Only four current Ravens defenders were on the roster when the team last played the Minnesota Vikings in 2009. Those who remain have not-so-fond memories of trying to tackle Vikings running back Adrian Peterson.
According to a Yahoo Sports report, former Ravens middle linebacker Ray Lewis is among a group of 16 current and former NFL players who are suing BB&T Bank for nearly $60 million in alleged investment losses.
The Ravens are expected to receive three or four compensatory picks -- likely four -- which would bring their number of picks for next month's NFL draft to 12. That's a lot of ammo for general manager Ozzie Newsome should the Ravens choose to move up, down and all around or acquire more picks for next year¿s NFL draft. Here is a look at what the Ravens have done in the past when they entered a draft with nine or more draft picks.
But meeting that expectation has become a challenge. Cody, who entered the season battling to regain his starting job, is among a batch of young defensive players the Ravens need to live up to their lofty draft status. The need is even more important for a defense now vulnerable with inspirational middle linebacker Ray Lewis and shutdown cornerback Lardarius Webb on injured reserve.
It's tough to look at the Baltimore defense and not see that the Ravens are starting four former undrafted free agents and that a trio of recent second-round draft picks is coming off the bench. Jimmy Smith, a 2011 first-round pick, will become a starter Sunday because cornerback Lardarius Webb suffered a season-ending knee injury. They smartly nabbed their other starting cornerback, Cary Williams, off the Tennessee Titans practice squad. Of the 14 defensive players they drafted from 2007 to 2011, only two are starters and six are no longer with the team.
Unless you count Mario Williams, a defensive end who can also play outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense, there won't be any marquee linebackers available in free agency this offseason. But there are a handful of solid starters -- including a pair of Ravens -- scheduled to be available in a deep class of free agent linebackers. Here is a look at the top free agent linebackers on the market and where they could wind up in 2012.