Marshal Yanda

Ravens’ Marshal Yanda Retires From NFL

Marshal Yanda is calling it a career. On Wednesday, the Ravens’ guard will formally announce his retirement from the NFL, as ESPN.com’s Jamison Hensley tweets

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Yanda, 35, spent his entire 13-season career with the Ravens. He also mulled retirement last year and there have been rumblings for the past few weeks about him hanging ’em up before the 2020 season. He’s following through on that, choosing to focus on family and his life outside of football.

Last year, Yanda helped the Ravens rack up 3,296 yards on the ground as he protected superstar Lamar Jackson & Co. That was an NFL all-time record, one that they couldn’t have achieved without stellar protection on the interior line from the eight-time Pro Bowler.

Along the way, Yanda also racked up two First-Team All-Pro nods and a Super Bowl ring. The veteran likely still has plenty of quality football left in the tank, but he also has nothing left to prove. He’s earned many millions of dollars since entering the league as a third-round pick in 2007 and reached the pinnacle of the sport – now, he’ll enjoy the fruits of his labor off of the field.

With Yanda out of the picture, the Ravens will be off the hook for his $7MM salary in 2020. They’re unlikely to find a better guard for that price.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Marshal Yanda Considering Retirement?

The Ravens’ terrific season came to a sudden and surprising end at the hands of the Titans on Saturday night, which leaves Baltimore looking ahead to the 2020 campaign much sooner than it would have liked. And at some point in the near future, the team could be saying goodbye to its longest-tenured player.

Right guard Marshal Yanda, who was named to the eighth Pro Bowl of his career for his typically excellent work in the trenches in 2019, is under contract through the 2020 season. However, many of Yanda’s teammates believe he may have already played the last game of his career, as Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports tweets.

Yanda, 35, did not publicly commit to playing in 2019 until he inked a one-year extension in April of last year, and with a Super Bowl ring and two First Team All-Pro nods to his credit, he may choose to hang up the cleats and move on to the next stage of his life.

La Canfora cautions that Yanda will take his time with the decision, but if he does choose to retire, the Ravens will have a massive hole to fill on their offensive line. Selected by Baltimore in the third round of the 2007 draft, Yanda has quietly put together a potential Hall of Fame career with his toughness and intelligence, and Lamar Jackson and the Ravens’ running backs would surely miss him.

If he does come back next year, Yanda stands to earn $7MM, a pittance relative to his importance to the team.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Injury Notes: Clowney, Ravens, Ramsey, Jacobs

Jadeveon Clowney hasn’t played in two weeks, but the 26-year-old is anxious to get back on the field for the Seahawks. The defensive lineman told ESPN’s Brady Henderson that “there’s no way” he’ll miss his team’s season finale against the 49ers. Clowney also acknowledged that the two missed games will help him in the postseason.

“Oh, for sure,” he said. “I’m in a way better place … I’ve been a lot better than I was the week before.”

Clowney missed Week 15 against the Panthers with the flu, and he was out for Week 16 against the Cardinals to deal with a lingering core injury. Henderson notes that Clowney was listed as limited on the Seahawks’ first injury report of the week.

Let’s check out some more injury notes from around the NFL…

  • Quarterback Lamar Jackson and running back Mark Ingram won’t be the only Ravens player missing their team’s Week 17 game against the Steelers. Coach John Harbaugh told reporters that safety Earl Thomas, offensive lineman Marshal Yanda, and defensive end Brandon Williams also won’t play this weekend (via Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic on Twitter). With Baltimore already having locked up a bye, the coaching staff is clearly playing it safe and providing the veterans with an extra week of rest.
  • Cornerback Jalen Ramsey will miss the Rams game against the Cardinals on Sunday. Coach Sean McVay told reporters that Ramsey is dealing with a strained lateral collateral ligament that was suffered during the team’s loss to the 49ers. The Rams sent a pair of first-rounders (along with a fourth-rounder) to the Jaguars for Ramsey, and the 25-year-old ended up chipping in 33 tackles, four passes defended, an interception, and one forced fumble in nine games (eight starts) for Los Angeles.
  • Raiders running back Josh Jacobs underwent a minor operation that shouldn’t keep him out of the lineup for Week 17. “Josh Jacobs woke up with discomfort in his leg on Wednesday and he was evaluated and treated for a superficial skin infection,” the team said (via NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport on Twitter). While Jacobs will be in the lineup to help the Raiders secure an unlikely playoff spot, he’s still be a bit banged up. We heard earlier this month that the rookie was dealing with a shoulder ailment.

AFC North Notes: Burns, Young, Browns

Steelers CB Artie Burns, a 2016 first-round pick, was widely considered to be on the club’s roster bubble this summer, and even after he earned an $800K roster bonus at the end of July, there was still some chatter that he could be sent packing. But as Mark Kaboly of The Athletic writes, Burns has quieted those rumors with a strong training camp, and he excelled in Pittsburgh’s preseason contest against the Chiefs on Saturday. He is eligible for unrestricted free agency in 2020 since the Steelers declined his fifth-year option, and his contract year has gotten off to a great start. He now has a legitimate chance to be the team’s No. 3 corner.

Now for more from the AFC North:

  • Kaboly notes in a separate piece that the Steelers may be on the lookout for a veteran TE and/or punter on the free agent market.
  • Ravens slot corner Tavon Young may miss the entire 2019 campaign due to a serious neck injury, but Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic says Young is still weighing his options with respect to surgery (Twitter link). Initial reports suggested that Baltimore believes Young should get surgery, which would likely allow him to return at full-strength for the 2020 season, but Young remains undecided. If he doesn’t get surgery and allows the injury to heal on its own, he could potentially return in 2019, but if the injury doesn’t heal, he may miss some of 2020. Either way, he will almost certainly open this season on IR.
  • Ravens guard Marshal Yanda is dealing with an ankle/foot injury and will not play in either of the club’s remaining preseason games, as Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com tweets. However, HC John Harbaugh expects the seven-time Pro Bowler to be ready to go for Week 1.
  • Garrett Gilbert played well in the Browns‘ preseason victory over the Colts on Saturday, but head coach Freddie Kitchens foreclosed any potential chatter of a QB2 battle by declaring that Drew Stanton will be the club’s backup QB (via Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com). Still, Cabot writes that Gilbert’s performance likely earned the AAF alumnus a spot on the roster.
  • Jaelen Strong was signed by the Browns in February, and he has played well over the past several weeks. He found the endzone in Saturday’s game, and Tony Grossi of ESPN.com suggests that the former Texans’ third-rounder is closing in on a roster spot (Twitter link).

Ravens Sign Marshal Yanda To Extension

Maybe this won’t be Marshal Yanda‘s final season after all. On Thursday, the Ravens reached agreement on a one-year extension with the seven-time Pro Bowl guard that will keep him under club control through the 2020 season, sources tell ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter (on Twitter). 

A seven-time Pro Bowler and two-time First Team All-Pro, Yanda has long been one of the best offensive lineman in the league. The Ravens have some uncertainty at left guard and center in advance of this month’s draft, so Yanda is especially important to the club moving forward.

Yanda has dealt with some health concerns in recent years, including a broken ankle that ended his 2017 season after just two games. He is owed $7MM this year, a relative bargain. Financial terms of his new year are not yet known.

Prior to the deal, the 34-year-old (35 in September) was set to enter the final year of his four-year, $32MM contract. With the new deal, Yanda will likely finish out his career in Baltimore, unless he wants to push into his late 30s.

Recently, Ravens GM Eric DeCosta indicated that he wanted Yanda in the fold beyond 2019. With the new deal, they’ve likely accomplished that goal.

In regards to Marshal, we love Marshal, and we’d love Marshal to continue to play for us for years,” DeCosta said earlier this month. “He’s a great player. He’s still playing at a high level. He’s a Raven. You can define a Raven and put a picture of Marshal Yanda up there, and that’s him.”

Thanks in part to Yanda, the Ravens managed 141.9 per game, good for second in the league. The Ravens hope to hit a similar mark this year as quarterback Lamar Jackson continues to make plays with his legs.

New deals for kicker Justin Tucker, outside linebacker Matthew Judon, offensive tackle Ronnie Stanley, inside linebacker Patrick Onwuasor, and defensive tackle Michael Pierce could be on deck for the Ravens, as ESPN.com’s Jamison Hensley writes.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Ravens Expect Marshal Yanda To Play In 2019

As of January, Ravens right guard Marshal Yanda had not publicly committed to playing in 2019, and as Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com tweets, there has been some speculation that Yanda, 34, could choose to hang up the cleats. But Hensley says that the Ravens fully expect Yanda to return this season.

A seven-time Pro Bowler and two-time First Team All-Pro, Yanda has long been one of the best offensive lineman in the league. The Ravens have some uncertainty at left guard and center in advance of this month’s draft, and losing Yanda would be a major blow, especially as they are deploying second-year QB Lamar Jackson under center.

But Yanda has dealt with some health concerns in recent years, including a broken ankle that ended his 2017 season after just two games. He is owed $7MM this year, a relative bargain, but it is the last year of his current deal. Even if he returns this season, he could choose to retire once his contract expires at the end of the campaign.

The former third-round pick out of Iowa has spent his entire career with the Ravens.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Ravens Want Yanda, Weddle To Return

Count head coach John Harbaugh among those who’d like a pair of veteran Pro Bowlers to return to the Ravens next season. Harbaugh told reporters that he’s hoping offensive lineman Marshal Yanda and safety Eric Weddle will be back in 2019.

“Unless something changes along the way, they will be back,” he said (via Jonas Shaffer of the Baltimore Sun). “We have talked about all those things, but no decisions have been made. One thing you learn about this whole building a roster around the National Football League and working around the [salary] cap is that no decision stands on its own feet. It’s not sequential, either. It’s not this, then this, then this. It all happens together at once.”

Harbaugh notes that general manager Eric DeCosta and executive Ozzie Newsome are also open to welcoming back the duo.

Weddle, 34, was named to his sixth Pro Bowl this season after compiling 68 tackles, one sack, and three passes defended. Following Baltimore’s playoff loss to the Chargers, the veteran said he’d either be returning to the Ravens or retiring. However, this past week, Weddle changed course, indicating that he’d be open to playing for another team. The defensive back has one year remaining on his contract, and he’ll carry a $8.25MM cap hit. The organization could clear up $6.5MM in space by cutting the veteran.

Yanda made his seventh-career Pro Bowl this season after starting all 16 games for the Ravens. The 34-year-old has spent his entire 12-year career in Baltimore, and the veteran still has another year on his contract. However, the veteran still hasn’t publicly committed to playing in 2019. The Ravens have committed some of their draft choices to offensive linemen in recent years, including using three picks in the 2018 draft.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Marshal Yanda Comes Off PUP List

Marshal Yanda‘s dealt with multiple injuries since last playing in a regular-season game, but the All-Pro guard is working his way back to action.

The Ravens removed Yanda from their PUP list on Saturday, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). The Ravens’ focus will be to have Yanda ready in time for Week 1, Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com tweets.

John Harbaugh doesn’t expect Yanda to play in Baltimore’s preseason opener next week. But the top Ravens lineman’s return to practice, with more than a month to spare before the regular season begins, is a good sign for the team.

Yanda suffered a season-ending ankle injury early in the Ravens’ 2017 slate, playing in just two games, but a shoulder problem induced the PUP stay to start this training camp. This will be the 33-year-old interior blocker’s 12th season with the Ravens.

 

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC North Notes: Steelers, Bell, Browns

As good as Le’Veon Bell has been for the Steelers, Albert Breer of The MMQB sees both sides of the coin. Bell has been an electrifying force for years, but history dictates that the Steelers have probably seen the bulk of his prime already. With questions about whether Bell can continue to perform at such a high level for at least the next three years, the Steelers’ are right to have reservations about giving him significant guarantees on a long-term deal, Breer argues.

The Steelers’ final offer to Bell was reportedly worth $70MM over five years, but contained only $10MM in fully guaranteed money. Similar to last season’s offer, Bell would have made $33MM over the first two years “in a rolling guaranteed structure,” resulting in $45MM over three years.

While you ponder Bell’s future in Pittsburgh, here’s more from the AFC North:

  • If No. 1 overall pick Baker Mayfield looks good this offseason, could the Browns trade Tyrod Taylor to a team that loses its quarterback to injury? Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com doesn’t envision that happening since coach Hue Jackson wants to win immediately and doesn’t want to have a rookie learning on the job. Cabot isn’t sold on Taylor’s long-term future in Cleveland, but she believes that he’ll open the season as the Browns’ starter and remain with the club through at least 2018.
  • Ravens’ guard Marshal Yanda is on the PUP list because of a shoulder surgery he had after the season, not because of his ankle issue (Twitter link via Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com). There is no timetable on his return, but the team believes he will be ready for the regular season. “We’re going to be cautious with him,” coach John Harbaugh said.
  • Bengals rookie has retired to join the ministry.

Ravens Place Marshal Yanda On PUP List

The Ravens have placed guard Marshal Yanda on the PUP list, a source tells ESPN.com’s Field Yates (on Twitter). It’s an unfortunate setback for the former All-Pro after he missed the majority of 2017 with an ankle injury.

Yanda’s outlook from this point forward isn’t immediately clear. The good news is that he has triumphed in the face of adversity before. In 2016, he missed three games and was held back by a nagging shoulder injury. Despite that, Yanda still graded out as the NFL’s best guard, according to the advanced metrics at Pro Football Focus.

The Ravens are already looking to keep it together on the offensive line following the departure of center Ryan Jensen in free agency. Losing Yanda for any period of time would hurt, and the additions of rookie offensive linemen Orlando Brown, Greg Senat, and Bradley Bozeman likely won’t be enough to bridge the gap.

Baltimore has counted on Yanda up front throughout this decade, prioritizing his next deal over Kelechi Osemele despite Yanda being much older. His most recent two 16-game seasons ended in first-team All-Pro honors. At 33, Yanda remains the Ravens’ most important blocker.

Players can be taken off the PUP list during training camp, but if Yanda were to be placed on the reserve/PUP list at the regular season’s outset, he would have to miss six weeks.

Matt Skura moved into the starting lineup for Yanda last season, but Baltimore is planning to try him at center come camp. The Ravens also have Jermaine Eluemunor, a 2017 all-rookie pick despite making two 2017 starts, in the mix, along with guard/tackle James Hurst and Alex Lewis. The latter missed all of last season due to injury.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.