Ray Rice scandal exposes dark truths
nce the video of Rice clocking Janay with a right hook was released to the public, the NFL could no longer obfuscate the ugly truth about its negligence on domestic violence. And in this case, their passiveness was reportedly driven by the Ravens.
Since the blowback, the Ravens have avoided players who have had any history of domestic violence.
"I think the Baltimore Ravens and the NFL did not really treat domestic violence with a degree of seriousness and severity that the issue deserves," Ravens president Dick Cass said last year. "And that was a mistake, and that was wrong. And I think the league has recognized that. We’ve certainly recognized that, and that’s an offense that will be treated very differently going forward."
And they have gone out of their way to avoid off-field drama in general.
Last year, they cut three players who were arrested for various incidents (Terrence Cody, Victor Hampton and Bernard Pierce), and also parted ways with Will Hill this offseason after the NFL handed him a 10-game suspension for violating the league's substance abuse policy.
In this year's draft, the Ravens passed on selecting offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil after a video leaked of him smoking a bong -- they instead picked OT Ronnie Stanley. They also released offensive lineman Eugene Monroe this spring, and while injuries and salary certainly played a role in that decision, it's possible his advocacy for medical marijuana played a factor, too.
Joe Flacco's elite pay, not elite play
$47.3 million in 2017
Salary cap jail
The injury bug
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If Ravens fans are holding on to a glimmer of hope, they can take solace in the fact that nine of Baltimore’s 11 losses last season were by one possession. The team still seemed to play hard for Harbaugh, meaning his message still appears to be resonating in the locker room.
But even so, there's no denying that the Ravens have failed to build off their Super Bowl win. They backlogged Flacco's extension in 2013 due to salary cap constraints and have been handcuffed ever since. It's been years since the Ravens went through an offseason with the intention of improving their roster without simultaneously trying to cut costs.
There isn't another powerhouse in the AFC besides the Patriots, so there's an opening at the top of the conference. But the Ravens, with a battered brand and thin roster, aren't in position to take advantage.