Monday, February 4, 2013
Where will Kruger land?
By Tim Kavanagh
As with every other NFL team, the Baltimore Ravens have difficult decisions to make regarding their own free agents this offseason, and now that their season has officially concluded, we can move ahead with the discussion on that topic. While the business relationships between the franchise and stars Joe Flacco and Ed Reed may get more attention, one of the other key defensive players has also played out the final game on his current contract: pass-rusher Paul Kruger.
"The Ravens know I want to come back," Kruger declared Sunday night, per the Baltimore Sun. "My focus is on the Super Bowl, and the chips will fall where they may. ... I don't know what else I can do. I just have to let it happen and let my agent do his job. I would love to be here, but it's not up to me."
The Ravens' cap situation is tricky this offseason, as they have to try and fit in the new deals for Flacco, Reed and others while cutting others. If Kruger is allowed to explore free agency, there will certainly be some interested suitors, and that could include the team that plays in the city that just hosted the Super Bowl, the New Orleans Saints. The Saints are reportedly switching to a 3-4 defensive alignment, and though the Ravens aren't exclusively a 3-4 team, Kruger is quite familiar with the concepts involved.
Perhaps the most logical connection for Kruger -- if he hits free agency -- is to reunite with former Ravens DC Chuck Pagano, now the HC of the Indianapolis Colts. Colts pass-rusher Dwight Freeney is a UFA this offseason, and the buzz we've heard is that he wants to go back to playing DE in a 4-3 defense. The Colts will have the cap space to make Kruger a very competitive offer, and Pagano will know first-hand what he can bring to the table for him in 2013 and beyond.