Should The Ravens Have Brought Back Lardarius Webb?

As all fans know by now, the Ravens have resigned safety Lardarius Webb to a three-year deal, according to the Baltimore Ravens website. However, he took a $3.4 million pay cut.

Webb was released on March 10, saving the team $5.5 million in cap space. He was resigned this week to a $5.1 million contract that could be worth up to $10.3 million. This includes a $1.2 million sign-in bonus and a $1.4 million yearly incentive bonus. He could clean up with fumble recoveries and interceptions! That pay cut would be minimal, almost forgettable.

There is much talk on social media about Webb’s return. Should he have been brought back? “He’s too old” or “He can’t cover anybody.” That are some of the comments I have seen on Facebook. I like Webb but let’s face facts, he was definitely not a top cornerback. He could get into good position for a tackle but he did not have the athleticism or speed to run down a faster receiver. His contract was restructured twice; once in 2014 and in 2015. He has suffered multiple injuries as cornerback: thigh strain, knee, two torn ACLs.

Last season, Webb converted to safety in 2016 and played opposite Eric Weddle, a 3x Pro Bowler and ranked as one of the best safeties in 2015. Webb was average in the early part of the season, but he picked up in the latter half.  Here are some of his highlights from last season, courtesy of The Ravens Space.

 

I would say, yes, it was a good idea to bring him back. Although 31 is getting old in football terms, he still have some years left, barring any injuries. The Ravens released him to save cap and resigned him at a cheaper price. That was a good business move. He probably had to get acclimated to the new position which could be a reason for the slow start. His new contract includes incentives. That should be enough motivation to keep making interceptions and causing fumbles.

Webb was ranked 16th best safety by Pro Football Focus in 2016. A cornerback must be fast, change directions quickly and run backwards. Safeties play mainly in the middle of the field. Maybe the position of  safety is his calling if last season is any indication.

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