Don’t miss Trey Mancini and Joey Rickard guest bartend at the first Brews & O’s event June 10th. Get your tickets today!

As deadline for franchise tag passes, Ravens' C.J. Mosley moves closer to free agency

The Ravens declined to place the franchise tag on C.J. Mosley by Tuesday’s 4 p.m. deadline, leaving the team with just over a week to sign its All-Pro linebacker before he hits free agency.

General manager Eric DeCosta was not expected to tag Mosley, as the Ravens would have owed about $15.4 million in 2019 to the team’s top free-agent target. DeCosta said at the NFL scouting combine last week that the Ravens’ preference “would always be to do a long-term deal with a player like C.J. He’s a great player.”

But other teams are allowed to contact Mosley starting Monday, and free agency officially begins at 4 p.m. March 13. There would be significant interest outside Baltimore in the 26-year-old, who has earned second-team All-Pro honors in four of his first five NFL seasons and has missed just three games over that span.

The Ravens have done little to hide their interest in re-signing Mosley. Defensive coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale said last season that he’d choose to have Mosley in his defense over Carolina Panthers star Luke Kuechly, the NFL’s highest-paid inside linebacker ($12.4 million annually). Coach John Harbaugh has said the Ravens want Mosley back, and that the former first-round pick wants to be back.

Still, Harbaugh acknowledged that there “are limitations with money.” Contract negotiations will be a test case for DeCosta, who has emphasized the importance of retaining young talent and managing the salary cap prudently.

Copyright © 2019, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad