The signing of over-the-hill free-agents continues. The Baltimore Ravens have recruited another
retiree veteran in former Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Indianapolis Colts TE Dallas Clark. “In Ozzie We Trust” is what Ravens fans keep telling ourselves; however, Ozzie Newsome needs to trust the players he brought in.
Bringing in a second tight end to supplement the loss of Dennis Pitta’s production is a great idea … only if Newsome properly examined the team depth chart and saw that there was no one capable of replicating such production. I believe the answer was already on the roster in Matt Furstenburg.
Furstenburg has looked good in camp when given the opportunity. Newsome obviously saw potential when he signed the undrafted rookie free-agent out of Maryland this offseason. Now Furstenburg will never see regular season action because of the vets like Visanthe Shiancoe and now Clark.
I completely supported the signing of Shiancoe because of the veteran presence along with his skill set. However, the Clark signing is a clear message to Kyle Juszczyk, Billy Bajema, Alex Silvestro and Furstenburg that Newsome just does not trust them.
John Harbaugh is a phenomenal coach and will work with whatever talent comes into camp. This has to be bittersweet for him as well. He gets another experienced player, while someone who probably was on the bubble that had potential is getting let go before they were even given a chance to shine. Additionally, he will have to reduce the reps of upcoming players like Juszczyk, Bajema, Furstenburg and Silvestro.
The upside to this is the Ravens believe in competition, and hopefully the TEs currently on the roster will make Clark work hard for the starting Job.