Ravens inside linebacker Patrick “Peanut” Onwuasor signed his restricted free agent tender Monday.
Baltimore had reportedly placed a second-round tender on Onwuasor in March and no other team made an offer. Baltimore would have had the option to match any offer or receive a second-round pick in return.
The 26-year-old Onwuasor became a key piece of the Ravens’ No. 1-ranked defense last year as a starter at inside linebacker next to C.J. Mosley. With 59 tackles, 5 ½ sacks, and two forced fumbles, Onwuasor was one of the team’s top defensive playmakers.
Both of Onwuasor’s forced fumbles were returned for touchdowns by cornerback Tavon Young, and Onwuasor was named the AFC Defensive Player of the Week for his performance (nine tackles, two sacks, forced fumble) against the Los Angeles Chargers on Dec. 22. He was also outstanding in the Ravens’ playoff loss to the Chargers two weeks later (seven tackles, one sack, another forced fumble).
With Mosley’s departure to the New York Jets in free agency, Onwuasor’s responsibility at inside linebacker is expected to increase.