Ravens offensive lineman Kelechi Osemele is expected to reach the open market and become an unrestricted free agent next week, sources tell Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter link). Wilson adds that Osemele probably won’t stay in Baltimore unless the team makes him the highest-paid guard in the NFL.
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A report last week indicated that the Ravens had made an “aggressive” offer to Osemele in the hopes of re-signing him. And while Wilson suggests that Osemele wants to be paid like the league’s highest guard, it’s likely that he’d be shifting over to left tackle on a full-time basis if he remains in Baltimore. As such, it makes sense that he’d be seeking left-tackle money, particularly since he’d probably find at least one team willing to make him that kind of offer on March 9th.
Currently, the top contract in the NFL for a guard is Logan Mankins‘ deal. Mankins’ pact ranks first in the position in terms of total value ($51MM), annual average ($8.5MM), and fully guaranteed money ($21.5MM). Since the former Patriot was traded to Tampa Bay halfway through that contract, two teams were on the hook for parts of it, making it a little easier to swallow overall. Mankins’ $8.5MM per-year salary would rank 13th among tackles.
Due to injuries on the Ravens’ offensive line, Osemele spent some time at left tackle for the team in 2015 after starting the year at guard. Pro Football Focus, which grouped Osemele in with 77 qualified offensive tackles, ranked him 18th at the position and assigned him an especially strong grade as a run blocker.
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