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Has Charm City lost its charm?

Is the allure of being a Raven still present?

Baltimore Ravens v Cleveland Browns Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

When Mike Wallace took a relatively cheap deal with the Eagles to compete for a Super Bowl, something clicked in my head, “Is the golden age of Ravens football over?”

It’s only fair to ask, considering Wallace stated he was no longer chasing dollars, but instead championships. While we don’t know if the Ravens were one of the teams that offered Wallace more money than the Eagles, given the state of the receivers in Charm City, it’s fair to assume they offered him something.

Over the last few years, players such as Eric Weddle, Jeremy Maclin, Steve Smith and even Wallace have signed with Baltimore because of the success the team had during the early years of John Harbaugh’s tenure. While that success has slowly evaporated in recent years, you can’t help but wonder how that impacts the Ravens in the free agent market. Sure, they signed Michael Crabtree, but there’s a likelihood money played a role in that.

It’s hard to look at this offseason and say the charm has worn off. The Ravens are cash strapped by contracts given out in years past, but if there was a veteran free agent to be had, the Ravens always had him. This offseason, prior to the Jordy Nelson domino, the best the Ravens could come up with was an obscure receiver who had his deal voided by a physical.

Ndamukong Suh took less money to play with the championship contending Rams, Kirk Cousins joined the Vikings, Wallace, along with former Raven Haloti Ngata, signed with the Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles for another shot at a championship. Wallace could’ve stayed in the AFC, the weaker conference, with the Ravens with a potentially easier path to the playoffs and ultimately the Super Bowl, but maybe he didn't see it that way. Maybe Wallace didn’t view the Ravens as a championship organization. Maybe fewer players around the league do.

Part of the Ravens success has been scouting players in the NFL and bringing them to Baltimore to contribute in one way or another. Justin Forsett was a scrap heap player, Steve Smith was an old possession receiver, Daryl Smith was an older linebacker, Elvis Dumervil was a quality pass rusher with something left in the tank. All of these players were past their primes but at the point of their careers where they could still be key contributors to a championship-caliber team.

Again, because of their cap situation, this offseason isn’t the best indication of how players around the league view the Ravens, but it’s fair to ask: with the losses piling up, has Charm City lost its charm?