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Ravens make a bold move with Bulger

Baltimore adds QB with playoff experience to ensure offensive stability. Matt Bowen

Print This June 24, 2010, 06:01 AM EST

The Ravens made somewhat of a surprising move yesterday when they signed free agent QB Marc Bulger to a one-year deal for $3.8 million that can max out at $5.3 million, according to the NFP’s Aaron Wilson.

A high price to pay for a backup QB? I would say so, but this move tells us something about Baltimore and the 2010 season.

This offense under Cam Cameron will prepare, game plan and play unlike the Baltimore offenses of the past years. Yes, the running game with Ray Rice and Willis McGahee will still be the driving force of this offense, but with the addition of WR Anquan Boldin, they will get creative and they will challenge opposing defenses. I fully expect them to be more advanced and more difficult to study from a scheme perspective.

Joe Flacco is the unquestioned starter, and any attempt to spin this move otherwise isn’t worth our time today. Instead, Cameron gets a dependable backup QB that could challenge for a starting job on some clubs in the league.

Why? Because they now have a veteran QB who can step into a game, and not only manage the situation, but continue to run the game plan as if Flacco was still under center. That is why you pay top backup money for a player like Bulger. It isn’t to create controversy, but instead to guarantee that your offense doesn’t have to be simplified, or shortened because of a young and inexperienced player on the sidelines.

Too often, we see a starting QB go down and the playbook is cut in half. That offense becomes easy to read and easy to game plan for. Instead of the multiple personnel packages and different alignments, they become stale and they lack production. And, that happens when you have a player who is sitting on the sidelines without game experience.

Bulger has that, as well as playoff experience—a tough find on the open market. And, he is professional. I know Marc from way back when we were rookies training before the 2000 draft together. He will be dedicated and he will treat his job behind Flacco with professionalism. Game ready is what I like to call it.

Could the Ravens have gotten this with Troy Smith—a young QB with some upside? Maybe, but in their minds they went for the sure thing and provided this offense with the better option.

A solid move, and a bold move if you think about it. But, a move that tells us the Ravens are thinking about making a long run in January.

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