While the Baltimore Ravens had had a ton of luck this offseason, it has come heavily in both the negative and positive forms. They have dealt with a number of injuries, for example, but they have also been thrown a few bones to help them in key areas that they were hit hard at or neglected.
Their luck broke favorably again recently at a time when they needed it most. A player that they had once traded away earlier this offseason became available late in the game after being released, and sooner after, they lost a player in his position group for the season.
On Friday it was made official that the Ravens would be re-signing center Jeremy Zuttah, who spent the past three seasons with the team as their starter at the position. He started 41 games in that span, the only games that he missed coming as a result of injury. He was named as an alternate for the Pro Bowl last year when Maurkice Pouncey did not participate.
While it has not yet been affirmed that the plan is for Zuttah to come back to start, it seems likely. He did not come back on a big contract at a max of $6 million over two years—they were going to release him for salary cap reasons before landing a trade partner, so that wouldn’t make sense—but he is easily the most trusted option.
At the moment, the team has been preparing fourth-year Ryan Jensen to assume the role of starting center. He has made some starts in the past, but only as an injury replacement. The interior reserve may now likely kick over to start at left guard, where Baltimore lost incumbent starter Alex Lewis to the season due to injury.
Even with the return of Zuttah, the Ravens will still contend with two new starters along the offensive line from last season. With Lewis’s injury displacing him with Jensen, or perhaps another new starter, and the loss of Rick Wagner at right tackle eventually being met with the addition of Austin Howard, change will be a theme there this year.
In fact, only Zuttah and Marshal Yanda will have had more than a year of starting experience with the Ravens. Ronnie Stanley is a second-year player. Lewis was as well. Altogether this is a fairly new group working together.
In addition to Lewis, the team has also suffered the loss of rookie fourth-round pick Nico Siragusa to a season-ending injury. Veteran reserve John Urschel elected to retire. Both of them would have been in the running to start along the interior otherwise, with made reaching out to Zuttah such a necessity.