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Lardarius Webb isn't essential for Ravens success

At this phase, Lardarius Webb is not essential for Ravens success.

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Lardarius Webb has gone from being a Ravens star to playing for his Ravens career. That's what happens when two ACL tears and a back injury sap your speed. Webb went from being a top 20 corner in 2013 to being a mediocre corner in a 2014 season that was marred by injuries.

The Ravens don't need to have Lardarius Webb on the field to succeed. Young up-and-coming stars like Jimmy Smith, Will Hill, and Kendrick Lewis are all more essential for the Ravens to have a successful pass defense. Jimmy is a legitimate shutdown corner. The secondary faltered in his absence and no one was able to stop the hemorrhaging. The same can not be said of the secondary during Webb's four game absence. Will Hill is an elite safety. He's a top five player at his position in the NFL. The same cannot be said of Lardarius Webb any more. And Kendrick Lewis has been more of a playmaker than Webb has been in recent years.

When Lardarius Webb was absent in practice, Rashaan Melvin was able to replace him and hold his own. That dispels any notion of Webb being an irreplaceable player on the defense, which could be a deciding factor in what moves the Ravens make with Lardarius Webb after the 2015 season, especially after the Webb agreed to a new deal that reduced his cap hit after the season.

Unfortunately for Webb, he's the past, not the present, nor the future.