Ravens: Kevin Zeitler’s contract is the most team-friendly

Ravens, Kevin Zeitler (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
Ravens, Kevin Zeitler (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /

The Baltimore Ravens made it a point of emphasis to upgrade the offensive line this year after some struggles late in the season. And perhaps no upgrade will be more significant than Kevin Zeitler.

The Ravens signed Zeitler to a three-year, $22.5 million contract shortly after he was released by the New York Giants in March. An incredibly reasonable deal for an excellent starting guard.

Brad Spielberger of Pro Football Focus recently released a list of every team’s best and worst contract on their roster. And for the Ravens, Zeitler was named their best.

The Ravens were praised for the savvy signing including the fact that Zeitler didn’t count toward the compensatory pick formula since he was released by the Giants.

The Ravens have high hopes for Kevin Zeitler in 2021.

Spielberger went on to explain his choice.

"“Zeitler’s 72.4 grade over the 2019-20 seasons ranked 16th among all guards with at least 300 total snaps. While his above-average play didn’t justify being one of the highest-paid guards in the NFL for the Giants, it’s certainly worth $7.5 million per year over three years.”"

Zeitler’s $7.5 million AAV ranks him as the 17th-highest-paid guard in the NFL — a far cry from the massive contract he had prior to coming to Baltimore that made him the highest-paid guard in football at the time of his signing.

Needless to say, the Ravens got quite a bit more value out of their signing.

Zeitler is expected to step in as the team’s day-one starter at right guard, hopefully finally filling the massive gap left by Marshal Yanda when he retired following the 2019 season.

The 31-year-old will be a part of a new-look Ravens offensive line that will likely feature three new starters. Alejandro Villanueva was signed to replace Orlando Brown Jr. in the offseason while third-round rookie Ben Cleveland is the favorite to start at left guard.

Cleveland’s presence will allow Bradley Bozeman to shift inside to center — a position that gave the team a lot of trouble last year.

Of course, there’s also the returning Ronnie Stanley who should help stabilize the left side of the offensive lineman.

It should be noted that the Ravens’ worst contract, according to Spielberger, was that of former safety Earl Thomas. Despite not being on the roster, Thomas has a dead cap charge of $10 million which is the fifth-highest on the team.

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The Thomas signing didn’t exactly work out. The Ravens will be hoping that Zeitler’s team-friendly deal will serve them well for the foreseeable future.