Ravens Reach 4-Year Extension With Marshal Yanda


The Ravens reached a four-year contract extension with right guard Marshal Yanda Friday afternoon.

He's set to play in Baltimore through 2019, but the financials of the deal have yet to be reported.

"My family and I are very excited to stay with such an incredible organization," Yanda said. "We feel fortunate to have reached an extension, and I look forward to carrying on the Baltimore Ravens' great tradition. Hopefully, I will finish my career as a Raven."

It's a huge move for the Ravens considering Yanda was playing in the final year of his contract and would have been quite attractive to other teams had he hit the open market.

Yanda previously said he wasn't worried about working out a deal. It's the second contract extension the Ravens have given Yanda, who they originally drafted in the third round in 2007. He last signed a five-year contract, reportedly worth $32 million, in 2012. 

"This is another example of Steve [Bisciotti's] investment in winning," General Manager Ozzie Newsome said. "Marshal is not only a staple of our offensive line, but also a staple of our entire team. He is the best of what a Raven should be, and Steve recognizes that."

Yanda, 31, has been one of the best players in the entire NFL – regardless of position – over the past several seasons. He's gone to the Pro Bowl every year since 2011.

Yanda is an integral part of the Ravens both on and off the field.

On the field, the 6-foot-3, 305-pound Iowa product is a mauler who can open up big holes in the running game and protect quarterback Joe Flacco.

Yanda is currently the top-rated guard in the NFL by Pro Football Focus (PFF). He's allowed just five quarterback hurries and no hits or sacks. His run-blocking rating of plus-10.9 far overshadows the competition. Dallas' Zack Martin comes in second at plus-9.1.

Yanda was also PFF's top-rated guard in the league last year. He was 10th in 2013 and second in 2012 and 2011.

Video games are hardly a true measuring stick, but Yanda is one of just five players that currently have a perfect 99 overall rating on Madden NFL 16, joining Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, Texans defensive end J.J. Watt, Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski and Broncos outside linebacker Von Miller.

Yanda is also one of the team's most prominent leaders and one of the toughest. Though not known for being outspoken, he sets the tone and is often called on to speak to his teammates.  He's been incredibly durable, missing just two games in the past six seasons.

Paying Yanda will raise questions about whether the Ravens will also be able to afford to keep left guard Kelechi Osemele for the future. Osemele is also in the final year of his contract, and is rated as the 21st-best guard in the league and third-best in run blocking.

Yanda is the third contract General Manager Ozzie Newsome was able to strike ahead of the 2016 free agency. He also locked up cornerback Jimmy Smith and safety Will Hill. That leaves Osemele, Courtney Upshaw and Justin Tucker as the top free agents.

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