OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Pat Ricard has been compared to a swiss-army knife for the Baltimore Ravens.
The versatile two-time Pro Bowler is a rare player that makes an impact on the defensive line, while also contributing as a fullback and tight end.
However, the Ravens have a big decision to make on Ricard, who is a free agent after this season.
"Pat is kind of hybrid fullback-tight end, but he did a lot of tight end-type stuff for us this year, as well," Ravens GM Eric DeCosta said. "So, it was a different room, it was a different situation this year, and I think the coaches did an awesome job of using the personnel that we had to make us as successful as possible."
Last season, Ricard earned his second-straight Pro Bowl selection, appeared in 15 games (10 starts) at fullback, helping block for the NFL’s No. 1 rushing attack (191.9 ypg), which produced the third-most yards (3,071) ever in a 16-game NFL season.
Baltimore has topped 100 rushing yards in 39-consecutive games, marking the second-longest streak of its kind in NFL history.
Raven and current 49er Kyle Juszczyk is the highest-paid fullback at $5.4 million per year, Ricard has an argument that he has the same value. The question is whether the Ravens can afford Ricard with other potential deals with quarterback Lamar Jackson and tight-end Mark Andrews.
Baltimore selected Michigan fullback Ben Mason in the fifth round of this year's draft and he has the same type of versatility as Ricard, but he needs more time to develop.
For now, Ricard is focused on taking the Ravens to the next level and not his next contract.
"It’s time for everyone on this team, the coaches and all the players, to self-reflect and try to get better, try to have a great offseason and come back this next season and just try to get over this hurdle and make it to the AFC Championship [game] and make it to the Super Bowl,” Ricard said