Baltimore general manager Ozzie Newsome essentially squashed speculation that the Ravens might pursue Wallace, the most high-profile restricted free agent this year.
“The problem with going after restricted free agents, at that point, the player and the agent have the leverage because you have to do a deal that you don’t think the other team is going to match,” Newsome said Friday afternoon at the NFL combine. “Will some teams do it? I mean there are some teams that have two [first round picks] this year. Could they do it? Possibly. But they’ll be thinking about all of those other ramifications.”
I'm scratching my head over this one. It's in the Ravens' best interest to put up a good front about having interest in Wallace, whether they genuinely do or not. The Steelers are your chief rival. They are in a salary-cap predicament. Wouldn't you want to put pressure on the Steelers to use the franchise tag (which would use up $9.4 million in cap room) instead of the first-round tender (which is $2.7 million)?
Newsome has one of the game's best poker faces, but he chose to show all of his cards this time. He really went out of his way to tell everyone that the Ravens don't need Wallace.
When asked if the Ravens needed a deep threat, even with the addition of Torrey Smith, Newsome responded, "Did you watch us play this year? Do you think we need a deep threat now?"
The Steelers thank Newsome for his honesty. Now all they have to do is get the New England Patriots and San Francisco 49ers -- two teams who are expected to show interest in Wallace -- to be as candid as the Ravens.