Ravens still searching for a center after losing Bradley Bozeman

Ravens, Bradley Bozeman (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Ravens, Bradley Bozeman (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /

The Baltimore Ravens seemed to be preparing for the eventual departure of center Bradley Bozeman this offseason. And that’s exactly what happened on Friday.

Bozeman agreed to terms on a one-year deal with the Carolina Panthers ending his time in Baltimore after four seasons. The exact terms of the contract are yet to be revealed, but it is a little surprising that he only received a one-year deal.

The Ravens will now continue their search for a new starting center as the team will be forced to start their sixth different Week 1 center in the last decade.

The center position has been somewhat of a revolving door for the Ravens in recent history, and that will continue this season. Bozeman is not returning.

What are the Ravens’ options at center after Bozeman left?

A sixth-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, Bozeman spent his rookie season as a backup before taking over the starting left guard in 2019. He spent the next two seasons as the team’s left guard before shifting over to center in 2021.

Playing his natural center position again for the first time since college, Bozeman thrived. He was one of the few bright spots on an injury-riddled, underperforming Ravens offensive line this past season.

As such, most expected the former Alabama standout to have a sizable market. That seemingly wasn’t the case, however, as Bozeman’s market never developed in the way most expected.

Still, the Ravens opted not to re-sign him which was the expectation all along. They will now continue searching for his replacement.

The Ravens did sign the versatile Patrick Mekari to a three-year, $15.45 million extension late last year and he might be the favorite for the job right now.

Mekari has plenty of experience playing center and could move back there after spending most of 2021 as the team’s right tackle. The Ravens also have Trystan Colon as their primary backup.

If the Ravens wanted to make an external addition, longtime Browns center J.C. Tretter remains the top available free agent following his surprising release.

In the draft, they aren’t going to do better than Iowa standout Tyler Linderbaum, although that would require the team to use their first-round pick on him. It’s unclear how much interest the Ravens would have in that.

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The Ravens have their options, but there’s no doubt the loss of Bradley Bozeman will sting. Next man up.