During the later parts of Sunday's game, announcers Spero Dedes and Solomon Wilcots noted Tampa Bay's poor performance, despite the fact that they spent their offseason acquiring a slew of new players — Alterraun Verner, Anthony Collins, Evan Dietrich-Smith, Michael Johnson, Major Wright, Brandon Myers, Josh McCown and Logan Mankins.
The total cost for all of those players? $56.6 million, a fourth round pick and Tim Wright.
The Ravens, as usual, didn't spend nearly as much money and didn't sign too many big names. Steve Smith, Owen Daniels, Justin Forsett, Darian Stewart and Jeremy Zuttah were the new additions. Smith and Daniels are big names, but both of them are veterans who are over the age of 30 and both of them were cut from their respective organizations.
Stewart is the only player from that list that was a true unrestricted free agent and Zuttah only cost the Ravens a fifth round pick in a trade from the Buccaneers.
The Ravens are getting big returns from those minor payments. Smith is playing at an unbelievably high level. Daniels is a reliable target. Forsett is replacing Ray Rice easily. Zuttah has been a major upgrade over Gino Gradkowski. Darian Stewart? Though he has faults, he's at least better than Michael Huff.
The Ravens didn't go spend big this offseason for an Eric Decker or a Jarius Byrd. But it's working out amazingly for them.