There are few things that are guaranteed in this life. You know the ones that get talked about most often, but one that has become more apparent in the past decade is the fact that NFL teams absolutely love to sign Baltimore Ravens free agent offensive linemen to contracts exceeding their actual value as players. And that includes the trade market, as well.
The latest Raven that could end up being overpaid for his services is Bradley Bozeman, the four-year veteran who moved to center in 2021 after parting with Matt Skura at the position. Bozeman had begun to solidify himself at left guard prior to the move. He is already drawing interest, however, weeks out of the start of the new league year.
Aaron Wilson, for example, reported last week that one of the number of teams expected to take a good look at him during free agency is none other than the Cincinnati Bengals, who could realistically be looking at him to play either guard or center, though guard is more likely.
The defending AFC champions made it all the way to the Super Bowl in 2021, but their Achilles’ heel proved to be their offensive line, which allowed quarterback Joe Burrow to be sacked 70 times over the course of their 21-game season.
But they had Quinton Spain and Hakeem Adeniji starting at the guard positions, the former being their full-time starter throughout the season, and for most of the past two seasons. Adeniji, a second-year former sixth-round pick, was called on to play due to injury, but logged more than half of the snaps. They do have Jackson Carman, who was a second-round pick in 2021.
Bozeman, however, would be a clear upgrade at guard for the Bengals, and likely at center as well. He does have a background at the position, but he should be even more comfortable playing there a second season if that is what he is signed for.
An article from the Ravens’ website notes an article from Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic, who posits that Bozeman has likely priced himself out of Baltimore. Should they prove to be the case, he would join a long list of linemen who have received top or near-top dollar in free agency coming out of the Ravens organization.
Baltimore, of course, is looking to upgrade its own offensive line, and while they can reasonably hope for health improving their group—getting Ronnie Stanley back at left tackle and getting Ja’Wuan James on the other side would help a lot—losing Bozeman would open a big hole.
Not that I’ll be shedding any tears for their plight. After all, I’m over here trying to convince myself that the Pittsburgh Steelers should re-sign Chukwuma Okorafor and holding my nose while doing it. Or, surely, this is the year that the stars align for Zach Banner, right? Right?