But, IMO, the question of whether Jones will be our KR next year is very much up in the air at this point. The Ravens will have to pay him $4M to keep him next year. Prior to the season, I would have said (actually did say) that there was probably no way they would pay him that.
Now, though, I'm not so sure.
Assuming he continues to play the way that he has, it's going to be very interesting to see what they decide to do. They are going to be very tight against the Cap and if they have to franchise Flacco, they are going to need every available Cap dollar. As such, Jones making $4M seems like a bit of a stretch, but it's also very hard to see them letting go of him after a success, productive season (again, assuming he keeps it up).
EDIT: Although, if they were to release Boldin - thereby saving $6M in Cap space - they could probably more afford to keep Jones and his $4M in salary and roster bonus (not that I'm advocating that).
So cutting JJ, Williams, and Birk, should theoretically save over 5 million in cap space next year, am I right? And don't forget about the possibility of Ray Lewis retiring or being cut him self (dare I say it).
I don't want to have to cut Boldin either, but at some point, you have to ask yourself are we getting what we are paying for.
60-70 receptions for 900 yards isn't worth a $9+ million cap number IMHO. And he's at that age where he is on the decline.
We hear all the talk about how some of Joe's struggles are because none of his WR's get open...that includes Boldin.
I agree with you that Jones and Boldin are difficult contract situations for the team. Does the team keep either, or both? In terms of on-field performance, Jones IMO has impressed to the degree that it's not out of the question to ask if he should be a starter. However, if he were to start, I doubt Harbaugh would want to keep him at both PR and KR full-time--that's too much of a workload especially given that he's already giving up some time at #3 WR to Doss.
Boldin is best playing the slot full-time, but in that context does he really offer 6m more worth of value above Tandon Doss? In limited action Doss has also been quite impressive IMO, with perhaps the best hands on the team and comparable YAC ability. If Doss is ready to step up and replace Boldin do you let Boldin go and keep Jones including a possible restructure?
I guess the bottom line is I don't think you keep both contract-year WRs, and Jones may be the more likely of the two. I never would have thought I'd say that last August, and I still love Boldin, but the team has to make a business decision. I like a depth chart of Smith-Jones-Doss-Streeter-Williams (and/or Thompson, depending on if they keep 6.)
I'd like to get some savings out of Boldin for sure...whichever method we choose.
I could definitely live with Doss in the slot. I just hope he's not all fragile like DWill back in the day. We'll find out with more snaps...which I hope to see as the season moves along. Right now, he's developing, but I'd like to see him statistically perform more.
FWIW, he ran 4.5s at his personal pro day, so the speed is there, and the hands look pretty sure.
I think Boldin is not suited for this stupid offense. If we ran a Pro Set/ West Coast hybrid of some type, he'd be fine. You need burners to get open in the Cam Coryell....
I'm not saying that they will release him, but with their Cap situation, it's definitely a possibility. Not having him around will be a loss - big loss, IMO, because of his veteran presence and the respect other teams have for him - but, at a $6M base salary, you have to wonder.
Thanks to Cam (here we go again!) we never got the Boldin we thought we'd get. From a value perspective, Doss can probably give us a good return on our cap investment. Our D is mired in the past (Ray, Ed), let's hope the O can stay young and exciting.
I was one that was good with signing him. I thought he was better than what he was in Houston, and definitely better than Housh or Evans. I'm just glad he's proving that.
With all this said about Boldin, when he gets going he takes over games. We've seen this, he can put in performances where he just bitchslaps CBs, and he is still capable of that. I don't think he's done, but he probably just needs to be employed more thoughtfully.
Boldin is still probably our best receiver and shows up when the team needs him to in clutch situations. Look at the Cleveland game, he came up big with that reception in the TD drive which won us the game, and when he can be used correctly, IMO he is actually worth the money. The problem is, if you cut Jacoby Jones and Boldin, and go with Tandon Doss, and a draft pick to replace them, you are probably going to see a down year from Flacco, like in 2011 when he lost Heap and Mason. If the Ravens are going to pay Flacco big bucks, they are going to need him to back the money up with better statistics, and I'm just not quite sure if Doss is going to be good enough.
They are not going to cut Jones and Boldin.