One of the Ravens' top unrestricted free agents this offseason will be center Ryan Jensen, and he's prepared to test the market.
"It's been an awesome five years and I hope to be back here, but I'm going to see where life takes me. I'm going to go with the ebbs and flows of life," Jensen said Monday.
Jensen became a first-time starter in his fifth NFL year this season. He not only solidified an uncertain position, but helped the Ravens revitalize their rushing attack and protect quarterback Joe Flacco well, especially down the stretch.
According to Pro Football Focus, Jensen was the 13th-best center in the league. He was in the top 10 in run blocking and brought a physical brand of play that fit Baltimore's style.
The Ravens finished 11th in the NFL in rushing (116 yards per game), up from 28th last year. They gave up the seventh-fewest sacks (27) in the league.
"It's been cool to have that kind of breakout year," Jensen said. "It stings the way it ended yesterday, but such is this league sometimes."
Jensen said there hasn't been any dialogue that he's aware of between his agent and the Ravens, but he'll surely be a player Baltimore has serious discussions about bringing back. There were 10 centers in the league whose average salary was over $8 million in 2017.
"People have been in my ear about free agency throughout the season and I just try to focus on the here and now," Jensen said.
The Ravens have another 2017 offensive line starter set to hit free agency in left guard James Hurst. Hurst started all 16 games and graded as PFF's seventh-best pass blocking left guard in the league (one sack and one quarterback hit allowed).
Hurst said he would prefer to move forward as a guard, but has the flexibility to play either tackle position if needed. In his first three seasons, he served as Baltimore's top reserve tackle. This year, he took over at left tackle after Alex Lewis (shoulder) had surgery.
A 2014 undrafted North Carolina product, Hurst has started 34 games, including two in the playoffs, over his four years, and has been active for every game of his NFL career.
"The one thing I do know is this is a great place to be, it's a great organization," Hurst said. "They've given me plenty of opportunities to prove myself and be a player here. They've coached me up to make me a better person and a better player, and I'm obviously grateful for that."