When they next take the field for the start of organized team activities, the Ravens will have a significantly different look from the group that beat the San Francisco 49ers, 34-31, on Feb. 3 to capture the second world championship in franchise history.
Since their offseason began, they have lost eight players who were starters at different points of this past season. The exodus, which began with the retirement of center Matt Birk and middle linebacker Ray Lewis and the release of guard Bobbie Williams, accelerated over the last seven days and after free agency began.
- 2013 Ravens departures
- Upgraded D-line will give Harbaugh decisions to make
- Ravens hope to meet with Elvis Dumervil, source says
- The Ravens' review: 2012 season [Pictures]
- Ravens 34, Saints 27
- Mike Preston grades Ravens' 34-27 win over the Saints in Week 12
See more photos »
- Baltimore Ravens
- Ed Reed
See more topics »
One of the Ravens' playoff heroes is gone thanks to a trade necessitated by a salary cap crunch. One of the potential successors to Lewis and the Ravens' leader in sacks this past season both left for huge free agent contracts elsewhere. Two starting members of the secondary departed next. For most of Thursday and Friday, it appeared that safety Ed Reed, a defensive standout for over a decade, was about to sign with the Houston Texans, one of the Ravens' top challengers for AFC supremacy.
Reed left Houston without a deal, but there remains skepticism that the cash-strapped Ravens can lure him back and allow the future Hall of Famer to finish his career in Baltimore.
The Ravens have accomplished one of their offseason goals by adding size and depth to their defensive line with the additions of Chris Canty and Marcus Spears. However, roster holes remain, many of them on defense where the Ravens don't have five of their top six tacklers from last season under contract.
The Ravens will have at least 11 picks in next month's draft and the organization has prided itself of finding late bargains on the free agent market. There is a lot of offseason left.
Still this week served as a cold reminder to the fans that when the Ravens begin their defense of the Super Bowl in September, they will be a different team with a different personality.
Here's a look at one week that started the team's makeover:
Monday, March 11, 4:08 p.m.: The Baltimore Sun reports thatAnquan Boldin is traded to the San Francisco 49ers for a 2013 sixth-round draft pick.
Monday, March 11, 6:42 p.m.: Reports confirm free agent free safety Ed Reed hires agent David Dunn.
Monday, March 11, 7:43 p.m.: Reports confirm Ravens give second-round tenders to tight end Dennis Pitta and defensive lineman Arthur Jones and an original round tender to tight end Ed Dickson, a 2010 third-round pick.
Tuesday, March 12, 9:30 a.m.: Boldin releases a statement thanking Ravens fans for their support during his three years in Baltimore.
Tuesday, March 12, 1:30 p.m.: Ravens safety James Ihedigbo announces his return via Twitter with a one-year contract.
Tuesday, March 12, 3:14 p.m.: OL Ramon Harewood returns to the Ravens with a one-year contract.
Tuesday, March 12, 3:48 p.m.: The Ravens announce two-year contracts with WR David Reed and LS Morgan Cox.
Tuesday, March 12, 4:00 p.m.: The NFL free agent signing period begins.
Tuesday, March 12, 4:39 p.m.: The Sun reports outside linebacker Paul Kruger agrees to a five-year, $40.5 million deal with the Cleveland Browns.
Tuesday, March 12, 4:33 p.m.: The Ravens sign RB Damien Berry to one-year exclusive rights contract.
Tuesday, March 12, 5:08 p.m.: Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome releases statement about Boldin trade, 'it's not always pleasant.'