Recent reports indicate that Matt Birk likely will play another season, but Ozzie Newsome also announced plans to add another center. And Ben Grubbs is a free agent. How do you envision the Ravens addressing this position and how is the team set at offensive line?
This will be a major offseason challenge for the Ravens. Birk is probably willing to give the club another year at the hometown discount rate. He has 6 young children and moving them out of town and back into new schools etc isn’t practical unless a team just rocks Birk’s world with a big deal which at this point in his career seems highly unlikely. I look for Ozzie Newsome to make a few moves on draft day to stabilize the interior of the offensive line but he won’t overpay. It would be a surprise to see the Ravens extend to Grubbs, Marshal Yanda-like money.
The team needs to be mindful of the investment they’ll have to make at some point at left tackle. Bryant McKinnie has another year on his deal and he was decent in 2011. Beyond that, the guess here is that the Ravens future left tackle is not on the roster. 2009 first round pick Michael Oher has been somewhat of a disappointment since a solid rookie season and he’s considered to be a right tackle at best.
Waiting in the wings is promising tackle Jah Reid but like Oher, he is best suited at right tackle. Look for the team to try Reid at left guard in place of Grubbs but the better choice there could ultimately be Oher.