Pro Bowl right guard Marshal Yanda has agreed in principle to a one-year extension that will keep him under contract with the Ravens through the 2020 season.
Yanda has played his entire 12-year career in Baltimore and has been one of the top offensive linemen of his era, making the Pro Bowl seven of the past eight seasons, including last year.
The 34-year-old Yanda declined to comment on his future immediately after the season, which led to speculation about the possibility that he could retire. General Manager Eric DeCosta made it clear earlier this month that he wanted Yanda to return.
“If you could define a Raven, you’d put a picture of Marshal Yanda up there,” DeCosta said. “We love Marshal. We’d love to see Marshal continue to play for us for years. He’s a great player that’s still playing at a high level.”
The Ravens are redesigning a run-heavy offense around quarterback Lamar Jackson, and Yanda’s presence is a huge part of the equation. He enjoyed the renewed emphasis on the running game once Jackson became the starter, and new Offensive Coordinator Greg Roman plans on adding more run elements to next year’s attack.
Yanda’s effectiveness is still evident. According to Pro Football Focus, he hasn’t given up a sack since 2015 and was the second-best run blocker in the NFL last season. The Ravens had a lot of success running behind Yanda.
Yanda’s decision to sign an extension also indicates he feels good about his health. He started every game last season, making a full comeback from 2017 when he suffered a season-ending ankle injury and played just two games.
For most of his career, Yanda has been durable and consistent, playing every game in eight of his 12 seasons. He went into the offseason healthy, which should help his preparation and body heading into next season.
Not only is Yanda the team’s most decorated offensive lineman, he is an offensive leader who has helped set the standard for young offensive lineman like left tackle Ronnie Stanley, right tackle Orlando Brown Jr. and many others.
The Ravens may look to upgrade their offensive line in the upcoming draft, particularly at center and left guard where they have started different players over the past few seasons. However, having Yanda at right guard for another two seasons would remove one key item from the to-do list.