The start of the first of three weeks of voluntary OTAs brought the annual questions about the state of the Ravens' offense, which again will have a different look in the upcoming season. But quarterback Joe Flacco, who has started every game for the team over the past seven seasons, remains one of the few constants.
The Ravens' inability to draft and develop an elite wide receiver is one of the few blemishes on general manager Ozzie Newsome's resume. But last year's NFL rookie class is changing the perception of drafting a receiver.
As Torrey Smith spoke Friday two days after his foray into free agency ended with him signing a five-year, $40 million deal with the San Francisco 49ers, there was still a tinge of disappointment, maybe even a little sadness, evident in his voice. But there was not even the slightest hint of regret.
Kamar Aiken wasn't drafted, was released six times in a 23-month span and played in four different organizations in as many NFL seasons. But he feels like he's finally found a home in Baltimore, where he's emerged as a potential key player in the team's playoff push.
Joint practices, which the Ravens and San Francisco 49ers will participate in from Saturday through Monday at the Under Armour Performance Center, have become more popular since the new collective bargaining agreement went into effect in 2011.
The Ravens didn't acquire another fast receiver to get free on deep routes, but they did add several targets who can succeed underneath and in the middle of the field, which should free up Torrey Smith and Jacoby Jones on the outside.
Writers from across the internet have taken stabs at projecting who the Ravens will choose with their first-round pick, No. 17, including Michigan offensive tackle Taylor Lewan, Notre Dame offensive lineman Zach Martin, and Louisville safety Calvin Prior
Since quarterback Joe Flacco last broke the huddle during a season-ending loss to the Cincinnati Bengals in late December, the Ravens have dramatically overhauled an offense that struggled mightily last season.
Now, Smith is honoring his late brother, Tevin Jones, by announcing a scholarship fund in his name Saturday during halftime of a Battle of the Beltway charity basketball game at Comcast Center on the University of Maryland campus.
A week into free agency, all of the marquee players have been snatched up and few household names remain on the open market. Most teams, including the Ravens, have filled important needs, which could change their priorities when it comes to the NFL draft.
Now that wide receiver Steve Smith has arrived in Baltimore via his three-year, $11 million contract, he fills the void of physicality and toughness created a year ago when the Ravens traded Anquan Boldin to the San Francisco 49ers following a contract dispute.
After monitoring the Smith and Carolina Panthers fallout from afar, the Ravens finally had their first opportunity to make their pitch to the five-time Pro Bowl receiver after he was released following 13 NFL seasons with the Panthers.