There are many difficult decisions that need to be made during an NFL offseason.
Whether to keep inside linebacker C.J. Mosley around is not one of those difficult decisions.
Head Coach John Harbaugh said it's a "formality" that Baltimore will pick up Mosley's fifth-year option on his rookie contract, which must be officially exercised by May 3.
Once that's done, it means Mosley will be patrolling the middle of Baltimore's defense through the 2018 season, and likely a lot longer.
"I'm sure that we'll pick up his option," Harbaugh said at the NFL owners meetings Tuesday. "I expect C.J. Mosley to be a Raven for many, many, many years."
The fifth-year option for Mosley reportedly projects to be around $8 million, which is a steep increase from less than $2 million in base salary that the 2014 first-round pick currently makes. However, it's still a good price for a linebacker of Mosley's caliber as a two-time Pro Bowler.
Picking up the option is also a way for the Ravens to give themselves more time to hammer out a long-term extension with Mosley. Baltimore did the same with 2011 first-round cornerback Jimmy Smith.
It seems like just yesterday when Mosley became the first Raven to reach the Pro Bowl as a rookie – something not even Ray Lewis accomplished during his acclaimed career.
Now, after his third NFL season and second Pro Bowl, he has entrenched himself as a major reason why the Ravens should have one of the league's best defenses for years to come.
Mosley logged 92 tackles, eight pass breakups and a career-high four interceptions last season. His improvement in coverage was evident.
Since 2014, Mosley is one of just four defenders to record at least 300 tackles, five sacks and five interceptions, joining the Carolina Panthers' Luke Kuechly and Thomas Davis and Cleveland Browns' Jamie Collins.