Cap Casualties: Mike & Mike
The Ravens’ made two moves this week in trying to better their salary cap situation moving forward in the off season, getting rid of veterans Mike Anderson and Mike Flynn. Anderson is a guy who many would say never really got a fair shake in Baltimore. Hell, prior to coming here, he had led the Denver Broncos in rushing in 2005 while scoring 15 TDs. He signed prior to the 2006 season thinking he was going to be the Ravens’ #1 guy in the backfield, only to see the team re-sign Jamal Lewis before the ink on Anderson’s contract was even dry. Mike A’s final numbers in B-More: 54 carries, 245 yards, 1 TD, 13 receptions, 80 yards. As others have noted, Anderson never made a nuisance of himself, or caused a ruckus because he felt slighted over his lack of playing time. Instead, he merely accepted his role and did the best he could when he was called upon. Anderson’s departure saves the Ravens $1.8 million in cap space.
The release of Mike Flynn is one that may be a good bit harder for purple-and-black faithful to stomach. Not only was Flynn one of the last remaining guys from the Super Bowl XXXV winning team, he is an all around great guy that has endeared himself to the people of Charm City during his tenure here via his charitable contributions, easy-access persona, and hard-working, team-first attitude. Flynn was the personification of an overachiever, having played on two practice squads as an undrafted rookie out of the University of Maine before landing with the Ravens, where he started for the past 8 seasons. Flynn’s release saves the team another $2 million under the cap.
The Ravens probably think they already have Flynn’s replacement on their roster, even if they aren’t quite sure who exactly will fit the bill best. Chris Chester was being groomed as Flynn’s heir apparent, but did not show enough last season to have the starting center job handed over to him. Guard Jason Brown AKA “The Human Bowling Ball,” is another option, though his All-Pro-level play last season may make the team hesitate to change his position. Should Brown be moved to center, Marshal Yanda would likely slide over to guard, his more natural position, with Adam Terry and Jonathan Ogden at the tackle spots, tentatively. Ogden, thought by most to be leaning towards retirement anyway, may have been “tipped over” to the retirement side upon hearing of Flynn’s departure. J.O. took the release of Edwin Mulitalo pretty hard last offseason, and the loss of another of his long-time line mates may be too much for the big guy to handle going forward. Hopefully, either way, Ogden informs the team of his intentions sooner rather than later. If he does retire, Jared Gaither’s offseason pressures just increased ten-fold.