Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer broke the news and once it came across the wire, I’m sure most people’s sentiments were, “What took so long?” Considering he has been inactive for Baltimore the past two weeks and the fact that Eugene Monroe supplanted him as the starting left tackle, it seemed likely that his days were numbered in purple and black.
If you paid significant attention to the offensive line during the first five games of the NFL season, you would have noticed not only the severe struggles of Ravens center Gino Gradkowski, but also McKinnie. The 34-year-old was sub-par as a run blocker anyway and his usual strength, pass-blocking, clearly wasn’t on the same level as it was during Baltimore’s magical Super Bowl run in 2012.
I’m still a firm believer that a guy like McKinnie and Ravens cornerback Corey Graham benefited significantly from that postseason run, because they raised the level of their game so much that the Ravens almost felt inclined to keep them around and give them a starting spot they may or may not have deserved.
You also have to consider why no one was jumping on Bryant’s bandwagon during the offseason when he was a free agent, and the only team to offer him more than $1 million was the Ravens.
Getting rid of McKinnie was smart for a few reasons though: first, he didn’t get along with Ravens head coach John Harbaugh. During the offseason, we saw the Ravens purge their locker room of guys who disagreed with John and who were more like cancers than quality personalities.
Second, his performances were beyond lackluster. The NFL is a “What have you done for me lately?” kind of league. 2012 was 2012 and McKinnie was a nice part of that postseason run, but Baltimore has moved forward. Third, he lives in the Miami area and went to college at the University of Miami (FL). The Dolphins may or may not be a team on the rise, but at least he gets to enjoy some hot weather and beautiful girls down in south Florida.
I don’t suspect that this is the last roster move we will see from the Ravens before the bye week is over. With the McKinnie trade, a roster spot has been freed up and it remains to be seen what Baltimore will receive in return for Bryant — probably a Day 3 pick in the NFL Draft.