The Ravens are retaining one of their offensive hammers as they have agreed to a three-year deal with fullback Patrick Ricard.
Ricard has gone to three-straight Pro Bowls and is a versatile and physical presence in the Ravens offense. Losing him in free agency could have altered some parts of Baltimore's offensive scheme.
According to The Athletic's Jeff Zrebiec, the contract averages about $4 million per year with incentives, making Ricard the second-highest paid fullback in the league behind the San Francisco 49ers' Kyle Juszczyk (a former Raven).
Ricard, 27, went from an undrafted defensive lineman out of Maine to a Pro Bowl fullback who has now received two contract extensions with Baltimore, showing how valuable he has become.
"Pat Ricard is an important cog in our offense and the type of player we always seek to retain," General Manager Eric DeCosta said. "We admire his unique skills and the physical presence he brings to the Ravens and look forward to three more years of Project Pat! Congratulations to the entire Ricard family."
Ricard's tenacious run blocking is his calling card, as the 300-pounder takes pleasure in pancaking his opponents.
But it's his all-around game that separates him from some of his peers. Ricard was on the field for 57% of the Ravens' offensive snaps last season in his 13 games.
Offensive Coordinator Greg Roman has used Ricard all over his formations, even as an extra offensive tackle at times to pass block on the edge. Ricard has also become a sneaky-good receiver, as he hauled in eight passes for 63 yards and a touchdown last season.
Ricard missed four games due to injury last year, but he's been generally durable. He missed only one game the previous two seasons.
The move is also crucial for the Ravens considering blocking tight end Eric Tomlinson signed with the Broncos and Nick Boyle is still getting back to 100 percent from his knee operation.