Ravens interested in bringing back Ryan Jensen in free agency
The Baltimore Ravens could be eyeing a reunion this offseason with reports indicating that the team is interested in signing former Ravens center Ryan Jensen in free agency.
ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported on Sunday that the Ravens are one of a few teams that Jensen “has the attention of.” Among others listed were the New York Jets, Cincinnati Bengals, and Pittsburgh Steelers.
According to Fowler, if Jensen doesn’t rejoin the Ravens, there’s a decent chance he ends up with a division rival. The Ravens’ interest in Jensen isn’t too surprising given the uncertain status of Bradley Bozeman.
Bozeman played well in his first year as a starting center in the NFL this past season, but the 27-year-old could command a hefty price tag on the open market. The Ravens might not be able to afford to re-sign him.
But, of course, that begs the question. How are they going to sign Jensen?
Could the Ravens afford to sign Ryan Jensen?
A sixth-round pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, Jensen played sparingly early in his career before taking over as the team’s full-time starting center in 2017. The Colorado State-Pueblo product played well and he’d go on to earn a sizable contract in the offseason.
Jensen signed a four-year, $42 million contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers that offseason, and he’d go on to take his career to new heights even making his first Pro Bowl in 2021.
Even at 30-years-old (he turns 31 in May), Jensen is still playing at a very high level. He hasn’t missed a game in half a decade and is coming off a season in which he was named to the Pro Bowl.
So how exactly would the Ravens be able to sign Jensen and not Bozeman? It’s a fair question.
Spotrac projects Bozeman’s market value at roughly four years, $40 million while Jensen’s is set at three years, $30 million. Both contracts would carry an average salary of $10 million.
Bozeman has age on his size as he’ll enter the 2022 season four years younger than his older counterpart. That said, Jensen obviously has a stronger track record of success.
Both players will probably make similar money, which makes it a little puzzling why the Ravens would have interest in bringing back Jensen, unless they feel he’s a significant upgrade over Bozeman.
While Jensen did make the Pro Bowl in 2021, he wasn’t exactly an All-Pro as he finished with a Pro Football Focus grade of 68.7 that ranked 14th at his position. Jensen finished fourth among all centers in pressures allowed and committed a league-leading six penalties.
He’s obviously still a good player and a tough-as-nails veteran leader, but would he be that much of an upgrade over Bozeman? That’s a question the Ravens will have to ask themselves.
Nonetheless, it appears as though the Ravens are at least considering a reunion with Ryan Jensen this offseason. The next week or so should be a very interesting time for the organization.