The Baltimore Ravens have re-signed guard/tackle James Hurst to a four-year deal worth $17.5 million.
The #Ravens re-signed versatile OL James Hurst to a four-year deal worth $17.5M, source said. He gets $8M guaranteed. Solidifying their OL.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 12, 2018
Hurst hasn’t exactly been a fan favorite since rolling into Joe Flacco’s knee in 2015, causing him to tear his ACL and MCL. Sure, he hasn’t been impressive at tackle over the years, but he played very well at guard when he made the transition last season. Hurst helped solidify an injured offensive line and contributed to the unit’s surprising success in 2017.
Hurst is a versatile player. He can play every position on the offensive line except for center, as of right now. This versatility is huge for a team like the Ravens, who have several offensive linemen returning from injuries in 2018. Marshal Yanda, Alex Lewis, and Nico Siragusa are all returning from season-ending injuries.
Lewis was the team’s starting left guard as a rookie in 2016, but Hurst played better at the position, so Lewis could possibly be moved to right tackle or center now, depending on if the Ravens re-sign Ryan Jensen or cut Austin Howard. Lewis hasn’t proven he can stay healthy yet either, as he missed several games in 2016 and the entire season in 2017. Yanda is getting older and has dealt with several injuries himself in recent years. Hurst has been a durable player throughout his four-year career with the Ravens, which is an extremely valuable asset. Throughout 64 games, He has never missed a single one and has started in 32, including all 16 in 2017. Durability equates to continuity on the offensive line.
Hurst is a more than capable starter at guard who provides depth at both tackle positions. While he is far from ideal at tackle, he is someone you can play there in a desperate pinch. He was pivotal in the team’s success in running the ball last season and his ability to pull from the left guard spot was utilized by Greg Roman. He has a chance to improve even further as well, since 2017 was his first year playing guard in the NFL. This was a solid re-signing. Now, if the Ravens are unable to re-sign Ryan Jensen, Matt Skura and Lewis can compete at center.