With less than three weeks remaining till free agency begins, the Baltimore Ravens find themselves needing to make several important decisions. It's always a unenviable task trying to improve the team that just won the championship but this could be an especially difficult year for Ozzie Newsome and company.
Nineteen players currently on the roster will be free agents this offseason. Out of these 19, 13 of them are unrestricted free agents who are free to sign with whichever team they please. The other six are restricted free agents, who will at least have a chance for the Ravens to match any interest they receive on the market.
After the Ravens' last title in 2000, management saw that lots of contracts were restructured so that the team could stay together for a chance to repeat. This resulted in severe roster purging in 2002 and also began a stretch where the Ravens missed the playoffs three times in five seasons.
Newsome understandably doesn't want to take that risk again. This may mean that changes will come for 2013 but it should also result in the Ravens being a place where they are still top contenders in the immediate years to come.
With that being said, some things are better off staying the same. Here are five free agents that the Ravens should try to keep for the 2013 season.