On paper, which Ravens’ team do you prefer? The 2014 Ravens who advanced to the divisional round? Or next year’s team that hopes to go farther?
Obviously, the Ravens haven’t set their final 53-man roster. But the heavy lifting is done.
The Ravens took some major hits during free agency, losing wide receiver Torrey Smith (49ers), outside linebacker Pernell McPhee (Bears) and tight end Owen Daniels (Broncos). They traded five-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Haloti Ngata to the Lions, after the Ravens and Ngata could not agree to a restructured deal. Jacoby Jones, the team’s best returner, was released and picked up by the Chargers.
However, the Ravens have reacted aggressively. Offensively, their first two draft picks were weapons to help quarterback Joe Flacco – wide receiver Breshad Perriman and tight end Maxx Williams. They re-signed running back Justin Forsett. Another draft pick, Buck Allen, will compete to be Forsett’s backup. They also acquired a veteran backup quarterback, Matt Schaub, for insurance in case Flacco finally misses a game.
Defensively, cornerback Kyle Arrington and safety Kendrick Lewis have been signed to bolster a secondary ravaged by injuries last season. Fourth-round pick Za’Darius Smith has promise as a pass rusher.
With cornerback Jimmy Smith expected to return healthy from foot surgery, are the Ravens a better team entering 2015 than they were after losing to the Patriots in the playoffs? Let me know what you think in the comments section, or feel free to respond at Twitter - @CliftonBrownCSN or on Facebook.