Matt Elam may be used primarily at strong safety next season, particularly if the Ravens acquire a starting free safety during the offseason. James Ihedigbo is the current starting strong safety, but he is a free agent who may not return.

While Ihedigbo and Elam have the versatility to play either safety spot, Elam feels most comfortable at strong safety, playing closer to the line of scrimmage and supporting run defense. Elam is an aggressive tackler, but sometimes he can be overly aggressive. Like in the season finale, when Bengals wide receiver A. J. Green easily got behind Elam for a 53-yard touchdown catch.

“Matt is probably `quote un-quote’ - as you would say – more of a strong safety in your vision of what those guys are,” said Ravens coach John Harbaugh at his season-ending press conference. “Safeties are more interchangeable these days.