Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports
The Ravens offensive line was much better in the playoffs once they added left tackle Bryant McKinnie back into the mix. Can they afford to keep him another year.
All season Baltimore Ravens fans were clamoring for the team to make use of left tackle Bryant McKinnie on the offensive line. Come playoff time the Ravens did exactly that, moving Michael Oher to right tackle and rookie Kelechi Osemele to left guard.
The proof was in the pudding, Baltimore's offensive line was dominant from that point on, allowing quarterback Joe Flacco to throw for 11 touchdowns and no interceptions in the playoffs. Flacco was able to stay upright in the pocket and had the confidence in his line to keep looking down field and deliver accurate throws to his receivers.
The Ravens will be facing several tough decisions this off season regarding their personnel. They are right up against the salary cap as it is and will need to try and resign several of their key contributors on offense and defense to stay competitive.
Over the past few seasons McKinnie has had trouble with his off season conditioning and put himself at odds with both the Minnesota Vikings and the Baltimore Ravens coaching staffs. The Ravens will probably have to look for some other long term solution at left tackle whether the choose to sign McKinnie again or not but I don't think it would hurt to try and retain him with another incentive laden deal like the one they used this season. Although I hope they choose to use him during the regular season as well. Unfortunately, that may be a decision that "Big Mac" has to make for himself as he seems to be his own worst enemy in most cases.
The Ravens will be the last team to draft in the first round barring any big draft day trades, so they probably will not be able to draft a top offensive lineman in this years class, unless they strike gold with one of their later picks. They most likely will not have the money to make any big moves in free agency for a left tackle either. So when it comes down to it. McKinnie may very well be the teams best option again this season. Either that or go back to the Michael Oher experiment that has shown to be fruitless for the past few seasons.