On Monday, the Baltimore Ravens re-signed fullback Patrick Ricard to a three-year, $11.25 million deal. Below, you’ll find the reactions to this move from some of our staff here at Baltimore Beatdown.
You’d think I’m doing PR work for the Ravens with how I frequently I address the Ravens’ fanbase. One of the biggest reactions I’ve seen is people saying that the re-signing of Ricard shows “the Ravens offense won’t evolve” and it’s “one less wide receiver on the field for Lamar Lackson.”
During his end of season press conference, I asked Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh specifically about constructing this offense the past few years and if they feel they’re going against the grain building a run-heavy offense in a league going more pass-happy. He expressed that the Ravens rushing attack was constructed that way during the first couple of years with Jackson at the helm. He closed by talking about how the run game isn’t as important, but it’s still valuable to have.
“How big of a piece is [the run game] going forward? That’s what we’ve got to decide,” Harbaugh said. “It’s going to be a big piece. But is it going to be as big of a piece as it was in ‘19, say, as Lamar [Jackson] progresses as a quarterback? No, I don’t think it will be. It will be a piece, and people are going to have to contend with it and deal with it, but it won’t be as big as it was that year. So, that’s hopefully an evolution that we make as our players grow.”
Ricard is a three-time Pro Bowler. He’s helped pave the way for Jackson and the running game. When injury plagued the Ravens’ 2021 season, he was a mobile offensive lineman, blocking and picking up blitzes. He’s a bodyguard for the running backs and Jackson. He will be utilized because he’s a great talent and fits the mold of this team. That doesn’t mean other wideouts won’t be getting time. Ricard was on the team last year when tight end Mark Andrews broke franchise records in receptions and yards, even with three different starting quarterbacks. — Kyle Barber
I’m glad that the Ravens are retaining their three time Pro Bowler at the fullback position. Ricard is a home grown talent that went from a decent two-way player to a dominant force run blocker and underrated underneath threat in the passing game. He is a prime example of a undrafted gem and will stacking up pancake blocks and bulldozing through would be tacklers for three more years. — Joshua Reed
Pat Ricard has been a valuable cog in the Ravens’ offensive success over the past three seasons. His development from undrafted defensive lineman to top-tier fullback has been a great story, and I’m happy the Ravens are rewarding his efforts with another three-year contract. There is fair debate over the value of his position in today’s NFL and how much his skill set is worth money wise. However, the Ravens will be paying him less than $5 million annually, and almost every metric shows they’re a better team with him on the field than off. His versatility, toughness and blocking ability are nice attributes to retain — Frank Platko
Patrick Ricard has been a valuable staple to the Ravens’ dominant rushing attack in the Lamar Jackson era and should continue to be going forward with a healthy J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards returning to the backfield this season. My hope is that this investment in Ricard does not prevent Baltimore from running more 11 personnel (43% in 2021 whereas the league average was 61% according to sharpfootballanalysis.com) and spreading defenses out. The passing attack is the single most important aspect of the modern NFL and the Ravens should continue to evolve in that department.
Ricard is an excellent blocker and can be used at fullback, H-back, or even tight end, but his threat as a receiver is minimal. While he does offer soft hands as an underneath outlet in the passing game, Ricard is not a true threat to defenses through the air. All in all, the Ricard signing is not a needle mover in my opinion but it does not cost enough to warrant much of a negative reaction. — Dustin Cox