The Ravens have 11 players set to become unrestricted free agents, and we will provide a breakdown for each of them heading into the start of the new league year on March 9.
Let's continue the series with fullback Kyle Juszczyk.
2016 stats:37 catches, 266 yards, 5 carries, 22 yards, 1 TD
Juszczyk has blossomed in Baltimore's offense the last two seasons and he's heading into free agency at a good time. He made the first Pro Bowl of his career in 2016 and also had some of his best performances of the season in prime-time games against the Pittsburgh Steelers and New England Patriots. Juszczyk is one of the best fullbacks in the league, and his versatility as a pass catcher makes him a matchup problem for defenses.
Why Ravens Should Keep Him
The Ravens have emphasized this offseason that they want to get back to running the ball more often and more effectively, and losing Juszczyk would hurt those efforts. He's a good lead blocker in the run game and he's also the best pass-blocking back currently on the roster. The use of fullbacks around the league has widely diminished, but he's carved out an important niche with the Ravens. Baltimore likely wouldn't have to break the bank to get him to re-sign, as the highest-paid fullback in the league is Cincinnati's Ryan Hewiit with a reported annual salary of just $2.5 million. Juszczyk has said he would like to remain if the two sides can agree on the right deal. "I've been here for four years and have built a lot of relationships and this team knows me best," he said at locker cleanout in January. "If things work out that way, it would be great."
Why Juszczyk May Walk
Juszczyk's ability in the passing game makes it difficult to determine exactly what his market value will be. Another team could try to lure him out of Baltimore with more money and the pitch that they'll get him highly involved as a receiving threat. Juszczyk can line up in the backfield, split wide or at tight end, and that versatility is a valuable trait. Juszczyk is well aware that fullbacks have limited opportunities to maximize their earnings with a big contract, so he'll want to take advantage of what the market brings him this offseason.