Raven Nation, your Super Bowl team continues to deteriorate, as the team is expected to now release Strong Safety Bernard Pollard in an unprecedented move due most likely to an already tight salary cap. Pollard took up $3.25 million in cap space, not a drastic number no doubt, and now gives the Ravens a little play in their free agent negotiations or 2013 draft class. Pollard led the Ravens in the regular season with 98 tackles and some stellar hits (as many remember, the hit on Stevan Ridley of the Patriots). Newsome may also be preparing for future seasons where the Ravens cap space will diminish as players such as Ray Rice, Haloti Ngata, Lardarius Webb, and others begin making a significant impact on the Ravens cap.
Pollard is the 7th player to be released or traded from the Super Bowl champion ravens in only the last week. The secondary now lacks at safety, and the Ravens knew this was an issue coming into the offseason. Ozzie Newsome leaked some draft perspective already, claiming the Ravens would be in the market for some secondary help. Matt Elam out of Florida has the talent Newsome wants, hard-hitting and good covering the sidelines and DeMarcus Milliner out of Alabama is already the Ravens mock #1 pick at Cornerback with great agility and aggressive tactics.Without Pollard and, as of today, Hall of Famer Ed Reed, the Ravens are entrusting the back field to unproven safeties James Ihedigbo and Sean Considine (if he stays on the team).
At corner, the Ravens would be wise to add another veteran presence to aid Lardarius Webb and Corey Graham as Cary Williams expects to strike gold, aside from his at par play, and as many of you know I have my opinions on the capabilities of CB's Jimmy Smith and Chykie Brown. Both are young and have room to grow, but had trouble staying with the receiver and missed tackles when they mattered. The Ravens need not waste a draft pick on a corner, yet test the market for a proven veteran to aid in mentoring the young duo (potentially Nnamde Asomugha or Deangelo Hall?).
All in all, this is normal, teams that win the Super Bowl are proven in many facets and are proven because the team has coincided together for a number of years, generally leading to the same contracts expiring or salary cap space increasing. Ravens Nation, get use to it as the team will be set to raise the cap for other stars in the very near future. Newsome has done it once and he will do it again. He gave us Lewis, Reed, Ogden, Heap, Flacco, Rice, on and on he has come through for the team. He knows talent when he sees it and don't lose hope yet.