The 2014 has come to a close.
The Ravens came within a few plays of advancing to their third AFC championship in four seasons, but the top-seeded New England Patriots managed to pull off a comeback victory to end Baltimore’s season.
Now the focus shifts to another offseason, and here are the 10 biggest questions facing the Ravens over the next few months:
Which free agents can Ravens keep?
Just like every season, the Ravens have a number of key players set to hit the open free agency market. Of the 31 pending restricted and unrestricted free agents, headlining this year’s list are wide receiver
Extension for Ngata?
One way to help free up some salary cap space is to work out a contract extension with defensive lineman
Any players retire?
How do Ravens help the secondary?
An area where the Ravens need some reinforcements is in the secondary, where the group was hit hard with injuries this season. Cornerback
How do Ravens recover from injuries?
The injury bug struck hard in Baltimore this year. The Ravens finished the season with 19 players on injured reserve, including several key starters. The Under Armour Performance Center will be busy with players rehabbing during the offseason months, including starters like Jimmy Smith, right tackle
Will Dennis Pitta play again?
As Pitta works to recover from his second serious hip injury in as many seasons, the question still remains whether he will be able to make a full recovery. Pitta and the Ravens have maintained that he hopes to play again and has been given no indication from doctors that his hip injuries are career threatening. Pitta suffered a fractured and dislocated hip on his same hip in back-to-back years, but he could return next season depending on how he reacts to the months of rehab.
What does the backfield look like?
The Ravens’ backfield went through a significant transition this year, as the team cut Pro Bowler Ray Rice and Forsett emerged as a quality starter. Forsett is now set to hit the open market after the best season of his career, and it remains to be seen if the Ravens will be able to retain him. Forsett said after Saturday’s loss that he would love to stay in Baltimore. Even if the Ravens keep Forsett, they may still have lingering questions in the backfield. Backup
New backup quarterback?
The importance of a backup quarterback often goes unnoticed when the starter hasn’t missed a game throughout his seven-year career. Even with
Any free agency splashes?
The Ravens have a history of waiting out the initial spending spree during free agency, but General Manager Ozzie Newsome isn’t afraid to make a splash when he sees a target who fits the “right player, right price” philosophy. He did that last season when Steve Smith became available, and that signing proved to be one of the best free agency acquisitions in football. Newsome and the front office will certainly keep a close eye on veteran players who could get released and then acquired for a bargain, which also helps rack up compensatory picks.
What is the priority in the draft?
The Ravens’ draft spot was finalized this weekend after losing to the Patriots. They will select toward the end of the first round at No. 26, a familiar spot for a team that usually makes the playoffs. Baltimore has several needs to fill, and could consider using the pick on a corner, running back, tight end or receiver.