As the Ravens begin the serious work of recrafting their roster for the 2014 season, we are taking a look at each Ravens position group – seeing which players are under contract, which players are free agents and what the group is expected to look like next season.
Other offensive groups can be found here. Today it's the quarterbacks.
Unrestricted free agents: None
Restricted free agents: None
Exclusive rights free agents: None
Under contract: Joe Flacco, Tyrod Taylor
There's not much suspense when it comes to who will be under center for the Ravens next season. The big question is can Gary Kubiak and a new offensive staff help Joe Flacco rebound from the most difficult season of his pro career.
Flacco set career highs in all passing categories last year -- 362 completions in 614 attempts for 3,912 yards, but he also threw a career-high 22 interceptions -- nearly twice his previous high -- and was sacked a career-high 48 times.
He struggled to find any rhythm with a receivers group that for most of the year was missing two of his favorite targets from the previous year (Anquan Boldin, Dennis Pitta), and an underacheiving offensive line kept him under attack all season.
The lack of a running game only compounded the problem.
This offseason will be all about reviving the offense, and Kubiak and new quarterbacks coach Rick Dennison have already begun that task. Of course, a top-shelf receiver via the draft, or another strong offensive lineman, would help a lot. But Flacco still holds the keys.
The one thing Flacco did again last season, as he's done every season before that, is show up and play. Despite a late-season knee injury, he once again started every game, and has not missed a start in his pro career.
That leaves limited opportunity for Taylor, but he is expected to be back again. The Ravens turned to the athletic, fleet-footed Taylor in a 'Wildcat' look to try to jump-start the offense in one game last season, but Flacco criticized the move as resembling a 'high school offense,' and after that the Ravens kept it on the shelf.
The Ravens will probably bring in a No. 3 quarterback to challenge Taylor again in camp, as they've done in past years, but Taylor's beaten back every challenge. And given Flacco's durability, it's hard to believe they will break camp with three quarterbacks.