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Should The Ravens Have Let McAlister Go?

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Most people who watched the New Orleans Saints dominate the New England Patriots last Monday Night were no doubt impressed with their offensive firepower. But instead I was really focused on the Saints defense because an old friend of the purple and black was finally back in uniform.

I wanted to see if Chris McAlister could still play football.

Most of the night the former first round pick of the Ravens was matched up against one of the league’s best in Randy Moss and though I’ve read a variety of reviews on his performance I feel that he was pretty average. He gave up a few plays and covered well on some others.

But it’s led me to wonder if it was a good move for the Ravens brass to let McAlister go in February?

The secondary has been one of the biggest concerns this season. Fabian Washington had just started to play better in the last few games before he was lost for the year to an ACL injury. Domonique Foxworth’s troubles have been well documented all over the web as he continues to slip out of breaks on a daily basis. Samari Rolle hasn’t been able to stay healthy and will most likely be forced to retire at the end of year. Chris Carr has been medoicre at best as the nickel back and only rookie Lardarius Webb is a consistent presence in coverage.

Would a now healthy McAlister be an asset to this group and the team?

It seems that right now he would be an upgrade over most anything else they currently have at the position aside from Webb but it isn’t that simple.

McAlister’s health has been a concern for the past few seasons. He missed 18 games over the last two years with various injuries but most notably his knees. So one of the reasons he was let go was that his exit physical didn’t look good. It’s also interesting to note that he didn’t get signed until November. He’s needed to pass a physical for months to get signed by several teams who have shown interest in his services. So if he were still with the team would he have even been able to play until the Browns game a few weeks ago?

His attitude during his whole ten year career in Baltimore has often been a problem. But, honestly those things can get worked out when you perform at a high level. Which the three-time Pro Bowler did time and again. However it came to a head when he was benched last season during the Miami game in Week Seven. He was said to have clashed openly with Harbaugh, even questioning his authority over the team.

But whomever you want to blame the scenario still adds up to an aging player with a history of injury problems, who is openly fighting with the new staff and has diminishing skills at age thirty two.It made sense to me at the time and it still makes sense that they chose to cut him loose even with all the issues at corner.

As far as the future is concerned. Webbs like the real deal and a starter for years to come. It looks like Washington probably won’t be back. The staff will need to keep working with Foxworth who still has two years left on his contract and try to see if they can get anything from their investment. It’s clear that Baltimore will have to see if the fere agent class for corners is any better or they will have to draft at the position again next April.

Sometimes people need a change of scenery and for McAlister and the Ravens it was simply time to part ways.


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