Ravens likely holding onto Joe Hortiz should be a relief

Kristen Wong
Ravens, Joe Hortiz (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
Ravens, Joe Hortiz (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /

The man who helped build the Baltimore Ravens franchise into one of the most respected organizations in football is staying in Baltimore.

Joe Hortiz was reportedly a strong candidate for the New York Giants’ general manager position, but now it appears Hortiz won’t be one of the finalists in the running.

New York’s loss, Baltimore’s gain.

Hortiz’s official role on the Baltimore Ravens is “Director of Player Personnel,” and he’s quietly been building up a reputation as a expert scout and talent evaluator.

Between John Harbaugh and the members of the Ravens’ front office, it’s impossible to tell who’s responsible for drafting which players, but Hortiz seems to have more say than most.

“Joe almost never makes an evaluation mistake,” a Ravens official told The New York Post’s Ian O’Connor.

In Hortiz’s 24-year tenure in Baltimore, the Ravens have won two Super Bowls and made the playoffs 13 times.

The Ravens future remains bright with Joe Hortiz at the helm

Of course, a franchise doesn’t rise and fall due to one man (unless that man is Tom Brady), and many different pieces factor into the Ravens becoming one of the most consistent winning-est teams in the NFL: a well-organized front office led by Eric DeCosta, the stable zen-ness of John Harbaugh, a concrete team identity surrounding Lamar Jackson.

But Hortiz belongs in there, too.

Hortiz’s scouting role expanded in 2009, and since then the Ravens have drafted 16 Pro Bowlers and six first-team All-Pros.

Compare that with the Giants, who have drafted six Pro Bowlers and two first-team All-Pros despite annually having better draft position.

Along with George Kokinis, Baltimore’s second director of player personnel, Hortiz has overseen incredibly successful draft classes while also cultivating a sustainable model of player growth, roster retention, and overall satisfaction.

Why do so few Ravens players actually want to retire or move on? Calais Campbell, Bradley Bozeman, and Jimmy Smith are just a few names from this past season who are considering leaving the franchise, but each has expressed their love and commitment to the organization.

This past season was rougher than most, and the Ravens finished with a losing record for the first time since 2015.

With people like Joe Hortiz and Eric DeCosta in the front office, though, Ravens fans know 2021 was an anomaly and have faith in a more promising season next year.

A winning culture doesn’t manifest overnight, and Hortiz serves as one of the original Ravens members (an O.G., some would say) who has helped build the franchise from the ground up.

Next. 5 Ravens who improved the most during the 2021 season. dark

One NFL writer believes it’s only a matter of time before Joe Hortiz becomes the general manager for a club, but the Ravens will take their victories where they can.

*NOTE: Hortiz is still expected to interview for the Chicago Bears GM job*