It’s time to move on. What can I say? Bryant McKinnie has been a solid player for the Baltimore Ravens organization over the last two years, but he’s 34 years old. The Ravens need to find a solution at the left tackle position soon. And with youth. Ever since the Hall Of Fame Left Tackle Jonathan Ogden retired in 2008, the Ravens, for the first time in their franchise history, were in a transition at a position that has been a mainstay.
They had Jared Gaither, who they used a fifth round pick on in the 2007 NFL Supplemental Draft. The tackle came into the league with question marks, mainly with work ethic. It spilled over for the Ravens during the 2010 season, when Gaither claimed to have back issues and sat out the entire season. He was later released and soon enough became the San Diego Chargers‘ problem.
In between all of that was Michael Oher, who was drafted in 2009. At first, he was to be the Ravens’ future at left tackle. He had a solid run in his rookie season but after could never really hold down the position with any consistency. It ultimately led to McKinnie seeing his first consistent action during the playoffs.
We have come to the conclusion that neither of the players above are the solution to at left tackle. We have yet to see if any are in the draft, but after the championship run, McKinnie will be looking for more money just like any other player does after such a win.
So why go through all of that? Yes, you just paid Joe Flacco as the current highest paid player in the league. You need to protect your investment, but not with a 34 year old tackle. The Ravens have decided all off-season that they will go to the youth movement. Well, keep going.
Don’t get me wrong, McKinnie is a good player. If the Ravens didn’t win it all last season, it would be a decision to think about. But they did win it all so they can cut their losses. You can’t afford to overpay a 34 year old veteran when you have to think about future players in terms of contracts down the line such as Dennis Pitta or even a Torrey Smith. The logistics just don’t work right now.
You have the opportunity right now to draft a tackle which will make the Ravens possibly start all five on the offensive line in which they were drafted by the team.
It’s time to get younger. And cheaper. The draft helps all of that.