OWINGS MILLS — It was a day they thought would be spent preparing for their next playoff opponent.
Instead they’re preparing for the offseason.
Ravens players cleaning out their lockers after Sunday’s 24-17 Wild Card loss to the Chargers.
“It was a good run. Loved the guys I played with,” said linebacker Matthew Judon about the season. “It was definitely a roller coaster. We had our ups and downs, our highs and our lows. But, it was a good one.”
“We got our heads up high,” said running back Gus Edwards. “It didn’t end out how we wanted it to, how we expected it to. But, I think we have some things that we can be happy about.”
“I think we had a good season,” added defensive tackle Michael Pierce. “That’s something we can hang our hats on going into next year.”
When players reconvene for training camp this summer, the roster will no doubt look different.
One of the changes is expected to involve the best quarterback in Ravens history.
Joe Flacco wants to play next season. He wants to play as a starter.
Lamar Jackson is the Ravens QB moving forward.
Flacco didn’t speak in the locker room on Monday, but had the following to say postgame Sunday about his time in Baltimore and the fans:
“I love the people of Baltimore. It’s been 11 years. You come in, you feel one way, and you don’t know what to expect. The people warm up to you. You warm up to the people. To be honest with you, I can’t imagine a better 11 years. This place becoming my home and my children’s home. Just how many different life changes I went through and how much we won here. I’m not from too far up the road. People from here are a lot like the people I grew up with. Definitely a group of fans and a community that I loved to be around for 11 years.”
Robert Griffin III will be a free agent. He’ll evaluate his options but said he’d like to be back.
“I would love to help Lamar continue to develop and also be available and ready to play,” said the Ravens' 2018 No. 3 quarterback.
As for the defense, they depart as the top-ranked unit in the NFL.
“We had fun. We played our hearts out and it shows,” said Judon. “We got that. Nobody can take that away from us.”
“We’ll always be remembered in Ravens history. Part of a No. 1 defense in 2018 and AFC North champs. That banner goes up in that building,” said safety Eric Weddle.
Weddle added that he’d still like to play for the Ravens. But if the team doesn’t want him back, he’ll retire.
Head Coach John Harbaugh is expected to hold his season-ending press conference in the coming days.