One of the Ravens who ventured down to Orlando to participate in the Pro Bowl was fullback Kyle Juszczyk. Juice had 3 carries for 8 yards and added 5 catches for another 43 yards. The former Harvard Crimson will soon become an unrestricted free agent when the new NFL year begins on March 9.
During the Pro Bowl festivities, Juszczyk gathered with the other Ravens participating in the 2017 contest for a photo op.
— Kyle Juszczyk (@JuiceCheck44) January 30, 2017
Juszczyk’s message is rather cryptic and leaves his followers wondering if this Tweet is a subtle way of saying goodbye to Baltimore.
Fullback is a position that has faded in relevance in today’s NFL. In 2006, fullbacks were on the field for 40% of all snaps. By 2015 that number shrunk to 14.7% as only 19 of the league’s 32 teams even employed a fullback.
Currently the Chiefs’ Anthony Sherman is the highest paid fullback according to OverTheCap.com. It pays out annually at $2.1M/year. Re-signing Juszczyk won’t be all that expensive but the Ravens may opt to find cheaper labor via the draft or with an undrafted free agent in 2017.
Ravens Eric DeCosta is on record saying that the Ravens have to try to retain DT Brandon Williams – the operative word of course being “try”. And the Ravens will do exactly that but at the end of the day, the Ravens don’t have the cap juice to retain Williams just like they didn’t have it in 2016 when they said they wanted to retain OG Kelechi Osemele.
Williams is a key cog in the Ravens run defense and it would be nice to bring him back. That said, the Ravens really need to invest their limited resources in playmakers – players who touch the ball or the quarterback. Ozzie Newsome & Co. has shown a steady ability to find behemoth players to thwart the run in the mid to late rounds or even later. Williams being one such player and undrafted DT Michael Pierce is another. Plus, they have some young talent in the forms of Carl Davis and Willie Henry on their roster.
It just might be their time.