With the Ravens already in a tight spot in terms of cap space, swallowing the pill that is the $13 million franchise tag to keep Kelechi Osemele around is probably something they aren't willing to do.
Osemele is one of the league's best at his position, and just entering his prime too. That's a rarity at his position, so it's a given that he's will be one of the most-prized commodities in this year's edition of free agency. While we know that he'll have many suitors, predicting which team gets him is a lot harder.
CSN Mid-Atlantic's Clifton Brown believes that Osemele might end up in one of these three cities.
New Orleans is looking to strengthen its offensive line after letting veteran guard Jahri Evans go. Osemele is an excellent run blocker, and the Saints would like to run more to relieve pressure on their defense, and on quarterback Drew Brees.
Coach Pete Carroll told reporters after the season that improving Seattle’s offensive line would be a priority.
"We’re going to work really hard to build it up," Carroll said of the offensive line. "For the course of the season, we weren’t consistent enough."
Joining a contender like the Seahawks would likely appeal to Osemele, especially if they show him enough money.
They want to do a better job of protecting young quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, and Osemele’s run blocking would also be an asset for running back Adrian Peterson.
While Brown has some good points here, I'd like to add a few more destinations to the list.
- New York Jets
The Jets have a big problem on the offensive line. D'Brickashaw Ferguson and Nick Mangold just aren't the players they used to be, and it's really showing- as the unit was just 26th-best this season. With a little shuffling, a young talent like Osemele would be a huge boost.
- Indianapolis Colts
Andrew Luck was nearly killed last season thanks to a sketchy offensive line this year. While the Colts have attempted to rejuvenate the line with young players, it hasn't been the right combination. It's quite clear that an Osemele signing would greatly improve the line.
- Baltimore Ravens
While the Ravens would have to pull off some serious magic to keep him around, it makes all the sense in the world to do so. With no clear successor to Osemele at left guard, the Ravens will quickly have problems of their own on the line if he walks.