When it comes to his football future, Baltimore Ravens inside linebacker C.J. Mosley has just one goal in mind: become the second-best linebacker in team history.
Second-best? Second-best, you say? Well, when you have Ray Lewis as the man who preceded you, I suppose you have a certain obligation to say such a thing. I don’t think there’s much argument that Lewis has been the heart and soul of the franchise. He was the second-ever draft pick of the franchise and was there for both Super Bowls, likely to be named to the Hall of Fame tomorrow.
Mosley was a first-round draft pick in 2014, and he has since gone on to make the Pro Bowl three times, including this most recent season. Through four years, he has recorded 474 tackles with eight sacks, eight interceptions, 30 passes defensed, six forced fumbles, and two defensive touchdowns scored.
Needless to say, the Ravens don’t want him to go anywhere. They already picked up his fifth-year option last year, and that is what he will be playing under in 2018, unless the team works out a contract extension, which will be complicated given their limited cap space.
He said during Pro Bowl week that he is not looking to play anywhere else, though, which is what the Ravens want to hear. Especially financially. Mosley’s agent, however, might not be as happy to hear that. It’s not exactly a strong negotiating point.
“I’ve never been a guy that’s liked change or gone to a new place and start over”, he told reporters last week. “I went all four years at Bama. I was at one high school. I was at one middle school. So I’ll love to stay in Baltimore and continue my legacy and try to be the second-best linebacker to finish out there”.
Becoming the best linebacker in Ravens history would be no easy task, to be certain. Over a 17-year career, Lewis racked up 1562 tackles, 41.5 sacks, 31 interceptions, and 19 fumbles, with three defensive touchdowns as well as a safety. He was voted to the Pro Bowl 13 times and was a seven-time first-team All-Pro, as well as the Defensive Player of the Year.
It is no insult to be second-best to that sort of production. And that seems to be a bigger priority for him than worrying about the future of his contract status.
“It’s definitely new, talking about contracts and money and all that”, Mosley said. “Everybody is well-respected with the Ravens organization, from the top to the bottom. I love all the coaches, all the players, so I definitely expect to finish my career there”.
Mosley and the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Ryan Shazier, given who they play for and where they were drafted, will forever be linked, and they have put up similar numbers, outside of the tackle production, though Shazier’s injuries account for that. He has seven interceptions, seven sacks, and seven forced fumbles in his career.