Advertisement

Ravens working to bring back free-agent center Jeremy Zuttah after release from 49ers

The Ravens' quest to add depth and experience to their injury-riddled offensive line has led them to a familiar face.

According to sources, they are close to a deal to bring back free-agent center Jeremy Zuttah, who was released by the San Francisco 49ers on Aug. 9. Zuttah is also considering the Indianapolis Colts.

Advertisement

The Ravens traded Zuttah, 31, to the 49ers in March in a move that was more about getting bigger and younger at center than creating salary cap space. When word leaked that the Ravens were planning on releasing Zuttah, the 49ers expressed interest in trading for him.

San Francisco agreed to send a 2017 sixth-round pick (No. 186 overall) to the Ravens for Zuttah and a later 2017 sixth-round selection (No. 198 overall). The Ravens used that pick to select Virginia Tech safety Chuck Clark.

The Ravens expressed interest in re-signing Zuttah after they lost several offensive linemen who were expected to either start or fill reserve roles on the 53-man roster.

Starting center candidate John Urschel retired on the morning of the first full-squad trading camp practice. Rookie fourth-round guard Nico Siragusa tore up his left knee and is out for the season. Projected starting left guard Alex Lewis had surgery to repair a torn labrum in his shoulder and will also miss the entire season.

Starting left tackle Ronnie Stanley and reserve tackle Stephane Nembot are both currently sidelined with injuries.

The starting offensive line in Thursday's preseason game against the Miami Dolphins will likely feature James Hurst at left tackle, 2016 undrafted free agent Matt Skura at left guard, Ryan Jensen at center, Marshal Yanda at right guard and Austin Howard at right tackle.

If Stanley was healthy and at left tackle, Hurst would likely move to left guard and Skura would become the team's top interior reserve.

What's unclear is whether Zuttah would be a candidate to be the starting center in place of Jensen or whether the Ravens look at the veteran more as potential depth at the interior offensive line spots. Theoretically, they also could use Zuttah at center and move Jensen to the starting left guard spot.

Zuttah started 41 games over parts of three seasons with the Ravens.

mike.preston@baltsun.com

twitter.com/MikePrestonSun

Advertisement
Advertisement