The Ravens have one of their biggest hammers for at least two more years.
Baltimore announced Tuesday that it inked fullback/defensive lineman Patrick Ricard to an extension through the 2021 season. Ricard was in the final year of the three-year contract he signed as an undrafted rookie.
Ricard is the NFL’s only two-way player – the rarest of breeds. Originally a defensive lineman coming out of Maine, "Project Pat" has evolved into one of the NFL’s best fullbacks.
Ricard currently plays both positions for the Ravens but has recently shaded more toward fullback, where he leads the AFC in Pro Bowl voting.
The 6-foot-3, 303-pound bruiser brings a punishing physicality to the game that perfectly suits Baltimore’s style.
The Ravens lead the NFL in rushing (207.8 yards per game) with Ricard helping to pave the way. Baltimore is on pace to set an NFL team record for most rushing yards over a 16-game season.
Even just within the Ravens offense, he’s versatile enough to play fullback or tight end. Ricard is moved everywhere in Offensive Coordinator Greg Roman’s scheme, an integral chess piece similar to tight end Nick Boyle, who the Ravens signed to an extension last offseason.
Ricard doesn’t just block. He’s caught eight passes for 47 yards and a touchdown this season. As a rookie, he hauled in four passes for 12 yards and two scores.
Defensively, Ricard has posted nine tackles and one sack, which caused a fumble that was returned for a touchdown in Week 10 in Cincinnati.
His defensive snaps have diminished recently after the additions of Domata Peko and Justin Ellis. For the first time this season, Ricard didn’t play any defensive snaps in the Week 13 win against the San Francisco 49ers.
Roman recently said there was "no limit" on how much the Ravens would use Ricard on offense.
“I think he's excelled enough at the fullback position," Roman said. "I mean, is there a better fullback in the league? I don't know.”