Sitting beside the Lombardi Trophy at the outset of the offseason, a panel that included general manager Ozzie Newsome, owner Steve Bisciotti and coach John Harbaugh spoke about sustaining the Ravens' future success after the Super Bowl victory.
After an offseason that saw the team move to back up that pledge with smart financial decisions, ESPN.com ranked Baltimore fourth in its NFL Future Power Rankings, which projects teams' prospects looking toward the 2016 season.
The rankings take five factors into account with weights in parentheses:
* The youth of the roster not including the quarterback, emphasizing players age 27 or younger (32.5 percent)
* The franchise quarterback as he projects in 2016 (17.5 percent)
* The strength of a team's 2013 draft and their number of picks in future drafts (15 percent)
* The reputation and performance of the front office (15 percent)
* The stability and acumen of the coaching staff (20 percent)
The Ravens' average scores on a 10-point scale were 7.0 for the roster, 7.7 for quarterback Joe Flacco, 9.0 for the draft, 9.8 for Newsome and the front office, and 9.0 for Harbaugh and the coaching staff.
Baltimore was slotted 10th in last year's ranking, and this year only found itself behind the San Francisco 49ers, Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks.