Talkin' Bout Cuttin' Willis

Our old pal Mike Preston wrote a column Monday afternoon that suggested the Ravens may be ready to part ways with backup running back Willis McGahee:

According to an NFL source, the Ravens decided at their recent evaluation meetings not to bring McGahee and his $6 million in base salary back for the 2011 season.

When asked if the Ravens were going to cut McGahee, Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome replied: “I have said there will be no players released before March 3.”

When asked if McGahee would be on the Ravens roster before the beginning of next season, Newsome said: “Right now, there are a lot of things that could happen before next season.”

Newsome must have been pretty good as a youngster playing dodge ball.

But we can read between the lines. The Ravens were content to pay McGahee $3.6 million as a backup last season, but it will be hard to pay him nearly double that amount in the same role in 2011.

This move would certainly be a financial-minded one, as opposed to a performance-based one.  As that last line points out, McGahee’s contract balloons significantly in 2011, and $6 million is just way to much to pay for a backup.  At that salary, McGahee would actually be making more than any Ravens starter aside from Ed Reed.

Willis definitely still has some gas in his tank.  He was a great change-of-pace from Ray Rice in 2010, and had several highlight reel plays (touchdowns against Miami and Kansas City jump immediately to mind).  The Ravens could cut him and then try to resign him at a lower salary, but the questions is whether or not Willis – who is represented by the great Drew Rosenhaus – would want to test the free agent market to see if someone will pay him starter money.

McGahee’s age – he’ll turn 30 in October – may work in the Ravens’ favor here.  For an NFL running back, 30 is definitely pushing over-the-hill status.  Willis though, probably added some time to his career over his last two years in Baltimore, when he was the backup to Ray Rice.

I’d love to see Willis back in purple in 2011.  But with NFL running backs as “dime a dozen” as they are (it seems every year some guy we never heard of starts leaping to the forefront of the highlight reels), I would definitely rather see much of that $6 million spent elsewhere.


9 Responses to “Talkin' Bout Cuttin' Willis”

  1. Matt Says:

    They can’t cut Willis! That means I’m going to have to buy a new jersey!!! FML. So who should I buy next? Ngata, Suggs, Ray Rice or should i just sprluge on an authentic Ray Lewis?

  2. NestMinder Says:

    Suggs seems like a good bet. Or you could go classic with the Ray or Reed…those will never go out of style.

  3. Matt Says:

    So no Sergio Kindle Jersey?

  4. NestMinder Says:

    The guy that puts on a helmet and slams his head into the wall while he’s waiting for the doctors to clear him for contact?

    “I tend to put a helmet on and bang my head against the wall – not ridiculous crazy hard – to see how it works. I’ve felt fine,” Kindle said. “I want to see what I can do before the doctors evaluate me.”

    Yeah, probably not.

  5. Goob Theoharris Says:

    You could always go customized as long as you don’t have a douchy name on the back. Something for Steelers hate is always good or also a play on Baltimore or anything Maryland. The Goob jersey is quite a hit with the ladies

  6. Matt Says:

    So I should go with a Ravens custom jersey Number 69 and the words Deez Nuts on the back? That should be a hit with the ladies.

  7. Matt Says:

    Or the Ravens version of this jersey.

    Well that would explain the first half of the Falcons game and the second half of the Texans game and why he holds on the ball too long.

  8. Goob Theoharris Says:

    I wouldn’t go with the 69, it’s too doucebagish these days. I absolutely love the “i am drunk” jersey. There is probably no better jersey to explain me at a game, however, lets just say that you get in trouble with the super sensitive fans and police these days at the games… you can’t argue that you weren’t drunk if you have that jersey on.

    I say instead of a number you find a way to get a picture of a can of natty boh sown on to it…. that would be awesome. I think I might try that out. I need a new uniform for this year… everyone is starting to copy the Goob with the beak hats.. and Ray Rice signed mine too

  9. NestMinder Says:

    That would be pretty slick. There is a dude in our lot with a “Pi” symbol jersey. Now that’s some unique creativity.

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