Ravens OLB Pernell McPhee ‘seems likely’ to retire this offseason

Justin Fried
Ravens, Pernell McPhee Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
Ravens, Pernell McPhee Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports /

The Baltimore Ravens are likely to see plenty of roster turnover this offseason. From players retiring to others hitting the open market, it’s expected that the Ravens will be saying goodbye to their fair share of players over the coming months.

One of those players is veteran outside linebacker Pernell McPhee. McPhee is one of over 20 Ravens players that are set to be free agents this offseason, but that might not be the only reason he’s expected to depart the organization.

At 33-years-old, McPhee’s role diminished significantly in 2021 and it seemed clear to most that his time in the NFL was nearing its end. And right now, the assumption among most appears to be that he’s preparing for retirement.

The Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec reported on Monday that “McPhee seems likely to retire” which would leave the Ravens even thinner at outside linebacker.

Pernell McPhee is not expected to be back with the Ravens in 2022

A fifth-round pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, McPhee spent the first four years of his career in Baltimore before departing for the Chicago Bears prior to the start of the 2015 season.

After four years away from the Ravens, McPhee returned in 2019 in what was a homecoming of sorts. The former Mississippi State standout has served as a valuable part of the team’s pass-rush rotation ever since.

But as he’s gotten older, McPhee has seen his playing time cut. After playing 61 percent of defensive snaps in 2019, McPhee was on the field for just 46 percent of snaps in 2020.

That role was diminished even further this past season with McPhee appearing in 10 games and playing only 36 percent of defensive snaps. He’s little more than a part-time player at this stage of his career.

Still, if McPhee retires and doesn’t return in 2022, the Ravens will be left even thinner at outside linebacker. Tyus Bowser’s Achilles injury could cause him to miss the start of the 2022 season while Justin Houston is another pending free agent.

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If Pernell McPhee doesn’t opt to retire, he’ll likely be offered the veterans’ minimum to return. But by the looks of things, he’s probably ready to hang up the cleats for good.