Just like I was high on Doss, once upon a time; I was actually down on Kruger. I didn't think he had it in him, and whether 2012 was a flash or the beginning of a trend, he's come a long way as a pro. If I was a Ute', I'd be thumping my chest over the guy.
In this win-now league though, Kruger is going to get paid, and that's great for him.
I just have a hard time throwing $8-10M/per at a guy who I think is interchangeable/replaceable.
Did teams have to game-plan for Kruger last year? Doubt it. It's not like he was Dwight Freeney in his prime, even with his cool spin move.
Those who are miffed that Kruger didn't put it all together until he was a short-timer here should credit whatever shit-for-brains-trust on the coaching staff decided to bulk him up into a defensive end. That stalled his development for at least a year & more like 18 months. Frankly I was surprised he sounded willing to come back at all. I don't recall what geenyuss thought that one up but I presume he's gone (Gramps?).
He can't stop the run, at all. He can drop into zone coverage a little bit, but his pass rush ability is all that he really brings to the table. He is mostly splash and little substance. If you expect him to be a three down player, you are not getting a 10 million dollar player. If you sign him, understanding that he is a pass rusher and only a pass rusher, who likely needs to be a compliment to another pass rusher, it doesn't matter what you pay for him, because you understand what you are getting.
Personally, I think somebody is going to be disappointed.
The Ravens, better than most teams, do a good job of keeping the right guys. That is why so many players leave the team, getting overpaid in FA, and not producing with their future teams.
It's amazing how posters here like to shit on the Ravens best pass rusher last year by far. He also played 90 percent of snaps throughout the playoffs. He was an every down player.
Jarret Johnson played a role for the team. They drafted Courtney Upshaw, because he fit the role that they envisioned for that position on the field.
Kruger just got wiped out in run defense, and sometimes by the TE alone.
JJ just got wiped out in passing situations, sometimes by a TE alone.
See what I did there?
Neither was a complete player yet Kruger gets crapped on repeatedly. And JJ is remembered as an amazing defender.
The thing with Kruger and Upshaw is they were the PERFECT compliment to one another.
However, you don't pay a compliment 9-10 mil/year. You find another defensive pass rusher. Can someone like Hamilton come in and do the same thing? Maybe not be as good, but he could compliment Upshaw quite well and fill the pass rusher role.
With a guy like Upshaw, we don't need to go get a complete OLB, we need a guy who can get the QB.
Therefore, don't pay Kruger
Johnson wasn't asked to cover in man. He was only asked to cover in zone and he covered his zone.
Don't worry though, you'll barely remember Kruger after the season Upshaw is about to have. 7-10 sacks, on top of being one of the league's best edge setters.
I'm not going to beat up Krueger, I think he'll sign for more money that we have. Trying to turn him into a DE didn't work but I understand in the sense that he wasn't getting on the field with Suggs and JJ locking up the OLB positions so they experimented with him. He was a starter at the beginning of the year and wasn't very impressive until Suggs came back. He does possess some nice pass rushing skills and we'll see if he improves or fizzles. I don't think we've scratched the surface of Upshaw's potential and he is the obvious future. Draft or pick up a cheap pass rusher in free agency but don't be surprised if Upshaw becomes more of a presence there.
BTW I do not think Kruger is a bad player even if I seem to. He's a good player and I would love to keep him if we could, but he seems to think he's a 15 sack guy and frankly, he's not. He seems to overvalue himself, and will likely be overvalued by other teams as well, much like several other former Ravens defenders.
Not Buffalo. They gave Swan Edwards a ton of money he didn't get elsewhere and Kruger will too and they are interested in him. There's a reason why the Buffalo's of the world remain at the bottom and the Ravens remain on top. Ravens sign the Flacco's and Rice's and let the JJ's and Kruger's walk.
"neither was a complete player" those are the key words. Guys like that are great to have around at your price to be used at your discretion. When the price goes to high let someone else pay it.