Is Marshal Yanda a Goner After the 2015 Season?


Oct 12, 2014; Tampa, FL, USA;Baltimore Ravens guard Marshal Yanda (73) against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. Baltimore Ravens defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 48-17. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Baltimore Ravens have proven, time and time again, that they are not afraid to let players walk for big money in free agency.  They assign a value to players, and that is what they are willing to offer.  If the player doesn’t agree with said value, they are shown the proverbial door.

After seeing the likes of Torrey Smith and Pernell McPhee join the ranks of former Ravens who got paid in free agency this offseason (not to mention the trade of Haloti Ngata), will offensive guard Marshal Yanda be joining them next offseason?  It was an unfathomable thought until this week, but now it’s looking like a good possibility.

General Manager Ozzie Newsome expressed frustration this week over the lack of progress in contract extension talks with Yanda, whose current deal is up after this season.  While Yanda has expressed his desire to retire as a Raven in the past, it appears that he isn’t going to give any sort of hometown discount to do so.

Going on 31 years old, it’s hard to blame him.  Yanda’s next deal will more than likely be his last, and we’re talking about a guy who graded out as Pro Football Focus’ number one guard last season.  Plus, he’s missed only two games over the past six seasons and seems to have at least 3-4 more productive years under his belt.

Ozzie seemed to practically call out Yanda and kicker Justin Tucker during his recent chat with PSL owners Tuesday, stating that the team would move on to the next player if the team couldn’t come to an agreement with either of their top targets.  The next man up would be fellow guard Kelechi Osemele, whose contract is also up after this season.

I’ve thought all along that one of Marshal Yanda or Kelechi Osemele would hit the free agent market no matter what.  The Ravens simply can’t afford to keep both, and both have earned massive paydays with their stellar play.  There are also certain logistical reasons why keeping Osemele might be preferable anyway.

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Osemele was PFF’s number six guard last season, and he’s younger (he’ll be 27 in June).  He has been less durable than Yanda, missing all but seven games in 2013 and two games last season.  But last year’s problem was simply a knee strain, and he bounced back with a vengeance following his 2013 back surgery, looking no worse for wear in a dominant season.

So while it may be a painful pill to swallow, there’s a great chance that Marshal Yanda follows the money out of Baltimore next offseason.  Nobody wants to see the franchise great wearing a different uniform, but that’s what the tea leaves are suggesting at this time.  If the past teaches us anything, it’s that the Ravens won’t cave in talks, no matter how good the player is.

Next: Ravens Roster Breakdown: Offensive Line

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