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Tyus Bowser Desires to Stay With Ravens, But Larger Deal Could Await

Former second-round pick is UFA.

BALTIMORE — Tyus Bowser picked an ideal time to have his best season in the NFL.

The Ravens' outside linebacker put himself in a position to earn a huge payday in the free-agent market in Baltimore or elsewhere. 

"I'm an athlete. I think about this stuff," Bowser told Inside Access on 105.7 with Jason LaCanfora and Ken Weinman. I've seen other guys go through it. In these trying times, you think about a lot of things. I definitely want to be back, being with a great organization in Baltimore. I like what I was able to establish there. 

"I understand also that it's a business and I have to weigh my options. I'm just kind of sitting back really and let everything unfold. At this point, all I can do is wait."

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Bowser was drafted by the Ravens in the second round (47th overall) of the 2017 NFL Draft. He had a breakout year in 2020, finishing with 34 tackles, two sacks, 14 quarterback hits and was second on the team with three interceptions.

"He’s an outside ‘backer, pass-rusher first," Ravens defensive coordinator Don Martindale said. "The whole process of four years is coming to fruition right now. He’s always been good in coverage, and with the way we used him this year, he’s had the ball come to him right at the right time.

"And it’s not always on third down; it’s first and second down, as well. But it just talks to the value of Tyus Bowser and what he can do. To be able to rush the passer and also drop in coverage, that’s a talent, and we really appreciate it."

Bowser now has an opportunity to test the free-agent market for the first time. The Ravens would like to bring him back as a home-grown player, but he might have priced himself out of their comfort zone.

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Bowser could command a contract of over $10 million per year, especially if the other top edge rushers on the free-agent market get the franchise tag. 

The Jacksonville Jaguars, New York Jets and Bowser's hometown team, the Houston Texans, could express interest. New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick also keeps a close eye on the Ravens' players hitting the free-agent market and could pursue Bowlser much like Adalius Thomas in 2007. 

In addition to Bowser, the Ravens' have four other edge rushers — Matthew Judon, Yannick Ngakoue, Jihad Ward and Pernell McPhee — that can test the free-market this offseason. So, there are tough decisions looming in Baltimore. 

"Let the chips fall where they are," Bowser told Inside Access. "I am kind of enjoying myself now, kind of embracing that free agency period. Just thankful to have the opportunity to even be talking about the possibility of playing for the Ravens or even another team."

The Ravens have a solid history of developing linebackers, beginning with former general manager Ozzie Newsome and continuing to the present day with Eric DeCosta. 

Players such as Za'Darius Smith, Bart Scott, Edgerton Hartwell and Thomas have found huge paydays with other franchises. Josh Bynes was signed by the Ravens as a free agent in the middle of last season and he parlayed his performance into a $1.6 million deal with the Cincinnati Bengals in 2020. 

Bowser could continue that trend. 

"You just see the depth and the talent that we have. You just see the job that not only Ozzie but Eric DeCosta have done drafting linebackers these past few years. You just see it working out for a lot of those gigs. They're put in a position to make money and prove themselves as who they are in this league.

"I'm definitely thankful for the opportunity to be a part of this organization and be in the position where I am now."

Click here for the full interview with Bowser.