The Ravens have won a pair of Super Bowl titles in Ozzie Newsome’s time as the club’s primary talent evaluator, so he’s an ideal person to ask about the hurdles a defending champion faces.
Speaking at the NFL Scouting Combine on Saturday, the Ravens’ G.M. noted that a Super Bowl-winning club, while ahead of the field at the end of the previous season, finds itself having to make up ground preparing for the next season.
“You’re in a time crunch,” Newsome said Saturday, according to an interview transcript from Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun for the Pro Football Writers of America. “You’re four or five weeks behind everybody. You’re trying to play catch-up.
‘The other aspect of it when you win a Super Bowl, you win it because you have good players and can you maintain all of those players. At some point, those players have to be compensated and the salary cap just doesn’t work to where you can become like the 49ers or the Cowboys were back in those days when they were winning multiple Super Bowls.
“It’s a great problem to have. I wish I was here working on a short time frame, but if you were to ask me which I would rather be I would rather be in Seattle’s position than my position. It’s tough to do, but it can be done.”
In some ways, the NFL calendar has cut the defending-champion Seahawks a break. The NFL Draft has been moved to May 8, giving Seattle and the other 31 teams extra time to do their due diligence on the Class of 2014. However, free agency — where the Seahawks cleaned up last offseason by adding ends Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril — is just two weeks away.