By and large, the Baltimore Ravens have a fairly young roster that has gotten really young really quickly in a few key areas, such as, oh, I don’t know, maybe quarterback. Rookies at running back and tight end also play key roles and three of their linemen are on rookie contracts. But there are some key pieces that are getting long in the tooth and whose future is in the balance.
Pro Bowlers Eric Weddle and Marshal Yanda are both 34 and it’s not 100 percent clear what the future holds for either one.
Weddle has gone on record as saying that he wants to continue playing, but he could be a salary cap casualty. Yanda has yet to commit to playing in 2019 even though he is under contract. He has been bogged down by injuries in recent years.
Head Coach John Harbaugh, whom the organization recently signed to a three-year extension running through 2022, is expecting to have both of them back, however
As long as things fall this offseason in the manner that they intend, the expectation is that they will both line up in the 2019 season opener.
“One thing you learn about this whole building a roster around the National Football League and working around the [salary] cap is that no decision stands on its own feet. It’s not sequential, either. It’s not this, then this, then this. It all happens together at once”.
The Ravens have salary cap space to work with right now but that could get consumed very quickly, and primarily by perennial Pro Bowler C.J. Mosley at inside linebacker, who is arguably their most pivotal player on the defensive side of the ball.
They could be looking at a franchise tag to start out with worth over $14 million. Others like Terrell Suggs will also need to be retained—or not—depending on their plans.
“There’s nobody that doesn’t want both those players on our team, so we’ll do everything we can to make that happen and we’ll see what happens”, Harbaugh offered.
By all accounts, both Yanda and Weddle certainly seem to be two of the ‘good guys’ in the league and strong presences in the locker room, while continuing to play at a sufficient level.