The offseason has started for the Ravens and we will very soon see the team make moves to prepare the roster for the 2016 season. Some players will be kept, some players will be cut due to their failure to perform or their cost. This week, we'll be taking a look at the offensive line.
The Players: Eugene Monroe, Kelechi Osemele, Jeremy Zuttah, Marshal Yanda, Rick Wagner, John Urschel, James Hurst, Ryan Jensen
Eugene Monroe has struggled with health, but when he is healthy he does a pretty good job of keeping Joe Flacco safe. The Ravens wouldn't suffer too much in the way of cap penalties if they chose to part with him, but why should they add any more dead money to an already sizable pile? Also, cutting Monroe means that the Ravens would either have to start a rookie at LT (a decision that may turn out well for the team, but it might not come to fruition in for most or all of 2016, if it all) or James Hurst (a decision that definitely will not turn out for the team at all). I'd say that Monroe is safe for 2016, but the Ravens could draft a tackle with the intention of letting him sit behind Monroe. That situation is definitely worth watching.
Kelechi Osemele is a good guard and he is definitely worth keeping around for 2016. But it's likely that he'll get an offer that's going to be more than the Ravens can/will pay Osemele, so this is a moot point. Jeremy Zuttah is safe, if only for the fact that releasing him would leave the Ravens with $3.322 million in dead money, while only saving $1.286 million. Marshal Yanda had another excellent year and with him recently signing a five-year extension to keep him in Baltimore, he's probably one of the safest players on the team.
Rick Wagner wasn't his elite self in 2015, but the third year player was still passable as a right tackle and he'll most likely enter 2016 with a spot on the roster and probably the starting job. John Urschel will make the 2016 roster and he will probably get the first shot at replacing Kelechi Osemele in the event of his departure. The James Hurst project has not panned out for the Ravens. Hurst is not developing at all and he is one of the worst offensive tackles in the draft. He will probably not be on the Ravens 2016 roster, especially if they take an offensive tackle in the draft. Ryan Jensen is an exclusive-rights free agent, so unless the Ravens are particularly dissatisfied with his performance, he should get a contract that gives him a spot on the 2016 roster and the chance to compete for a starting job.
With the exception of the fact that Kelechi Osemele will probably play elsewhere in 2016, the offensive line will be the same as it has been for these past two years. Things to look at over the next few months are the John Urschel stepping up to replace Osemele and whether the Ravens draft a new left tackle.