The Ravens have one of the best offensive lines in the league. A good portion of that success has been due to Marshall Yanda and now Kelechi Osemele being anchors on both sides of the line. By being able to help out the revolving door of centers Baltimore has fielded since the retirement of Matt Birk as well as helping stabilize the left and right tackle spots, the Ravens' guards are probably the most underrated football players in the league.
But with the release of offensive guard Evan Mathis, might the Ravens be interested in the former Eagle? It might not be so far fetched.
The Ravens have been putting in serious work to extend Pro Bowl guard Marshall Yanda all offseason. He has spurned all advances from Ozzie Newsome though and it looks like it might be getting to the general manager.
If we don't get it done, we'll move on to the next.
Even though Yanda is the best guard in the league, he is 30 years old right now and likely entering the final contract of his career. He's gonna want to get paid like the best guard in the league and the Ravens are probably wanting to hedge their bets that age finally hits him hard and he deteriorates faster than his cap number does. If Yanda doesn't get a contract from the Ravens, he'll surely enter the free agent market and be one of the biggest signings next offseason. That type of attention means big money; money that the Ravens just don't have to give.
If Yanda were to move on, the Ravens could look towards John Urschel or Robert Myers to take over his spot. Then again, the Ravens could want to buy either of those players another year or two to it and learn before taking over for an All-Pro. If that were to happen, the Ravens would be lucky to have a guy like Evan Mathis sitting on the pine.
Now of course you don't sign a guy like Evan Mathis to sit on the bench, but he isn't exactly drawing a ton of interest right now since free agency has already caused teams to blow their cap wads. Part of that might be because Mathis is 33 currently and is probably looking at the last two or three years of his career.
But that is perfect for the Ravens' needs. They chased the All-Pro guard before and he has put up better seasons than Marshall Yanda over the last few years, meaning that he is more than capable of playing tough football still. Having Mathis allows the Ravens to swap around players a little easier and provides unheard of depth on an offensive line. In the event that tackle Eugene Monroe continues to falter this season, it allows the Ravens to push Osemele over to the tackle position and insert Mathis right into one of the toughest offensive lines on the planet. It also buys the Ravens a little insurance and a lot of leverage against Yanda's contract demands.
With Mathis not fielding a ton of interest around the league, the Ravens could find a steal. Much like the Ravens were able to do with linebacker Elvis Dumervil's departure from the Denver Broncos. A cheap signing and immediately makes the team better regardless of how he is used. That is championship football right there and a reason why the Baltimore Ravens might be a darkhorse candidate to land Evan Mathis.