One of the better players predicted to hit free agency this off-season is Paul Kruger of the Baltimore Ravens, generating a lot of interest among NFL teams due to his impressive sack numbers last season. However, the Seattle Seahawks, initially interested in the player, might not be the ideal next team for Kruger.
Kruger had a great year, which happens quite often for players on their contract year. Recording nine sacks last season and 4.5 during the playoffs, including two in the Super Bowl, means he’s going to be one of the more highly pursued pass-rushers if not the most. However, Kruger will probably be looking for a big contract, somewhere around the $35-40 million, which causes teams to look a bit closer at what he brings to the table.
It’s been suggested that the Indianapolis Colts might be very interested in Kruger, somewhat due to his Chuck Pagano ties, who used to be the DC for the Ravens. The Seattle Seahawks, who have a question at DE because Chris Clemons underwent surgery to repair a torn ACL, will probably need to add another pass-rusher to the mix, despite the potential of 2012 draft pick Bruce Irvin to play a bigger part after recording 8 sacks last season.
The thing with Kruger is the price he might be asking for, not his ability. Before Terrell Suggs returned from his injury midway through the season, Kruger had 8 sacks in 42 games for the Ravens. He registered 7.5 of his 9 sacks in the regular season during the final eight weeks; after Suggs returned. Kind of like the Aldon-Justin Smith issue in San Francisco. There’s a chance that Kruger was so productive not because of the contract year, but because defenses focus more on a more dangerous threat when it comes to the pass-rush.
It doesn’t mean Kruger is a bad player – you still need to be good enough to exploit the opportunity given to you. It just means the Seahawks, needing a pass-rusher as insurance at least, if not for more, might not be so high on Kruger knowing he’s likely to ask for a contract worthy of more capable players.