Eisenberg: Ravens Aren't in the Offseason Spotlight and That's Fine


Some are calling this offseason the most interesting in NFL history, and who am I to quibble?

An amazing quarterback carousel is about to unfold featuring future Hall of Famers Tom Brady and Philip Rivers, other potential starters such as Teddy Bridgewater and Marcus Mariota and also possibly Cam Newton, Jameis Winston, Andy Dalton and others. Where will they all end up?

Meanwhile, the top of the draft class includes future franchise quarterbacks Joe Burrow and Tua Tagovailoa and other major talents such as defensive end Chase Young and cornerback Jeff Okudah. Where will they all land?

The pro football world is as jazzed up as I can remember in March, with myriad fortunes due to shift in the coming weeks. And what role are the Ravens playing in this exciting football theater? Well, they're just spectators for the most part, pretty much sitting out the noise and fury.

They aren't looking for a quarterback because they're set at the position (to say the least) with Lamar Jackson, the reigning league MVP at all of 23 years old. They'll contentedly just sit back and watch that amazing carousel go round and round as Brady and others find their landing spots.

The Ravens also will sit out the most dramatic hours of the draft in late April because they aren't due to pick until No. 28 overall, near the end of the first round.

Compared to what's going on in many other NFL locales, this offseason is a bit boring here in Baltimore. But that's a beautiful thing. The Ravens wouldn't want it any other way.

The alternative is for them to be unsettled at quarterback, desperately in the hunt for a starter, as so many teams are. It's the worst place to be in the NFL, trapped in a dank and insidious purgatory that always promises sunnier skies but doesn't always deliver.

As for the draft, well, the Ravens are out of the spotlight because they're one of the NFL's best teams, coming off a 14-2 season. The alternative would be if they were coming off, say, a 2-14 season, putting them squarely at the forefront of the high drama that is the draft, but with deep and painful bruises to show for it and no guarantee anything will change.

As tempting as it is to envy those teams generating headlines in this most interesting offseason, there's no doubt the Ravens are better off where they are, i.e., being relatively dull.

It's exactly what you want, actually, to be dull in the offseason because you were so exciting during the season.

Before you start cussing and complaining, I'm not blind to the fact that the Ravens' offseason will still be interesting and important as they seek to fill holes and bolster their roster. Can they succeed in fortifying their defensive front seven? Improve the pass rush? Find a suitable way forward with Matthew Judon? Give Jackson more playmakers? The answers to those questions will have a major impact on how the Ravens fare as top-tier Super Bowl contenders in 2020.

I'm expecting at least one development that qualifies as a splash, an out-of-nowhere stunner in the mold of last year's Earl Thomas III signing. The Ravens' improved salary cap situation gives them the wherewithal to pull off another.

And hey, while they might not be in the draft spotlight, they could end up adding vitally important new blood, regardless of which positions they address with their high picks.

So, I'm not suggesting that what's about to unfold in Baltimore isn't important, because it could end up making all the difference for a team seeking to continue what it started in 2019.

But just so you understand, no matter what the Ravens do in the coming weeks, it'll pale in national newsworthiness compared to the fates of Brady, Rivers, the quarterbacks changing uniforms, the teams drafting first, etc. They'll own March and April.

Of course, the goal is to own December and January.

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