Monday, October 21, 2013
Trading Bryant McKinnie comes with a risk
By Jamison Hensley
OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh acknowledged the team is trading offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie to the Miami Dolphins for a conditional late-round draft pick.
What does this say? The Dolphins are extremely desperate for a starting tackle and the Ravens just wanted to get rid of McKinnie. Acquiring a late-round pick is better than simply cutting McKinnie, but this comes with a risk -- albeit a small one.
The Ravens are going with rookie fifth-round pick Rick Wagner as their primary backup at tackle. McKinnie never looked great this season, but Wagner seemed overmatched when he filled in for Michael Oher in the season opener. The chances that the Ravens will need Wagner are small considering the durability of Oher and left tackle Eugene Monroe.
Harbaugh and the Ravens already showed they had more faith in Wagner over McKinnie the past two weeks, when they decided to make McKinnie, and not Wagner, inactive.
"It's a good move for us, I think it's a good move for Bryant," Harbaugh said. "Happy for Bryant. I think it's a good opportunity for him, more than anything."
McKinnie was a source of frustration for most of his short time with the Ravens, from his weight issues to the party bus incident. But he did play a major role in the Ravens' Super Bowl title last season. After getting benched in the regular season, he solidified the blind side in the postseason, allowing two sacks despite going against Dwight Freeney, Elvis Dumervil and Aldon Smith.
That's why the Ravens gave McKinnie a two-year, $6.3 million contract (which included a $2 million signing bonus) in the offseason, a deal that looks foolish at this point.
The Ravens should be happy if they can get a seventh-round pick from Miami because they basically got nothing from McKinnie all season.