Ravens Burning Questions: Will Marshal Yanda Get a Contract Extension?


Dec 21, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt (99) rushes past Baltimore Ravens guard Marshal Yanda (73) during the game at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The Baltimore Ravens are facing a major conundrum over the next year or so that is a product of having too much talent on their roster: what to do when you can’t afford to keep them all.  This specific issue relates to their two stellar offensive guards: Marshal Yanda and Kelechi Osemele, both of whom are scheduled to become unrestricted free agents next offseason.

In a perfect world, the Ravens would obviously keep both.  After all, the duo forms what could be the best pair of guards in the NFL and were a major part of the Ravens’ offensive success in 2014.  Both have been in purple and black their entire careers as well.

Yanda graded out as Pro Football Focus’ number one guard in 2014, and has been consistently dominant over his eight year career.  Going on 31, he is rumored to be seeking over $22 million guaranteed on his next contract, which would make him among the highest paid guards in football.  It isn’t a reach, but it’s a ton of money.

It’s pretty clear that the Ravens aren’t willing to pay him that much.  Ozzie Newsome has publicly expressed frustration over contract talks with Yanda, and even hinted that the team might move on and negotiate with the younger Osemele instead.  But will they really let the NFL’s number one rated guard walk in free agency, in the prime of his career?

It’s a possibility, as astounding as it may seem.  The Ravens don’t have much salary cap space and they also don’t mind ridding themselves of franchise players as we saw with the trade of Haloti Ngata.  If any team can find a suitable replacement for players, year-after-year, it’s the Ravens.

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But Yanda obviously isn’t concerned about not reaching an agreement with the only team he’s ever known.  When asked about the possibility of him receiving a contract extension during mandatory minicamp, he simply replied “We’ll get it done when we get it done. I’m not too worried about it.”

This is going to be a long and drawn out process that may not see a resolution until the preseason, if it truly does get done.  Right now, I wouldn’t bet either way.  If Yanda is willing to accept what the Ravens want to pay him so he can retire with the team, an extension won’t be a problem.  But if he doesn’t budge a la Haloti Ngata, well, you know what comes next.

Next: Is Marshal Yanda a goner after 2015?

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