it. And we’ll deal with that in the third round. Unless we don’t if we don’t, there’ll be something there because nobody else is signing these guys either. Because everybody has the same philosophy. And that’s not something my buddy Chad Weasley wants to hear representing Josh Jacobs. And I think Josh Jacobs would be a really nice piece here for this, you know, for this team. I what cost to your point at what costs? And who is the one? It’s like an eBay auction dude, who’s gonna pay the most

Luke Jones  27:07

period? Yeah, yeah. And look, I that’s not to say that none of these guys are gonna get money. But when you look at the ravens, where they stand right now with their offensive line, I mean, right now, there are two guards, they’re starting guards are hitting the market. The the assumption is, there’s a good chance at least one of Stanley or Morgan Moses could be gone, although that’s not a guarantee. They’re both under contract. But the point is, there’s change coming to the offensive line. And I think they’re absolutely going to try to upgrade some spots, or at the very least in the case of say, Ronnie Stanley, maybe draft the heir apparent, at the very least, and maybe that guy plays right tackle or plays left guard for a year. You know, you go the J O route, so to speak. But the point is, yeah, we could talk about running back and yeah, they, of course, they need another running back right now, Justice Hill, and an injured rehabbing Keith Mitchell, are the two biggest running backs on their current roster, you know, as far as guys that are under contract for 2024. So they need to add one. But is it going to be Derrick Henry, you know, depends on the number, I guess, you know, if he really truly wants to be a Baltimore Raven, and he’s willing to take a little less than okay, I could see that. But if it’s, what his market value is going to be or what some other teams are going to value him to be, then I’m a little more skeptical. But yeah, they’ve got offensive line. Edge rusher. They’ve got to figure that out. I mean, that’s a big question. Okay. If you resigned you Davian clowny great, that position looks a lot better. But if you don’t, and he goes in, you know, he either waits it out or he he goes and signs in Seattle because he loves Mike McDonald. I

Nestor J. Aparicio  28:46

mean, you know, I’m just spitballing different things that could happen. A Russell Wilson’s going to Pittsburgh, right, like, so anything’s possible here this week. I mean, that’s the thing. This is gonna be a crazy week. We’re gonna be getting together on the internet all day long. Oh, yes. This? Who knows who’s going where I just know. And I keep going back to this. The ravens are gonna be diminished team here in perception for a little while. Yeah.

Luke Jones  29:08

And, look, I mean, that’s kind of how the league is set up. Right. I mean, in terms of the most successful teams who have big ticket items on the roster, starting with the quarterback, you’re you get to a point where, yeah, the rookie contract. Yeah, that’s, that’s when you’re living pretty right? That’s when your your cap numbers are very favorable. And you’re getting all this crazy production. I mean, look at the value Lamar Jackson gave them in 1920 21. You know, those seasons, before, you know, the money starts to go up. I mean, MVP kind of production for a couple million dollars. I mean, that’s where they were. You get to the point where you pay that quarterback and now it’s different. Now you’re one of those teams that is dealing with attrition. You’re one of those teams that has more of a challenge from a cap standpoint, you’re One of those teams that, oh, you’re picking 30th or 31st or 32nd. In the draft, you know, you’re picking somewhere in the 20s. I mean, that’s the league

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Nestor J. Aparicio  30:07

set up to be that way. And also, when you pare down there, it better not be Perriman or your quarterback suffers, and right, whatever they do with this left tackle thing, it’s 30, if that’s really what they’re going to do at this point, because I mean, they live with Brian McKinney for you know, they they have found veteran guys, and I mean, lord knows they found Zeitler. And he, I mean, they can find guys at a price and found that Burke on the market years ago, right, so this is this is a challenging offseason for Eric the cost and they’re usually up for the challenge. And they usually come back and win 11 or 12 games somehow someway by hook or crook next year. And I don’t think the Steelers are coming together with Russell Wilson. But time may tell they’re right if they were to get a ground game to some to some degree change the way they’re playing Deshaun Watson I mean, every Browns fan in the world thinks Joe Flacco is coming back and I don’t have no idea how that could possibly work, right? Like how that could possibly happen. And then the Bengals have a gimpy quarterback coming back from an injury, who’s great. And you know, I’ll take them all day Joe burrow, but they have a lot to prove. So everybody’s got a lot to prove here. With the Ravens you’re gonna get, like, luck this week. Like literally, by the end of the week. You’re gonna feel as bad as you did when they lost the AFC Championship game, right? Because like the diminished part of what I talked about when I was at Coco’s, and I’ll go plug the Marcella get over to get some coconut shrimp because they’re delicious. I mean, everybody brags about the crab cakes, but get the coconut shrimp. I remember you haven’t ever with your right foot Super Bowl. And it’s like, you know, here we go. And, you know, McDonald’s just going out the side door, and we’re still feeling bad about losing the game. I had David Katz on last week. He’s still like, he was like, six o’clock that day. He’s mad again, just talking about it. We didn’t run the ball out, uh, you know, like, all that. And I’m like, Well, you know, that’s not what they’re talking about. knowings mills are talking about how we get guys under the cap. How are we going to keep these players? And who’s gonna be who’s gonna be on our offensive line protecting our $50 million dollar quarterback?

Luke Jones  32:06

Yeah, I mean, and I would even venture to say that it won’t be as raw. But in some ways, it’ll feel worse, because then again, it brings up how favorable everything was just sitting there. Right, right. I mean, Kansas City was

Nestor J. Aparicio  32:20

gonna have cloud, you’re not going to have back and you’re not going to have Queen you’re not going to have site. I mean, to boot BOO, BOO, BOO, BOO, BOO BOO, like, all right, well, then maybe we’re not a 13 win team.

Luke Jones  32:31

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You know, 13 wins isn’t the requisite for winning the Superbowl. It’s, it’s getting into January, and then winning games there. And we’ve talked about that. And, you know, not not to rehash the specifics of the end of the 2023 season. But, you know, maybe maybe this this era of the Ravens is destined to finally make its run when maybe they’re an 11 Win wildcard, you know, I mean, I don’t know, you know, again, to the point and I was even talking about this with my uncle over the weekend. Everyone wants to be the number one seed everyone wants to be the best team during the regular season. Because that’s, that’s the competition, right? That’s the competitive nature of any team. You want to be the best. But it comes down to being the best in January and book, anything that’s going to happen this week, is probably not going to make people feel too good about that. I will say though, that they did lock up just a matter BK. And again, that is such a rare piece to have for a defense and I think as they endure the changes that they’re enduring already with new defensive coordinator and new defensive line coach and new defensive backs coach and obviously Zack or moves from inside linebacker, so you have a new inside linebackers coach. And now what we’re gonna see on the personnel side where at least some of those guys we mentioned, you know, okay, maybe they can get one, you know, maybe they get something done with clowny. Or maybe they get something done with Van Noy. Maybe you bring back a Ronald Darby as a depth piece because I don’t think Darby is gonna get big money on the open market. But the point is, to your point, yeah, Patrick Quinn’s gonna go and some other guys are going to be gone. You know, the young guys have to step up and on paper. Yeah. You go through some of that. But

Nestor J. Aparicio  34:11

man, PK row Quan Smith, Kyle Hamilton, they have three elite players. Yeah. elite players. Absolutely.

Luke Jones  34:18

And that’s and that’s not even counting guys. Like okay, if Marlin Humphries healthier this year, which, you know, he hasn’t had these significant injuries all through his career. He’s not Jimmy Smith, in terms of injury prone. But if he comes back healthier, and is more like the guy who was a couple years ago, then, okay, you’re feeling good about that position? So I mean, look, I mean, that’s every year this time, typically, typically, because typically, the Ravens have not been the team that’s trying to win the offseason in the way that the commander’s have for example,

Nestor J. Aparicio  34:50

browns winning.

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Luke Jones  34:52

Sure, sure. This is this is the time of year right now. But now between now and the draft When you don’t feel quite as good about the Ravens usually, and we see how that plays out now, yes, fans felt good for six months. Yeah, yeah. But But to your point, to your point, you made mention to this and it is very important. Now, it’s so important for this team. Now. They’ve got to hit on their draft picks. And look, it’s not easy when you’re picking 30th. You know, that’s a smaller margin for error when you’re picking at the end of each round. And yeah, they do have a fourth round comp pick that they got for Ben powers a year ago. But the point I was trying to make a year ago at this time, we were talking about oh my gosh, they cut clay as Campbell like that’s not the class was just a matter BK, but he was good, right? Oh my gosh, they’re losing Ben powers, who’s going to replace him Ben powers finally just figured it out and looked like a good player. And now we’re gonna lose him and what’s gonna happen with Lamar and that’s where I’ll go back and I even I even mentioned this in my 12 ravens thoughts I wrote last week at Baltimore positive.com that for all of the headaches, and perceived headaches, perceived frustration, perceived disappointment that they’re going to endure in the coming days, you know, with, presumably losing Patrick queen or, you know, other gods, you know, Kevin Zeitler Geno’s stone, what happens with clowny and Van Noy go down the list, I’ll still take any of that gladly over being in a position where your franchise quarterback is unsigned, unhappy, uncertain in terms of whether he’s going to be with you long term. After the last couple years of what they went through on that front, and the discourse and the fan frustration, and guys like you and me talking about it every day, every week, I’ll gladly take where they are right now than where they were the last couple years where you just you don’t know. And look. People can say what they want about Lamar or Josh Allen or any of these, you know, Joe burrow and these guys that are chasing mahomes as it pertains to rings, but I’ll gladly take where the ravens are right now than where the Steelers are right now. Where okay, maybe Russell Wilson will be better than Kenny Pickett. But do I think that Russell Wilson is going to have the Steelers playing deep into January? Heck, no, not not even close. So, you know, it still comes back to the quarterback and whether you have won and whether he signed long term and whether he’s happy and win whether your direction is good and look, frustration I get it. They didn’t get it done in the title game. But, you know, if you’re the kind of team that has a quarterback capable of getting you to that spot. I’ll take my chances year after year and try to figure out the rest of the roster. Luke

Nestor J. Aparicio  37:33

Jones is on the Lamar Athan a bandwagon because there is no Lamar fun. This offseason. There’s just free agency and new ownership for the baseball team. We were talking a lot about that this week, getting some fresh stuff up the Baltimore positive as well. I had a Yousician chat. I’ve done some community stuff. I had Bonnie Lorber Hadean on to talk about her TED talk last week, Eric at home joined us to do a whole bunch of draft insider stuff. So we’re gonna have a great week around here. We’re getting ready for the crabcakes we’re looking at our head down to Florida next week for some spring training and some some NFL owners meetings as well. There’s a rumor, Luke’s gonna have breakfast with John hardball. And all the secrets will be shared, I’m sure at that point, at least free he will be over at that point. And you know, there’ll be some new sheriffs in town. There’ll be some teams by the weekend to feel like they can, you know, win nine or 10 games. In the meantime, the Maryland lottery is gonna send us down the crabcake tour. We’re gonna be at Coco’s in early April we’re gonna be Costas in April also each and every Friday. We’re gonna be at fade Lee’s live when the Orioles are home from two of the five so well, we’re really looking forward to that. Friends at the Maryland lottery when donation, Jiffy Lube, and liberty pure solutions, putting that thing up and onward and onto the road. Luke’s gonna be around. You can find him at Baltimore, Luke, and you can find me anywhere. The good internet is served here this week. We’re cooking up some great great things for baseball season. We are wn st am 1570 tastic Baltimore, and we never stop talking Baltimore positive, even though it might not be so positive for the Ravens this week.

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