Boldin was replaced by upgrades to the defense. That's what Ozzie told Peter King. We often look at individual units and positions but to Ozzie it's all part of the big cap picture which is why he sticks to the right player at the right price model that he has talked about for years. It a very interesting article.

So, as many of you know, I have pointed out (harangued?) that I thought the Ravens should have paid Anquan Boldin his full 2013 salary, $6 million, instead of trying to trim it. Now it looks like an absolute gimme decision—if GM Ozzie Newsome had to do it all over again, with his intermediate and deep middle passing game wiped out without Boldin and Joe Flacco favorite Dennis Pitta, surely he’d have kept Boldin for $6 million.

Or no.

“The acquisitions of Elvis Dumervil and Michael Huff are a direct result of the money we saved from that contract,” Newsome told me, watching practice at the Ravens’ facility. “And other guys we got—Chris Canty, Marcus Spears, Daryl Smith—were helped by the savings. So if you ask the question, you can’t just say, ‘Do you wish you kept him?’ You also have to look at the unintended consequences of your actions.”

Newsome’s point: Baltimore went into cap jail after winning the last Super Bowl 13 years ago, then paying dearly to keep the team of aging vets together. So he could have paid Boldin, and then mortgaged the future to sign Dumervil and Huff and others. Or he could have not paid Boldin, signed some solid players to repair his defense, and been in good cap condition in the coming years. That’s the route he chose. It could doom the Ravens this year if Flacco struggles and can’t make the kinds of plays he made in the postseason last year with Boldin; remember the sideline throw a scrambling Flacco made on the game-winning Super Bowl drive, with Boldin fighting and winning a battle with Carlos Rogers for the ball? It’s no lock he made the right call. But he made the call he’s comfortable with, and he knows the team, and its fans, will be happy he did in 2014. For now? Time will tell.

But look at this stat first:

Boldin’s 2013 cap number in San Francisco: $6.0 million.

Combined Baltimore cap numbers of defensive starters Dumervil, Huff, Canty and Smith (courtesy of $6.47 million.

Or, looking at it the way the Ravens like to: Boldin for one year … or Dumervil for five, Huff for three, Canty for three and Smith for one.

“You have to have an owner who understands the long haul, and I’m fortunate that Steve Bisciotti does,” said Newsome. “When Dumervil came free, unexpected of course, we weren’t looking to spend that kind of money (five years, $27 million), but Steve’s point was, ‘We’re going to be winning, and we’ll never be able to get a pass rusher like that in the draft where we’ll be picking.’ That’s really beneficial for a GM like me, to have an owner who can see down the road and see the big picture.”

But Newsome knows there will be some 2013 pain for some long-term gain. “I took a safety net from Joe, and I’m well aware of that,” Newsome said. “I’ve been a safety net for Brian Sipe and Bernie Kosar, so I understand what he’ll be missing.”