Watching the Kansas City Chiefs win Super Bowl LVIII is yet another knife twist for a Baltimore Ravens franchise that was punched in the gut by Patrick Mahomes in the AFC Championship. Another Lamar Jackson MVP season ended without a stacked Ravens team winning the AFC.
Baltimore is in one of the most frustrating places a contending team can be. The roster has playmakers and All-Pro level stars on both sides of the ball, a top-three quarterback in the league in Jackson, and a coach in John Harbaugh who has built consistent winners. Even with all that, the Super Bowl eludes them.
The Ravens are smart enough to realize that remaining stagnant is a good way to crash out of contention. With the AFC as deep as it has ever been and contenders like Kansas City and Buffalo ready to address their big needs, Baltimore needs to pull out all the stops to get the most out of Jackson's prime.
The Ravens will be in Super Bowl contention once again next season, but Eric DeCosta will need to realize they need to hit a few home runs in free agency and the draft before they can start realizing those dreams. These three boxes need to be checked before booking tickets to Super Bowl LIX in New Orleans.
3 moves the Baltimore Ravens must make to make Super Bowl in 2024
3. Sign a veteran running back
The Ravens' depth at running back, which is a necessity for the league's best rushing attack, has been bitten by the injury bug to a comical degree in the last few years. Injuries have essentially robbed JK Dobbins of two of his four full NFL seasons, and young stud Keaton Mitchell tore his ACL. Even as currently constructed, would adding a big-name back be the worst idea?
As tremendous as Gus Edwards was this year, he and his 13 rushing touchdowns will become a free agent. Justice Hill is solid, but doesn't move the needle. With this upcoming running back class in the 2024 NFL Draft looking subpar and Edwards' status still murky, Baltimore could use their limited cap space on a bell cow.
The Baltimore Ravens could upgrade at running back.
If there were any year to spend big money on a free agent veteran running back, this is the year. Derrick Henry and Tony Pollard are still Pro Bowl talents coming off 1,000-yard seasons in Tennessee and Dallas, respectively, while Saquon Barkley and Josh Jacobs would be instant starters who would touch the ball 20 times every game.
As long as Jackson is the quarterback in Baltimore, the Ravens will be a run-focused offense that needs an equally adept running back room to take some of the creation pressure off Jackson. Spending big in free agency shows a commitment to giving Lamar as many toys to play with as possible.
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