While speaking to Baltimore-area reporters Wednesday, Raiders guard Kelechi Osemele had some less-than-kind words for his former team, the Ravens, writes Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun. Osemele’s current and previous employer are set to meet in Baltimore on Sunday.
After spending the first four seasons of his career with the Ravens, Osemele headed to the Bay Area over the winter as a highly sought-after free agent. It took a five-year, $58.5MM deal for the Raiders to land Osemele, who commented on the Ravens’ offer Wednesday.
“We didn’t get close at all,” he said. “I wasn’t really offered much at all. I pretty much knew right away I was going somewhere else. Some of the things that were being brought back to me, borderline, they can hurt your feelings sometimes.”
Osemele’s assessment runs contrary to what head coach John Harbaugh said in February, notes Zrebiec. Back then, Harbaugh stated the Ravens had been “really aggressive” in trying to re-sign Osemele and he added that the offer that was on the table at the time “shows a lot of respect for K.O.” Regardless, Osemele knew entering last season that it might be his last in Baltimore.
“I talked to Torrey Smith about it and some other guys that ended up leaving and they kind of told me that it might be a situation where Baltimore won’t pay me enough for me to stay, and it’s something that does happen with that organization because they’re able to find so many young players,” he said. “I was prepared for it. There were even some people in the organization that approached me about it and told me about it prior to the year.”
Like Osemele, Smith parlayed a four-year Ravens tenure into a sizable payday in the Bay Area. Smith is with the 49ers, though, having inked a four-year, $40MM contract with the club in March 2015.
Osemele also revealed Wednesday that there’s a Ravens coach he didn’t get along with during his time there, but he declined to identify which member of Harbaugh’s staff it is. Despite both that and his unhappiness with the Ravens’ efforts to retain him, Osemele doesn’t have hard feelings for the franchise.
“I love the city and I love the organization,” he said. “I believe in what they do for the community and what they represent. But I’m somewhere else now. I’m 100 percent all in with the Raiders’ organization. We’re going to go in there on Sunday and put on a good performance.”
It’s early, of course, but Sunday’s matchup could have playoff implications down the line. The Osemele-less Ravens are off to a 3-0 start, while the Raiders have begun 2-1 as they look to break a 13-year postseason drought.
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