clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Do the Ravens bring back Michael Oher?

New, comments

At the end of the 2013 season, Oher was expected to leave for greener pastures as another player the Ravens drafted and groomed but would cash in on a team that wouldn't get the same production. Here we are, just a few short months later and Mr. Blindside himself was recently cut from the Tennessee Titans after just a single year.

Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

At the end of the 2013 season, Oher was expected to leave for greener pastures as another player the Ravens drafted and groomed but would cash in on a team that wouldn't get the same production. Here we are, just a few short months later and Mr. Blindside himself was recently cut from the Tennessee Titans after just a single year.

So far, there has been little to no talk of any potential suitors for Oher, which isn't surprising after you've watched tape on him and also look more into his injury history. Sadly, Oher never fully lived up to his potential here in Baltimore and then with injuries for the Titans, his worth went immediately downward.

Luckily for the Ravens, they had Ricky Wagner on the right side of the line last year. Wagner had a great year and finished as one of the best tackles in football, even if he was snubbed for a Pro Bowl nod. So why with Wagner would the Ravens be interested in former failed player Oher returning?

Well even though the offensive line had a great year overall, we saw the effect of injuries on performance both with the offensive line in 2013 and with the secondary last year. Depth that can start in a punch is something that every team tries to achieve, but most can't fulfill due to cap restraints. With Oher, the Ravens would get a decent tackle that could play on both the left and right side of the line if necessary. Oher knows what the Ravens do better than just about any other potential free agent acquisition and he is accustomed to Harbaugh and the work ethic necessary to be considered a Raven. If the worst was to happen, Oher could be a serviceable starter for the Ravens offensive line.

The biggest question as to how a possible reunion could work is what Oher would cost. Since the NFL is so early into the offseason, it isn't exactly known if Oher will gain any traction with teams later into free agency. However, he will likely have few options until well after the draft as teams figure out if they can get starters and cheap backups through their draft picks. Once the draft is finished, Oher will see his caller id start to light up, but more than likely as a single year deal to mentor a draft pick or as a depth player with no chance to start. After a single, injury plagued year that saw Oher cut at a loss to the team that just signed him, it is more likely that Oher will have few if any suitors for his services as teams will be more suspect of his play and ability to stay healthy as a starter.

The Ravens would be offering a similar situation for Oher, but with a team that doesn't have a bunch of quality depth along the offensive line and that knows what Oher can really do firsthand. As we all know, NFL teams are one hit away from losing a starter and Oher presents a good option for the Ravens and for Oher to return to a starting lineup and possibly gain some favor in the NFL again. If Oher can work on his footwork, mechanics, and get healthy again; he could get back to the hard-nosed run blocker that many Ravens fans remember from his rookie season and an adequate pass blocker. That wouldn't make him a huge commodity in the NFL, but he would definitely have a place available to him on many teams that want to establish the run and need a veteran, raising his value again.

While it wouldn't be a long term deal and it definitely wouldn't be for much money, it is a match that actually makes a lot of sense if you are both parties. It is assumed that the Ravens only didn't bring back Oher because he got offered too much money from the Titans, but I'm sure they would love to have him back at a dollar figure that matches up with what they want to do this offseason.