Winning a Super Bowl usually means that the rest of the NFL comes calling, stripping you of key players with huge contracts and generally tearing apart a roster that probably took years to build. In fact, many Super Bowl teams are assembled with the idea that there is a good core group and only one or two pieces are needed to capitalize on the “window of opportunity.” The Baltimore Ravens have been thrown through that window it seems.
The Ravens had a spectacular run in the playoffs, beat Denver in what I consider a miracle play, and went on to win the Super Bowl. Shortly thereafter Ray Lewis said goodbye, Anquan Bolden was traded, and one way or another almost half the defense found themselves out of football or wearing a different uniform. Remember, the Ravens won their last Super Bowl with defense. It’s only been recently that Baltimore decided they needed an offense to go along with that defense.
Now that they have it, the time has come to start rebuilding the defense. Several prominent players from their first Super Bowl were still around, a little long in the tooth, and maybe not so effective as they used to be. Toss in the fact that veteran players will be cutting into your salary structure and you’ve got a magic formula for taking your lumps, getting back to basics, and start assembling your next generation of players.
It’s hard to say goodbye to players who have taken you to the Promised Land but in the NFL it’s always what can you give me today or tomorrow. Sentiment has a very slippery footing in that business. Where will the Baltimore Ravens find themselves at the end of next season? Wait and see.