There is mutual interest between the Baltimore Ravens and standout center Bradley Bozeman as it pertains to the latter’s contract situation. Both sides want to get an extension done prior to the start of free agency.
But just because two parties want something to happen, doesn’t mean it’s actually going to happen.
The Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec reported on Monday (subscription required) that the two sides remain far apart on contract talks. There is undoubtedly mutual interest, but right now, there is a “significant gap to bridge,” according to Zrebiec.
"“The Ravens would like to re-sign Bozeman and that would eliminate center as a need, but ongoing contract talks haven’t pulled the two sides close to a deal. There is mutual interest and time to get it done, but there is also a significant gap to bridge.”"
This shouldn’t come as a major surprise given Bozeman’s emotional response when speaking to the media following the team’s final game of the season. He obviously wants to return, but he knows there’s a realistic chance he plays elsewhere in 2022.
The Ravens might not be able to re-sign Bradley Bozeman
A sixth-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, Bozeman took over as the full-time starting left guard in his second NFL season. After two years as a dependable starting guard, the Ravens opted to move Bozeman back to his natural center position in 2021.
The move paid dividends for everyone involved as Bozeman went on to have a career year finishing with a Pro Football Focus grade of 73.3 that ranked 11th among all qualified centers in the NFL.
He was one of just five centers to receive a PFF pass-block and run-block grade north of 70.0. It was easily the best season of his career and the stability the Ravens had long been searching for at the center position.
Now set to be a free agent, Bozeman will have no shortage of suitors on the open market. The 27-year-old has expressed a desire to remain in Baltimore, but he isn’t going to do so for less than market value.
Meanwhile, the Ravens have many other needs to address and could find themselves in a tricky cap situation. That being said, losing Bradley Bozeman is a scenario the Ravens must avoid at all costs.
With other holes already on the offensive line, the Ravens could ill-afford to lose a player who was arguably their most reliable offensive lineman a year ago.
The Ravens still have time to get a deal done, but right now, it’s safe to say that neither party is particularly thrilled with how little progress has been made.