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John Harbaugh Responds To Kelechi Osemele's Departure

Posted Mar 12, 2016

The Ravens offered Kelechi Osemele a deal worth $8.5 million a year, but were outbid by the Raiders.

John Harbaugh made it clear that he and the Ravens wanted to keep Kelechi Osemele in Baltimore.

The Ravens head coach had high praise for his former offensive tackle/guard, and revealed exactly how much money was behind the team’s “very aggressive” offer to keep him. Osemele ultimately ended up leaving Baltimore to sign a five-year deal with the Oakland Raiders reportedly worth up to $60 million.

“We lost one of the best offensive linemen in football, Kelechi Osemele. I love him,” Harbaugh said during a presentation open to the media at the University of Michigan’s coaching clinic Friday. “We offered him $8.5 million dollars, a year, to come and play for the Ravens. He would have been the highest paid guard in football. It wasn’t enough.”

Harbaugh brought up Osemele during his presentation to illustrate a point that coaches should look for ways to make the best of any circumstance, rather than focus on what has gone wrong.

“Now we’ve got an opportunity to build an offensive line another way, and we have that money to spend somewhere else,” Harbaugh said. “In everything that happens, in everything you think that’s a negative that’s going to bring you down …[it] is an opportunity to make something happen another way. We have another path.”

The Ravens have young players who could end up replacing Osemele, such as John Urschel and Ryan Jensen with starting experience from last year. Eugene Monroe is still on the roster and currently slated to be the starting left tackle, and the Ravens could also add to the competition through free agency or the draft. 

As far as Osemele, his contract makes him among the five highest-paid linemen in the NFL.

“I’m happy for Kelechi,” Harbaugh said. “I’m happy for. K.O. He worked for it.”

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