ESPN Insider posted a recent story (title above), ranking the teams in order of their predicted success three seasons into the future.
The Baltimore Ravens are known as a franchise that plays not only for the coming season, but the future as well. Their front office is reputed to be among the best in the league, hence their ability to contend year-in and year-out, as evidenced by their making the post season in each of the past five years.
The ESPN Insider article referenced above has the rankings of the NFL teams based on their future success in the 2016 season. Here is what ESPN says about the Ravens, whom they ranked fourth overall, behind the San Francisco 49ers (#1), Green Bay Packers (#2) and Seattle Seahawks (#3). The New England Patriots (#5) were ranked right after Baltimore and for information's sake, the Pittsburgh Steelers were ranked 14th overall.
The bar graphs reflect the average rating given by the voters for each category.
Category averages are weighted by importance to generate overall score.
Roster: The Super Bowl champs had a lot of turnover this past offseason, losing Ed Reed,Ray Lewis, Dannell Ellerbe and Paul Kruger, among others, but the front office once again showed why it is among the very best in the league by finding replacements for their losses at reasonable prices. The core here isn't young, though, which is a long-term concern, especially along the defensive line. -- Matt Williamson
Quarterback: The Ravens were the only organization to command a No. 1 ranking in more than one category, but QB wasn't one of them. They were tied for seventh in that critical area -- not bad, but a sign of some hesitation. Joe Flacco was so much better during the playoffs than he had been previously that some regression seems inevitable. While Flacco is signed through 2019, his contract will require revisiting before Baltimore absorbs a scheduled $28.5 million cap hit in 2016. Flacco has basically been an average starter on a very good team for most of his career. -- Sando
Draft: No team did a better job in the 2013 draft, and even after an offseason where it seemed like the Ravens lost a lot of players, in part because of a great draft, they look just as good or better on paper as the team that just brought home a title heading into 2013.Matt Elam and Arthur Brown should make a difference right away. Ozzie Newsome has put together an enviable front office and scouting staff, and the Ravens haven't traded away any future picks of value, so you can expect more of the same as long as Ozzie is in charge.-- Kiper
Front office: Under Newsome, the defending champions have reloaded and rebuilt at the same time. As usual, they have relied on defensive dominance coupled with a big-play attack led by Flacco. The one remaining question is at wide receiver, but the odds are very strong that Ozzie will find an answer. -- Polian
Coaching: Going into his sixth season in Baltimore, all John Harbaugh has done is win. He's made the playoffs every year, won at least one playoff game every year and of course won a Super Bowl. He's instilled toughness in his team, which will carry over after the losses of Reed and Lewis. This team is a perennial playoff contender with a great coach at the helm. -- Edwards