The Baltimore Ravens have been decimated on the defensive side of the ball in the early days of free agency. No less than five starters have either been released, retired or signed with other teams and if free safety Ed Reed signs as expected with the Houston Texans today, it will be six.
Ray Lewis (retired), Paul Kruger (signed with Cleveland Browns), Dannell Ellerbe (signed with Miami Dolphins), Cary Williams (signed with Philadelphia Eagles), Bernard Pollard (released) and Reed were all significant contributors to the team's Super Bowl XLVII victory a little over a month ago and are now no longer wearing purple.
However, all is not lost and while the Ravens proved with all the injuries they had during the 2012 season that they had depth in all positions, that depth is very thin now and the team will have to reload, be it through the NFL Draft or sifting through the remains of veteran free agents for affordable bargains.
One of them could be former Steelers outside linebacker James Harrison,who was released by his team. Harrison terrorized Ravens quarterbacks in his ten years with the team and now could be a solid situational pass rusher for his arch-rival and do the same to Ben Roethlisberger. He had six sacks and two forced fumbles along with 70 combination tackles last season in 13 games.
Imagine it's third-and-long for the Ravens 2013 opponent. The QB steps to the line of scrimmage, looks to the left and sees Terrell Suggs with his hand in the dirt. To his right, Harrison is creeping to towards the line. Scanning the middle, he sees Haloti Ngata growling, Courtney Upshaw, Pernell McPhee and/or newly signed Chris Canty.
Sound good to you?