INDIANAPOLIS — Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta said Tuesday that he expects to have a clearer idea of guard Marshal Yanda’s future in Baltimore “probably in the next month or so.”
At a news conference in Indianapolis, DeCosta said he spoke with Yanda at the Pro Bowl last month but that they didn’t discuss his plans for next season. Yanda, who turns 36 in September, is under contract through 2020 but has left open the possibility of retirement, just as he did after the 2018 season.
“We didn’t talk about the future,” DeCosta told reporters at the NFL scouting combine. “I’m sure we’ll have those discussions at some point.”
Yanda, an eight-time Pro Bowl selection and seven-time All-Pro honoree, played what coach John Harbaugh called “Hall of Fame” football in his 13th season in Baltimore. According to ESPN, Yanda finished first in the NFL in pass-block win rate, the rate at which offensive linemen sustain their blocks for 2.5 seconds or longer. And over nearly 1,000 offensive snaps during the regular season, Yanda did not commit a single penalty.
Replacing Yanda, whose play has in many ways defined the Ravens’ smashmouth, record-breaking rushing attack, wouldn’t be easy. Guard Ben Powers played sparingly as a rookie, and versatile lineman Patrick Mekari could be forced to return to center if starter Matt Skura’s recovery from a season-ending knee injury forces him to miss time in 2020. This year’s draft class is also light on potential first-round interior offensive line prospects.
Free agency begins March 18. The Ravens are projected to have about $30 million in salary cap space, though retaining Pro Bowl outside linebacker Matthew Judon would limit their financial flexibility.