The Ravens locked down one of their offensive line starters Thursday. They reached a three-year extension agreement with Patrick Mekari, who is now signed through 2024.
A former UDFA, Mekari has served as a multi-position starter with Baltimore. After initially breaking into the Ravens’ lineup as a center in 2019, Mekari has settled in at right tackle this season. Mekari’s deal is worth $15.35MM, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. The 24-year-old blocker will collect $7MM guaranteed.
Mekari was set to be a restricted free agent in March. The Cal alum opted to collect cash now and remain with Baltimore. He joins Ronnie Stanley and guard Kevin Zeitler as Raven O-linemen signed to long-term veteran deals.
Injuries have changed Baltimore’s outlook up front this season. Stanley going down for a second straight year moved Alejandro Villanueva from right to left tackle. Mekari has filled in on the right side, making a career-high 10 starts this season. This comes a year after Mekari worked as both a starting guard and center. In 2019, Mekari replaced Matt Skura at center late in the season and finished out the team’s 14-2 slate at that spot.
Baltimore traded three-year right tackle starter Orlando Brown Jr. to Kansas City this offseason, collecting a first-round pick and change for a player determined not to play right tackle any longer. Brown replaced Stanley on the left side after the latter’s 2020 injury, ending his run as the Ravens’ long-term right-edge protector. Mekari may now move into that role, though the Ravens have the option of bringing in someone else there and slotting Mekari in at another O-line position next season. Center Bradley Bozeman is a 2022 free agent, potentially opening up that spot.