Last season, the Baltimore Ravens won Super Bowl XLVII. The odds of repeating are stacked against them according to recent NFL history. After the first few weeks of free agency, those odds got a lot longer, as the retirement of Ray Lewis and Matt Birk was further piled on by the losses of five more starters on the defensive side of the ball as well as another on offense in addition to Birk.
Along with Ray Lewis and Matt Birk, Ed Reed, Bernard Pollard, Paul Kruger, Dannell Ellerbe, Cary Williams and Anquan Boldin, the Ravens chances seemed to be slim and none, with the bar a lot closer to none than slim!
Then, GM Ozzie Newsome went to work and as of this writing, not only has he added depth, but the talent and youth he has brought on may have the team in a stronger position now than they were headed into last season.Questions remain at key positions, but the critical nature of where they now stand headed into the draft is a mere shadow compared to when the players first left.
Those questions still remain at safety, inside linebacker, offensive tackle and wide receiver, but the team now has players on their roster capable of starting, and still could upgrade through the draft and free agency, depending on what happens over the next couple of months.
The free agent signings have bolster this roster and while the players who will ultimately step onto the field to start are not quite certain here in mid-April, the team is assured of having more quality depth now than at any other time over the last five-plus seasons under the tenure of head coach John Harbaugh.
The 2013 regular season is a little less than five months away and a lot can happen during this time, including the draft and the end of this month. In the meantime, between that, more free agency and roster cut-downs in June, the Ravens are by far in a better position than any of the other three teams in the AFC North and while no longer the favorites to repeat as either AFC Conference nor Super Bowl Champions, this team remains built for the playoffs and a sixth consecutive post season appearance is firmly within their reach.