Will Ravens Give Pernell McPhee Payday?


As outside linebacker Pernell McPhee took questions from reporters following Saturday's loss in New England, defensive end Chris Canty called out, "Pay the man!"

McPhee is in store for what will likely be a large payday, as he had a career year just before becoming an unrestricted free agent.

McPhee registered a career-high 27 tackles, 7.5 sacks and 35 quarterback hurries this season. According to Pro Football Focus, he was the league's second-best outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense. He got higher grades than teammates Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil. 

Teams generally line up to pay pass-rushing outside linebackers, especially ones with as much versatility as McPhee.

The question is whether the Ravens will be one of those teams or whether McPhee will be the next defensive tackle Arthur Jones, inside linebacker Dannell Ellerbe or outside linebacker Paul Kruger leaving for a bigger payday* *elsewhere.

McPhee is hoping the money comes from the Ravens' piggy bank.

"I would looove to be back with the Ravens," McPhee said. "This is what raised me. This is where I was born. I love the defense. There ain't nothing like it. I love the fans. I love everything about it."

McPhee was drafted by the Ravens in the fifth round of the 2011 draft. He quickly became an impact player, notching six sacks and 23 tackles as a rookie. McPhee was plagued by injuries his next two seasons before bouncing back to play in every game in 2014.

What makes McPhee unique is that he rushed the passer mostly from the inside, forming a deadly trio along with Suggs and Dumervil. He kept those players fresh and helped collapse pockets when quarterbacks tried to step up to elude the outside rush.

McPhee would like to partner with Suggs and Dumervil again, which would maintain Baltimore's ferocious pass rush that recorded 49 sacks, tied for second-most in the NFL.

"Only God knows the will, man," McPhee said. "I'm going to pray about it, and hopefully [General Manager] Ozzie [Newsome] and those boys can make it happen."

The Ravens already have several high-priced defensive pieces, including defensive tackle Haloti Ngata, cornerbacks Lardarius Webb and Jimmy Smith, Dumervil, Suggs and inside linebacker Daryl Smith.

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