Late for Work 2/9: Speculation On Willis Taking A Pay-Cut

Plus Boldin toys with Ravens fans’ emotions and Stallworth defends Harbs’ practice length.

Posted by Sarah Ellison on Wednesday, February 9th, 2011 at 9:06 am | Categories: Late For Work, Sarah Ellison

Speculation On Willis Taking A Pay-Cut

Ravens backup running back Willis McGahee is reportedly set to make $6 million in the 2011 season – a large figure for a person who ran the rock just 100 times last season?

“That’s a luxury not many teams can afford – having a Pro Bowl running back waiting in the wings – ready to give the offense a boost when he’s called upon,” wrote MASN’s Dan Kolko.

Going forward, the Ravens probably won’t be able to afford that luxury, either.”

The 2007 Pro Bowler’s attitude toward sharing the ball and seeing a decreased role has been more than admirable. It’s unusual to see an NFL player be happy when a teammate succeeds at his expense, but that’s exactly how McGahee reacted.

While the dynamic has worked the last two seasons, Kolko believes the Ravens can’t afford to keep McGahee around with the way his current contract is structured. Therefore, the MASN writer sees only two options the organization can pursue.

  1. Ask McGahee to take a drastic pay-cut.
  2. Release the eight-year veteran.

Because McGahee appears to have gas left in the tank, he could probably find playing time and money with another team. Thus, Kolko says the pay-cut option is “unlikely.”

Of course, this is all speculation as neither McGahee nor the Ravens have spoken publicly on the issue. Plus, there really is a third option.

“It’s possible McGahee is truly happy with his current role and the team dynamic here in Baltimore, and would be interested in staying around and making another push at a Super Bowl,” wrote Kolko.

“But while he’s avoided any off-field conflicts recently because of a lack of playing time, it would be a surprise to see McGahee stick around Charm City next season.”

One thing to remember is the Ravens have vowed to fix their running game in 2011, and since that is their top priority, maybe it makes sense for Ravens brass to continue to invest in a valuable backup like McGahee.

As for McGahee, the last thing he said when he was clearing out his locker for the offseason was that he would like to see a bigger role.

I’d just like to play a little more, that’s all,” McGahee said. “Whatever it takes to win games. If that’s what I’ve got to do, then I’ll be a backup. But you can’t hold me down but for so long.”

Boldin Toys With Ravens Fans’ Emotions

Yesterday afternoon, Ravens receiver Anquan Boldin sent message boards into a tizzy with this tweet, “Some big and exciting news for our Baltimore fans coming later today! Stay tuned!”

Naturally, Ravens fans got, well, excited.

Energized by the hype, fans began speculating on what the news could be. And believe me, there was no shortage of exciting and big ideas.

Maybe Jared Gaither or Haloti Ngata is re-signing. Is Jonathan Ogden coming out of retirement? Has Sergio Kindle been medically cleared?

No. No. It’s probably Derrick Mason announcing he’ll be back for another year. Is Cardinals’ Larry Fitzgerald being traded to the Ravens?

A few people even jokingly suggested Boldin had discovered time travel.

“Don’t let us down, Boldin! Make something up if you have to,” wrote hawkprey.

Finally, after hours of anticipation, Boldin’s next tweet revealed…drum roll…

“Proud to announce that we will be having our 1st ever Chalk Talk session on March 10th at the Morgan State University Theatre!” wrote Boldin.  ”For anyone interested, you can find more information here.”


That was the sound of fans’ bubble being burst.

“I love you Boldin,,,,but now I hate you just a little bit lol,” wrote Bltravens.

Hopefully the Chalk Talk is a success, but next time readers will take the phrase “big and exciting news” with a grain of salt. Ha!

Stallworth Defends Harbaugh’s Practice Schedule

General Manager Ozzie Newsome, Ngata and cornerback Chris Carr already defended Head Coach John Harbaugh’s practice schedule leading up to the divisional playoff game versus Pittsburgh.

The Baltimore Sun had reported that some players took issue with practice length. Despite Newsome and the two players speaking up, Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio wrote that their words don’t change the fact that someone complained, accurately or not, about the situation.

Perhaps that’s why receiver Donte’ Stallworth wanted to clearly identify how many players he thinks would backup Harbaugh’s practice decisions.

“Reports that Harbaugh put us through hard practices late in year/post season are utterly erroneous! EVERY player will attest to that,” tweeted Stallworth.

Oher Releases New Book, Makes Media Rounds

Ravens tackle Michael Oher is making the media rounds now that his new book, I Beat the Odds, hit stores. He was a guest on ABC’s Good Morning America and CNN’s Piers Morgan Tonight.

Millions have watched Hollywood’s version of Michael Oher’s journey from living on the streets in Memphis, Tenn., to being adopted and then making it to the NFL in the movie The Blind Side.

And while Oher said the movie was great, a few things in the film “didn’t add up” the way he wanted.

That’s why he’s telling his life story in his own words. Check out this interview with ABC’s Robin Roberts.

Oher will be at the Power Plant Barnes & Noble on Thursday, Feb. 10 at 7 p.m., the K Street Borders in Washington D.C. on Friday at 12:30 p.m. and the Timonium Borders on Saturday, Feb. 12 at 2 p.m. to sign copies of his new book.

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