Late For Work 8/25: Cornerback Trade Rumors Swirling

Plus Flacco wants to take more chances and Cowherd has a message for all the ‘boneheads.’

Posted by Sarah Ellison on Thursday, August 25th, 2011 at 9:48 am | Categories: Late For Work, Sarah Ellison

Cornerback Trade Rumors Swirling

Who would have predicted this one year ago?

In a single season, the Ravens’cornerback group has gone from one of the thinnest positions to one of the deepest.

Chris Carr proved he can handle a starting role, the Ravens drafted Jimmy Smith, Lardarius Webb’s is coming into the season without having to rehab and now unheralded four-year veteran Cary Williams has emerged seemingly out of nowhere and is making a serious bid to start.

The suddenly sunny outlook has created chatter on radio stations and internet message boards about the possibility of trading cornerback Domonique Foxworth.

Rumors have picked up steam, so much so that CSNBaltimore.com’s John Eisenberg told Mike Florio on ProFootballTalk Live that “something could be on the table in the in the coming weeks.”

“He could be the odd man out,” Eisenberg said of Foxworth. “There’s actually some talk here, some thought.  It’s a little outside the box. That’s one of the reasons the Ravens really want to see Cary Williams and want to test this sort of big cornerback thing and see if they can go with a young guy. Foxworth is one of their highest paid players, and they could really free up some cap room if they made a move with him, got rid of him.

“They like him. He’s a solid guy and strong in the locker room and all that, but he’s due to make $7 million this year and that’s a move they could make. They are pretty much up against it on the salary cap. So if they can find cornerback help elsewhere, that’s something they would consider.”

Rumors linked Foxworth to the New York Giants, who have sustained a rash of injuries at corner with Terrell Thomas, Brian Witherspoon and Bruce Johnson out for the season and Prince Amukamara out until possibly late September.

But those rumors quieted down Wednesday afternoon when the Giants signed veteran free-agent corner Brian Williams. So another team would have to be interested for something to go down.

Foxworth himself is still recovering from knee surgery and didn’t progress as quickly as he would have liked. But he was more optimistic about his recovery this past week.

He eased his way back into limited game action last weekend against the Kansas City Chiefs and has participated in practices this week.

The Baltimore Sun debated trading Foxworth would even be a good move, with Matt Vensel casting doubt on the idea.

“This newfound depth at cornerback is a good thing, but the Ravens are one hypothetical trade and one injury away from being thin at the position,” wrote Vensel. “Do they really want to unload a cornerback?”

Flacco Wants To Take More Chances This Season

SI.com’s Don Banks came away from an interview with Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco with a distinct feeling:

Flacco wants to take more chances this season, especially in games like the season opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers. 

“The past six Steelers-Ravens regular season games have been decided by four points or less, and Flacco is clearly hopeful that the safe-but-sorry approach can be abandoned as he enters his fourth year as Baltimore’s starting quarterback,” wrote Banks.

Flacco said that in order to win games, it will require the team to get out of its comfort zone.

“Sometimes you have to take that risk and jump out there and say, ‘We need to get some points on the board,” Flacco told Banks. “Sometimes that might get you beat. But if somebody told you that’s the only way you’re going to beat that team, then I think you’re going to take that risk, because the reward is so much better than what you’re going to get doing things the other way.”

Cowherd To ‘Boneheads’: Stay Home Tonight

This may be one of my favorite Kevin Cowherd columns.

In light of the senseless violence that broke out at Candlestick Park a few days ago during a preseason game between the 49ers and Raiders, Cowherd has a message for all those bozos who that want show up at M&T Bank Stadium tonight drunk and looking for a fight.

Stay home.

“This one’s for all the boneheads who’ll come to get loaded and spill beer on others and scream curse words all night long. This one’s for all the pseudo tough guys who’ll curse anyone in a Redskins jersey — even women and little kids — and look for fights. Like the brave bunch that attacked that one young Chiefs fans — the video went viral on YouTube — when the Ravens played Kansas City at the Bank last week.

“You know who you are. The rest of us do, too. And, frankly, we’re sick to death of you. Stay home tonight. Watch the game on TV. Get as drunk as you want. Let loose with all the F-bombs you want. If you feel like popping someone in the jaw, invite a few of your buddies over. And let the rest of us enjoy the games in peace.”

Van Valkenburg: Ravens Giving Up On Oher At LT

Do you agree with Kevin Van Valkenburg’s opinion on what the signing of tackle Bryant McKinnie means for Michael Oher?

McKinnie said the Ravens told him he will play left tackle and slide Oher to the right, a move the Ravens have not confirmed.  But Van Valkenburg says the team is sending a long-term message to Oher by adding McKinnie to the mix.

“Even if you love this move, and even if you have unwavering faith in the front office, there is no denying signing McKinnie right now has some long-term implications for Michael Oher,” wrote Van Valkenburg. “It may cause a few problems as it attempts to fix others. I’m not even talking about off-the-field stuff. McKinnie’s various legal issues are irrelevant at the moment.

“I’m talking about the essential admission that Oher is never going to be a Pro Bowl left tackle in the NFL.”

Van Valkenburg later explains that Oher deserves to stick with one position permanently so he can learn to dominate it. Thus, if the Ravens do move him, they should forever keep him there.

Wait. The Ravens admitted Oher will “never” be a Pro Bowl tackle by signing McKinnie?

I’m not convinced that’s what the organization is saying. They could still have plenty of faith in Oher.

Are there no other factors that played into the move?

For example, a need for stability at both left and right tackle. The  only options the Ravens had on the right side was either starting rookie Jah Reid or Mark LeVoir, who only has two starts under his belt.  They have potential, but are inexperienced and may need to time to develop.

Like Oher, Marshal Yanda deserves to stay at one position too. But circumstances required that he be moved from guard to tackle last season. If McKinnie hadn’t been signed, there was a decent chance that Yanda would have been moved over again if Reid or LeVoir weren’t ready for the job.

Again, the Ravens haven’t said who will start at left tackle, but if Oher is moved, it could simply mean that McKinnie is better suited for the job right now. After all, he does have 131 starts at the position.

What do you think?

Quick Hits

  • Baltimore Colt legend Art Donovan’s 1958 NFL championship ring was stolen during a trip to Hong Kong in 1977, but he was able to recover it after it was spotted on Craigslist listed for $25,000. [The Baltimore Sun]
  • Here’s a roster breakdown of players who might be in, on the bubble or have a long shot of making the Ravens squad. [The Baltimore Sun]
  • Pages from the Packers’ special teams playbook landed on a Green Bay area street after a waste recycling truck lost part of its load Tuesday. [NFL.com]
  • Here is a great feature story on Sergio Kindle and his recovery from his head injury and the many mistakes he’s had to overcome. A few lines to wet your pallet: “Lord knows Sergio Kindle has made mistakes. … But there is also something so endearing, so sweet, so moving about the Ravens linebacker which belies the sometimes ferocious player on the field and the one who confounds off it. A lot of people want to believe in him because they see an honest man who has done wrong when all he wants to do is right.” [Yahoo! Sports]

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