As the glory of the Baltimore Ravens' magical Super Bowl run begins to fade, many fans are left wondering what's next for the purple-birds after reaching the pinnacle of the NFL.
Following the hoisting of the Lombardi trophy, the Baltimore Ravens experienced a purge of veteran players. A mass exodus of free-agents left Charm City in the search of "greener" pastures, Ray Lewis unfortunately finally decided to hang up his cleats, and Anquan Boldin was "Ed Monix'd" to the San Francisco 49ers. To many pundits in the sports media world, the Baltimore Ravens have already been written off as dead-on-arrival following the various key-losses this offseason.
It seems as if every year the Baltimore Ravens go through this cycle; they lose a few good players, the "experts" try to explain why they can't conceivably win with their rag-tag roster, Ozzie Newsome makes a handful of under-the-radar moves for impact players, and the Baltimore Ravens go out and kick ass. So what's different about this year? Nothing really, besides the extent of the cycle.
The only difference between this year and years past is that this year the cycle is slightly larger than usual. While the Baltimore Ravens have been marred by various different losses this offseason, Ozzie Newsome is doing what he does best; reloading the team with the best possible players. While we may have lost the likes of Ray Lewis and Ed Reed, we have also acquired the likes of guys like Elvis Dumervil and high-talent rookies such as Arthur Brown and Matt Elam. While some may argue that there are still "holes yet to be filled", perhaps the matter of the fact is that the players we need to be successful are already on the team and it is simply their turn to step up and show off their talent.
Now the Baltimore Ravens will certainly not be the same team they were a year ago, but that is what the exciting part of being a Ravens fan is. We are not a great empire crumbling to ruins, as much as the pundits would like to think so, but we are a simply an empire transitioning from the era of one great king to the next. A new era has begun.