Similar to the way they battled through the playoffs en route to the Super Bowl title, the Baltimore Ravens have somewhat miraculously gone from an initial mass exodus in free agency to being one of the NFL's offseason winners.
Keep doing you, Ozzie Newsome.
It's funny how the NFL works. A few weeks ago, the Ravens were doomed.
Now, after a handful of shrewd moves by Newsome, all is well in Baltimore.
Most recently, the Ravens signed former Oakland Raiders defensive back Michael Huff to a modest, three-year, $6 million deal.
Source: S Michael Huff's deal with #Baltimore is 3 yrs, $6 million, but up to $7.2m max; paid $2.35m in 1st year w/ $1.5m signing bonus.— Brandon George (@dmn_george) March 27, 2013
In fact, some experts think Baltimore may actually field a better defense in 2013 than they did in 2012.
Ravens defense is just going to be better in 2013 than it was in 2012 when all is said and done.— Will Brinson (@WillBrinson) March 27, 2013
Without Ed Reed, Ray Lewis, Dannell Ellerbe, Bernard Pollard, Paul Kruger and Cary Williams?
How's that possible?
Well, easy really.
Reed is still a decent ball-hawk with legendary anticipation skills. However, Lewis was a liability, especially in coverage, for the Ravens for most of 2012, and Kruger played much better in the playoffs than he did during the regular season.
Williams made a handful of big plays last year, yet ProFootballFocus.com (subscription required), rated him as the 69th-best cornerback in football.
The same goes for Pollard. His hard-hitting presence will be missed, but PFF rated 28 safeties ahead of him last season.
Chris Canty and Marcus Spears were acquired to add more beef to the defensive front, and both were inked to cost-effective contracts.
To fill the void left by Kruger's departure, Elvis Dumervil was signed after his fax machine fiasco with the Denver Broncos.
Now, with Huff, the Ravens get a durable defensive back who has experience as a cornerback and a free safety.
Factor in the returning Lardarius Webb, and it's easy to realize the logic behind Brinson's claim.
The Baltimore Ravens losses were more high profile than their additions, but as long as Ozzie Newsome's calling the front-office shots, the Ravens will win most offseasons.
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