Is this Oher's last game for the Ravens?

December, 27, 2013
12/27/13
12:00
PM ET
OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- If the Baltimore Ravens fail to make the playoffs, Sunday's regular-season finale at Cincinnati could mark Michael Oher's final game with the team.

Oher, who has played right and left tackle for the Ravens the past five seasons, will be a free agent at the end of the season. The Ravens likely will let Oher go elsewhere and make it a priority to re-sign left tackle Eugene Monroe, especially since the team gave up a fourth- and fifth-round pick to acquire Monroe this season.

[+] EnlargeMichael Oher
David Banks/Getty Images"[The Ravens] are going to put themselves in the best situation to win," Michael Oher said. "If that means getting rid of me, they're going to do what's best for the team."
Asked about his future this week, Oher said his preference is to remain with the Ravens but he seemed resigned to the possibility that he will play for another team in 2014.

"If it happens, that would be great. You don't want to pick up and move," Oher said about re-signing with the Ravens. "But that's the nature of the business. This is a great organization. They're going to put themselves in the best situation to win. If that means getting rid of me, they're going to do what's best for the team. I totally understand that."

A first-round pick by the Ravens in 2009, Oher is known more nationally for being the inspiration for the movie "The Blind Side" than his play on the field.

The Ravens have always been able to count on Oher for his toughness and durability and consider him a throwback type of player. He has never missed a game in his career and became the first Ravens rookie offensive lineman since Jonathan Ogden in 1996 to start all 16 games.

But Oher hasn't lived up the expectations of being the 23rd overall pick from four years ago. He never became a top-notch left tackle and has ended up being an average right tackle. Penalties (24 false starts in his career) and pass protection have long been trouble areas for Oher, who is making $3.7 million this season.

The Ravens once had a strong history of re-signing their first-round picks to long-term deals, but that hasn't been the case recently. Only two of the team's past four first-round picks (defensive tackle Haloti Ngata and quarterback Joe Flacco) were retained when their rookie deals were done.

Baltimore held preliminary talks with Oher about a new deal before the trade for Monroe, but the sides reportedly weren't close to an agreement. The Ravens could draft a right tackle in the draft or see if Ricky Wagner, a rookie fifth-round pick, can handle the starting job.

Does Oher think about whether Sunday will be his final game for the Ravens?

"I'm working like we're going to the playoffs and I'm going be here," Oher said. "It crosses your mind once in a while, but that's just being human."

Jamison Hensley

ESPN Ravens reporter

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