What does Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti have to say about a disappointing 5-11 season? We’ll find out Thursday afternoon at 2, when Bisciotti joins general manager Ozzie Newsome, team president Dick Cass, and coach John Harbaugh at the annual “State of the Ravens” press conference.
It will be interesting. Bisciotti rarely speaks to the media, and he can’t be happy about what transpired. The Ravens missed the postseason for the second time in three years, and were realistically out of contention by Halloween after starting 1-6.
Inquiring minds want to know:
1. What are the organization’s priorities heading into free agency and the draft?
The Ravens hold the No. 6 pick, and they need playmakers on both sides of the football. They haven’t made a top-10 pick since 2003, when they took outside linebacker Terrell Suggs at No. 10. That was an impact pick for the Ravens, and they need impact draft picks this season to close the talent gap between them and the AFC North’s two playoff teams – the Bengals and Steelers.
2. What are the team’s plans at left tackle?
Kelechi Osemele, who will be a free agent, ended the season as the starting left tackle after moving from left guard. Eugene Monroe, who still has three years left on a five-year, $37.5 million contract, has been unable to stay healthy the last few years. Will the Ravens push hard to re-sign Osemele, are they ready to part with Monroe, or will they consider taking a left tackle high in the draft, despite having so many other needs?
3. Is Suggs still a major part of the team’s plans?
Recovering from his Week 1 season-ending Achilles injury, Suggs didn’t speak with the media on locker room cleanout day. He was in a walking boot Dec. 27 while watching the Ravens beat the Steelers. Asked Monday if he had talked to Suggs about rehabbing, wide receiver Steve Smith cryptically said, “Suggs is a little vulnerable right now. So I’m not going to talk to Suggs about it. He’s not a ray of sunshine like he usually is.” Suggs is the Ravens’ all-time sack leader with 106½, but he’s also 33 years old.
4. How worried is Bisciotti about successfully restructuring quarterback joe Flacco’s contract?
Flacco’s salary cap number for next season is $28.55 million, and the six-year, $120.6 million deal that he signed in 2012 needs to be reworked to give the Ravens more offseason flexibility. Flacco wants the Ravens to have more salary cap room to acquire more weapons, but negotiations involving that much cash are not simple.
5. Is Harbaugh planning any coaching staff changes?
With NFL coaches being fired left and right, Harbaugh is safe. But will his staff return intact after his worst season as a head coach?