To make up ground in the AFC North as well as the conference, the Ravens need to have a quality draft because they might not have enough salary cap room to bring in high-profile free agents. The team's draft record has been disappointing since the late 2000s when the Ravens selected players who made an immediate impact, like guards Ben Grubbs and Marshal Yanda in 2007 and quarterback Joe Flacco and running back Ray Rice in 2008.
As they prepare for this year's draft, which gets underway with Thursday's first round, the Ravens seemingly have more needs on offense than defense. They want another running back and a tight end and they are thin on outside targets for quarterback Joe Flacco. If there was a draft where the Ravens would target offense, this would seemingly be it.
Even after creating $3 million in salary-cap space by converting $4 million of Webb's $7.5 million base salary into a signing bonus, the Ravens are just $3.321 million under the NFL salary-cap limit of $133 million.
The Ravens pared their roster down to the NFL's required 53-player limit Saturday, choosing to keep two quarterbacks and seven wide receivers and leaving themselves thin at cornerback and along the offensive and defensive lines.
With the Ravens sending another large delegation of executives, coaches and scouts to Mobile, Ala., to attend a week of practice beginning Monday, their concentration on the Senior Bowl isn't an aberration.
As the Ravens held practice on their indoor field today to begin preparations for Sunday's regular-season finale against the Cincinnati Bengals, three starters weren't present during the portion open to reporters. That includes defensive lineman Arthur Jones. He suffered a concussion Sunday during a 41-7 loss to the New England Patriots at M&T Bank Stadium.
Following a week where he created unwanted headlines when he called Detroit Lions star Calvin Johnson "pretty old," Elam intercepted a Matthew Stafford pass in the final minute to preserve the Ravens' 18-16 victory Monday night at Ford Field.
Dennis Pitta made his season debut in Sunday's 29-26 win over the Minnesota Vikings and the Ravens tight end played 36 of the team's 85 offensive snaps and had six catches for 48 yards and a touchdown.
Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin drifted onto the field with his back turned to the play in the third quarter Thursday night, narrowly avoiding a collision with Ravens wide receiver Jacoby Jones during a long kickoff return.