Cornerback Lardarius Webb made two interceptions during the Ravens' first two games this season, with injuries to other players thrusting the nine-year veteran into a more prominent role than even he expected. By the end of the year, though, Webb's role had been reduced to just a few snaps a game.
As Webb cleared out his locker after the season-ending loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, it was impossible not to wonder whether he was doing so for the last time.
Webb, 32, has said he'd like to be back for a 10th season with the Ravens.
"I'm going to play until they kick me out," Webb said, the flecks of gray in his beard and hair hinting at the longevity of his career.
Webb finished the season with 37 tackles, two sacks and two interceptions, but he had just one tackle throughout the final three games, during which he averaged about six defensive snaps. Webb's playing time dropped off sharply after Maurice Canady returned from injured reserve.
With Canady and Tavon Young and his surgically-repaired knee expected to be back as potential slot corners, and with the emergence of rookie Chuck Clark as a backup safety, there might not be room for Webb.
Webb has been around the league long enough to know roster changeover is an annual event, and he acknowledged that changes will be coming after the Ravens finished 9-7 and missed the playoffs for the third consecutive season.
"They will go into the roster and see what they can do to help the roster out so we can get over the hump," Webb said. "There will be some changes."
Webb was a salary cap casualty last season but then was brought back on a cheaper three-year deal a month later. Cutting Webb would free up about $1.75 million in cap space. It would also mark the end of an impressive run for the former third-round pick out of Nicholls State, who, dismissing his one-month hiatus last year, is the fifth-longest tenured member of the team.
Webb has played 127 regular-season games for the Ravens, and he made it clear that he would like to add to that total.
"I enjoy playing," Webb said. "I kind of enjoyed the role I played this year with the younger guys, improving them, but I do like playing, so I'm going to ride it out."