The 2019 NFL season started with Josh Bynes at home. The 2021 NFL season started with Bynes on the Baltimore Ravens’ practice squad.In each season, the former Auburn standout ended the campaign as a starting linebacker for the Ravens.MORE NFL:· TUA TAGOVAILOA ‘IS, RIGHT NOW, THE QUARTERBACK,’ DOLPHINS OWNER SAYS· CAM NEWTON: ‘THIS SECOND GO-AROUND HAS BEEN A BLESSING’· MAC JONES DESCRIBES HIS SUNDAY PERFORMANCE AS ‘SUPER EMBARRASSING’While Bynes has had to scramble to keep his NFL career going, he hopes his play has set him up for a stable situation in 2022 as he enters the offseason as a free agent.“I feel like I have a lot of ball left in me,” Bynes said on Monday. “I feel like I’ve proved that this season. It’s not like a I-feel-like-I-have-one-more-in-me kind of thing. I feel like I have two, three, four, whatever amount is given to me because I put in that work in the offseason, take care of myself throughout the year and just know how to prepare myself week in and week out.“And that’s what it’s all about in this league is making sure you can keep your level of play up, and I feel like I’ve done that consistently these last three years practically – 19 here, last year Cincy and then being here again, so it’s just that I want to continue that as long as I can because I feel amazing, my body feels great.”Bynes worked as the Arizona Cardinals’ middle linebacker in 2018 before an injury caused him to miss the final five games of the season. He didn’t get another opportunity until his original NFL team, Baltimore, brought him back four games into the 2019 season.His play for the Ravens led to a free-agent deal with the Cincinnati Bengals for 2020. Even though he made a career-high 99 tackles and started every game for Cincinnati, Bynes didn’t get an NFL opportunity in 2021 until the Carolina Panthers signed him on Aug. 11.Released by the Panthers 20 days later at the end of the preseason, Bynes joined the Ravens’ practice squad and wound up starting the final 12 games of the season at middle linebacker.Bynes finished the 2021 campaign with 76 tackles, 50 solo stops (only three fewer than in 2020) and four passes defended and tied his career highs with two sacks and six tackles for loss.Bynes hopes to become the 18th Auburn alumnus to play in 12 NFL seasons (pending the 2022 status of former Tigers teammate Cam Newton) without changing teams for the sixth time in his career.“I’d love to be back in Baltimore,” Bynes said. “This is home for me.”Bynes was talking about 2022 because 2021 is over for the Ravens.Baltimore came out of Week 12 of the 2021 NFL season with the best record in the AFC at 8-3. But the Ravens lost their remaining six games – with five of the losses coming by a combined eight points – and did not qualify for the postseason.“In the beginning of the season, we was finding a way to finish those games and make that one play that led us to an 8-3 record,” Bynes said. “But these last six games — five out of six we lost by a total of eight points, I believe it was, or so — and it just came down to us not finishing. We didn’t finish the right way. Maybe didn’t finish a play the right way. Didn’t make a tackle at the right time. And the other team made that one more play.“Usually, the first 11 games of the year, eight times we made that one more play than them. But, obviously, these last six we couldn’t get that done, and we couldn’t execute when we needed to execute and that’s why we fell short these last six games of the season.”In Bynes’ previous four seasons with Baltimore, the Ravens had a 44-20 record and the 2012 team won Super Bowl XLVII.“It bothers this team because the expectation level here is tremendous,” Bynes said of missing the playoffs. “We know what kind of team we’re capable of, know the Ravens, who we are and what we’ve built, and our expectation level is to be in the playoffs and be a Super Bowl-winning team. That’s first and foremost. Obviously, we didn’t accomplish that this year and to make excuses and say injuries and this and that, but even despite that, the depth we had on this team was proven that we still could have made things happen this year, and, unfortunately, we came up short.”Baltimore quarterback Lamar Jackson missed four of the final six games and played only 10 snaps in one of his two appearances.Pro Bowl cornerback Marlon Humphrey missed five of the final six games, part of the wave of injuries that adversely affected the Ravens’ secondary down the stretch.“We could talk about the what-ifs,” Bynes said. “What-ifs ain’t going to change the situation we’re in now. The what-ifs, we still are. It’s a fact we’re not in the playoffs. I don’t care about the what-ifs because that don’t matter. The fact is we’re not in the playoffs and we’re not moving forward to the dance, which we know this team is more than capable of.”FOR MORE OF AL.COM’S COVERAGE OF THE NFL, GO TO OUR NFL PAGEMark Inabinett is a sports reporter for Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter at @AMarkG1.