Last year, facing a long offseason after a heartbreaking loss, I wrote an article asking if you would trade certain Ravens players for players on other teams. This season, we face a much different offseason. We just won the Super Bowl, and instead of question marks about how we move forward and lingering disappointment from the AFC championship game loss, the talk has mainly been about 3 subjects, Joe Flacco, Joe Flacco, and Joe Flacco. To give us a reprieve from re-hashing the same argument over and over again, I decided to ask the same question again. Would you trade the following Ravens in these scenarios?
Ray Rice has been the go to guy in the Ravens offense since he became the feature back in 2009. He has produced both as a running and receiving threat. He is one of the premier running backs in the NFL. Sitting behind him on the depth chart is rookie Bernard Pierce. Pierce was very impressive in limited action, and some think he could be an above average starter in the NFL. Would you take the risk in letting Rice go if we got the best middle linebacker in football in return. We all know how weak the middle of our defense was this year, and Willis would solidify the position and provide the smoothest possible transition into the post Ray Lewis era.
Suggs won the NFL defensive player of the year award just a season ago. This past season started with him tearing his Achilles before a game was even played and ended with him literally and figuratively limping to the finish with that injury and a torn bicep to go with it. If Paul Kruger leaves, Suggs would be our only proven pass rush threat, but questions remain on how he will recover. Would you trade Suggs to give Joe Flacco a premier receiving weapon in Fitzgerald who could turn this offense into a juggernaut?
Bernard Pollard for Joe Thomas
A franchise left tackle is much more valuable than a strong safety, but Pollard is a fan favorite and his bone crushing style of play has made the difference in multiple games. He provides a physical presence that allows Ed Reed to patrol center field and not have to tackle as much. The Patriots would be more than happy to see Pollard leave the Ravens, as he always seems to take out a key player on their side every time he plays them. Getting Joe Thomas would solidify the offensive line, giving Joe Flacco the time he needs to throw bombs deep down the field to Torrey Smith and Jacoby Jones.
Torrey Smith for Geno Atkins
Torrey Smith is going into his 3rd season, a time in which NFL wide receivers are supposed to really hit their stride. He has been one of the better deep threats in the league, and greatly improved his route running this season to become more than just a one dimensional player. Geno Atkins is a player we know well. He is an absolute beast on the defensive line for the Bengals, and would fit in well here to help get the defense back to a level we're used to.
Marshall Yanda for Aldon Smith
Yanda is the best player on our offensive line, and losing him would be devastating, as the Ravens already have multiple holes to fill there. Aldon Smith has combined for 33.5 sacks in his first 2 NFL seasons, including 19.5 this past season. He is one of the best young players in the game, and would be a nearly unstoppable force when teamed up with guys like Ngata and Suggs. Would the complete rebuild the offensive line would need to go through be worth having Aldon Smith terrorizing opposing quarterbacks?
I'm not saying we should make any of these trades, or that any of them are realistic, I just want to provide some new discussion so we can stop talking about Joe Flacco's contract. What do you all think? Feel free to add your own suggestions in the comments.