According to Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network, a name could already be surfacing to do just that, and it’s a familiar face for Ravens fans in Kelechi Osemele.
“I will raise the possibility of one replacement for him and that will be a familiar face in Baltimore, Kelechi Osemele, who left the Ravens to sign a huge contract with the Raiders, then wound up as a Jet,” Garafolo said. “You know how ugly that got with last year with the shoulder surgery and him saying that he needed it, the Jets saying he didn’t need it. He is working his way back to full health. Wouldn’t be surprised if winds up back there because I know he does want to continue to play and believes he is going to be healthy well in advance of Week 1.”
Also, Garafolo said that the Ravens weren’t exactly blindsided by the news that Yanda was walking away. As he said, they knew this was a possibility.
“It’s something we knew at the end of the season that Yanda was going to contemplate. But the word was that this is the way he was leaning,” he said. “Don’t look at it and think the Ravens are scrambling. They understood that even though Yanda was playing extremely well at this point of his career, that retirement was a likely outcome.”
Osemele is a 2 time Pro Bowl player who captured Super Bowl XLVII with the Ravens. At 30 years old, he could be a solid veteran option for the team.
Marshal Yanda Retired Tuesday
According to ESPN’s Jamison Hensley, Yanda has decided to hang up the cleats following the 2019 season on Tuesday. Initially, he had been debating whether or not to return, but it sounds as if Yanda wants to walk away following last season.
It’s obvious the guard will be missed in a big way up front for the team, and now, the Ravens’ biggest goal will be figuring out what to do with the gaping hole up front. It’s tough to quantify how much Yanda has meant to the team given his 13 year career has never taken him anywhere but Baltimore.
Yanda, 35, was a third round pick out of Iowa in 2007 and was an 8 time Pro-Bowl player as well as a 2 time first team All-Pro and a 5 time second team All-Pro. He started in 166 NFL games and played in 177 total as well as a winner of Super Bowl XLVIII. Obviously, his resume could lead to enshrinement in the Hall of Fame one day given what he was able to do.
Now, Yanda will shift to life outside of football.
Ravens Offseason Needs
The Ravens are seemingly in a decent spot in terms of both sides of the ball thanks to the fact that they have a young roster, but there’s little question that the team needs to make a few well placed additions, especially on offense, as Eric DeCosta has hinted. Baltimore could use another receiving threat to help Lamar Jackson, and depending on what happens with some of the team’s own free agents, cornerback and linebacker could be on the docket as well.
Baltimore shouldn’t need many dramatic moves, but should continue to lock up their own talent while looking to make a few well-placed additions to the mix.
Adding an offensive lineman now would seem to be a huge goal for the Ravens the rest of this offseason, whether in free agency or the draft.
Osemele is a solid option for the team in order to fill the void.