Interior offensive lineman A.Q. Shipley has been acquired by the Baltimore Ravens in a trade with the Indianapolis Colts, as first reported by CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora. The Ravens' announcement of the trade stated that a conditional 2014 draft pick was sent to Indianapolis.
Shipley plays center, and saw the first playing time of his career when starter Samson Satele went down with injury last season. Satele is rather injury-prone, so Shipley still seemingly had some value for Indianapolis.
That said, the Colts drafted Khaled Holmes out of USC in the fourth round of the 2013 NFL Draft. They haven't seen Holmes on the field yet since he's a rookie, but trading Shipley has to be a big vote of confidence for their rookie, given Satele's health issues.
Over at Stampede Blue, Brad Wells is scratching his head as to why this move was made:
On the surface, this trade makes absolutely no sense. Shipley played better than Satele did last season, and comes at a much cheaper price. Even if Indianapolis has faith in Holmes as the potential new starter at center, rookie minicamp begins today. They haven't even seen Holmes in practice yet!
The Ravens lost center Matt Birk to retirement this offseason, but had Gino Gradkowski waiting in the wings to take over. Shipley will likely serve as the backup to Gradkowski next season, or at least, that's how the Ravens likely have it drawn up. As to whether or not Shipley can compete with Gradkowski for the starting job, that's up for debate. Sixth-round draft pick Ryan Jensen could also be in the mix.