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24 Feb

NFL Off-season 2013 A-Z: Baltimore Ravens

Robert Deutsch, USA TODAY Sports

This is the third installment of a 32 part series on the 2013 NFL Off-season Team-by-Team Analysis. 

2012 Record: 10-6 (1st in AFC North, and not to be overlooked, Super Bowl Champions)

Free Agents: QB Joe Flacco, S Ed Reed, TE Ed Dickson, ILB Dannell Ellerbe, CB Cary Williams, OT Bryant McKinnie, TE Dennis Pitta, DE Arthur Jones

Coaching Moves/Changes: Jim Caldwell will remain as the O. Coordinator

Cap Space: Approx. $5 million

2013 Draft Picks: 32 (1), 62 (2), 94 (3), 126 (4), 158 (5), 190 (6), 222 (7) 

Off-Season To-Do List: 

-Say goodbye to Ed Reed. Reed is on the free-agency table this off-season but he's too expensive for the Ravens who need to save cap room to give Flacco a new, more expensive contract. Maybe Ed will decide to stick with the Ravens for another shot at a ring, but it is unlikely seeing that he's going to receive much better offers from other teams. And that's ok, because Reed is approaching 35 years of age. Instead of shopping for a replacement in free-agency, Baltimore is most likely going to draft a safety, and they have many options in this year's draft. It would be nice to grab Kenny Vaccaro from Texas, but most professional mock drafts have him going to the Rams or Bengals before Baltimore can have a shot to take him. And then there's Eric Reid out of LSU, who announced in early January that he will partake in this year's draft. The first-team All-American is projected to go early in the 2nd round of the draft, but if Baltimore takes a shot with him, they'll be replacing Reed with Reid. 

-Lock up Joe Flacco without using their franchise tag. There's no doubt in Baltimore now that Joe Flacco is the QB for the team, but the Ravens don't have enough cap space on the budget to give him the franchise tag and still have enough money to re-sign select players. But the Ravens will sign him to a 8-10 year deal anyways, so he'll be a franchise player without the $14 million franchise tag. 

-Be intelligent with their budget. The Ravens do have about $5 million in cap space but with the free agent re-signing action that will be going on this off-season, they have to be conscious of the fact that $5 million only goes so far when you have to re-sign Joe Flacco and still have enough money to replace Ed Reed. Finacnes aren't my niche, and I'm sure that the big heads in Baltimore have it all figured out by now, but the last thing a team wants to do after a Super Bowl victory is run out of the money they need to keep the players that got them there and sign players to get them back there. 

Altogether, I don't think anyone will be all too surprised if the Ravens make another run at the Super Bowl in 2013. They definitely proved their worth by beating the Patriots and Broncos to get to the Super Bowl, and Joe Flacco finally solidified his place in Baltimore. Let's just hope for the Ravens sake that they can keep the team together this off-season. 

2013 Schedule-Difficulty: 7.5/10

Home: Bengals, Browns, Steelers, Patriots, Jets, Texans, Packers, Vikings

Away: Bengals, Browns, Steelers, Bills, Dolphins, Broncos, Bears, Lions

Projected Record: 13-3 (1st in AFC North)

Want to read the off-season preview for another team? Here's what I have done so far: 

ARIZONA CARDINALS  

Atlanta Falcons 

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