A big uncertainty for the Ravens this offseason is the status of the two starting offensive tackles.
But Head Coach John Harbaugh said the team might be able to make that happen.
“I think there's a way,” Harbaugh said. “It just depends on the numbers. It all comes down to the math. We've got more salary-cap space, I think we found out yesterday, so that makes it a little brighter situation. As a coach, I would love to do that. I would love to see that happen."
General Manager Ozzie Newsome could have more money to work with to keep both tackles, as a report released Thursday indicated the salary cap would increase to $130 million in 2014, compared to $123 million last year. Having that extra money may make the difference in keeping their desired free agents.
Monroe took over as the starting left tackle in Week 6 after the Ravens acquired him for fourth- and fifth-round draft picks in a trade with Jacksonville. Oher has been a starter in Baltimore for the last five seasons, flipping back-and-forth between the two tackle spots.
Monroe and Oher have both expressed interest in remaining with the Ravens. Monroe is currently living in the Baltimore area and working out at the Under Armour Performance Center on a daily basis.
Harbaugh said that he was “optimistic” the Ravens would be able to re-sign them.
Regardless of what happens with Monroe and Oher, the Ravens need to improve their offensive line play after a disappointing season where they struggled to open holes for the running game and protect quarterback
"Major priority to get the offensive line going,” Harbaugh said.
If the Ravens are unable to keep one or both of their free agent tackles, they could also look to the draft to upgrade the unit. This year’s draft is considered one of the best in last decade, and offensive tackle is a particularly deep group.
The Ravens could likely get a starting tackle at pick No. 17, or possibly even in the later rounds.
“It looks like a very good group,” Harbaugh said.