Ravens Roster Decisions: Restricted Free Agents, Exclusive Rights, Team Options
OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Ravens have the financial flexibility in 2020 to be active in the free agent market and also extend some key players on the current roster.
In addition to 17 unrestricted free agents, GM Eric DeCosta has to make some tough decisions with other players for the upcoming season.
Here is the breakdown:
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS
Center Matt Skura
Skura was having a solid season until suffering a season-ending knee injury Nov. 25 against the Ravens. Rookie Patrick Mekari took his spot and played well. Skura is a restricted free agent, meaning he is eligible for a qualifying offer that other teams can match.
Skura confirmed last week that he tore his ACL, MCL and PCL, and dislocated his knee cap against the Rams. His goal is to return for 2020 training camp, but that is not a certainty.
"We’re not going to push it," he said. "I’ve got to listen to my body as well and make sure that it’s feeling good and feeling stable, and we’ll make plans from there.”
Either way, look for Skura to be part of the Ravens 2020 roster.
EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS FREE AGENTS
Running back Gus Edwards
Guards Randin Crecelius and Parker Ehinger
Safety Fish Smithson
These players reached the end of their contract with less than three years of service time in the NFL. If the player’s team offers him a one-year contract and the league minimum, they cannot negotiate with other teams.
The Ravens have high expectations for Edwards led the team in rushing as a rookie with 718 yards on 137 carries with two touchdowns in 2018. However, his carries diminished this season (133 carries, 711 yards, two touchdowns) with the addition of veteran Mark Ingram.
Edward only had six carries for 22 yards in the 28-12 loss to Tennessee in the divisional round of the AFC playoffs.
“I trust in [offensive coordinator Greg Roman]. I trust in his decision making. Whatever he did, he saw something,” he said.
Crecelius and Ehinger provide depth on the offensive line.
Cornerback/safety Brandon Carr
Carr is signed through 2020 and the Ravens can pick up $4.5 million base salary and $1.5 million roster bonus by March 18. However, the team would save about $6 million with the salary cap by releasing him.
Carr is one the league's most durable players and has started 192 straight regular-season games over his 12-year career, the longest active streak among NFL defensive players. He is uncertain about his future in Baltimore.
"Man, the ball is in their court. I’ll always be available, going to be ready. I’ll keep myself in shape. We shall see what happens," Carr said about returning to the Ravens. "I love playing football. This was an amazing run. This is a great locker room – a lot of young guys that I hope I can continue to brush elbows with and play some good football.
"But you know how this business goes. Prepare for anything. But most definitely, this has been, like I said, one of the best rides I’ve been on. The organization is hands down the best that I’ve been a part of, both on and off the field. It’s been an amazing three years. We’ll see what happens after this, but I’ve been blessed to play this game for 12 [years], and it was just an incredible run this year.”