As first reported by our partners over at Ravens 24×7 on Sunday, Marc Bulger has retired from the NFL. A few days later, the news is all over town, and the Ravens are left with a huge question mark at backup quarterback.
If Tony Lombardi is right, and Bulger did retire back in March, you have to assume that Ozzie Newsome and the Ravens front office knew about it while they were mapping out their offseason strategy during the lockout. Futhermore, they probably were also aware of Bulger’s intentions in April when they drafted QB Tyrod Taylor out of Virginia Tech in the sixth round.
Cam Cameron was quoted yesterday as saying that Taylor is “special” and that they are “getting him ready to play.” In addition to that, Peter King of Sports Illustrated tweeted that Taylor is “better than you think.”
I, for one, am less than enthusiastic about the prospect of a rookie sixth-round draft pick serving as the backup quarterback on a team that has been to the postseason three years running. Unfortunately, the free agent quarterback roster is less than inspiring: Brodie Croyle, Jake Delhomme, J.P. Losman, J.T. O’Sullivan, Patrick Ramsey, Todd Bouman, Chris Simms…ugh.
With teams being forced to comply with the salary cap in the coming days, there could be some surprise cuts that could potentially help fill the Ravens’ void at backup quarterback. While we all hope that Joe Flacco is Peyton Manning-like in his durability – Joe hasn’t missed a game in three seasons in the NFL, Peyton has missed zero in 13 – it sure was comforting having Bulger as an insurance policy in 2010. The flip side, of course, is that we had to listen to certain morons calling for Bulger to start all season. Still, the droning of nonsense from a small group of fans was worth putting up with for the security of a proven veteran backup QB.
If it is indeed the Ravens’ plan to move forward with Taylor as the backup, the team’s four preseason games just got a lot more interesting. Let’s see how Taylor handles facing even the second- and third-string defenses of NFL teams before we get either too high or too low on the kid.