The Ravens and running back Gus Edwards have agreed to terms on a two-year extension worth $10 million, per multiple sources. RSR staff react to the news here…
In the words of former Raven Orlando Brown, this was “easy money” for Gus. You could possibly argue against giving any RB $10 million. But it’s not much of an investment for a back who is still young, load shares with J.K. Dobbins, and is the anvil of the offense. Edwards’ game has evolved from being just a straight-ahead bulldozer. When he got more reps last season after Mark Ingram faded, Edwards displayed impressive open-field elusiveness. He is one of the most reliable pile movers and short-yardage producers in the league. Edwards remaining under contract also fortifies one of the best 1-2 RB punches in the league.
Probably some rounding involved, but a 2-yr extension of $10M on top of this year's $3.384M, likely bring the overall deal to ~$13M over 3 years. https://t.co/Q6eV7Dbck1
— Brian McFarland (@RavensSalaryCap) June 7, 2021
Gus Edwards was a force in his rookie year as an undrafted free agent. Yet he was dismissed as being a legitimate top running back in the league and was labeled as an average back that benefited from the scheme with Lamar Jackson at the helm. That was probably in fact true at the time. However, since then Gus has developed more to his game and has improved every single year which is not often done at that position.
Gus is in his prime and will probably still improve for the length of this contract. Speaking of which, I would normally not be a fan of extending a running back but this is only a two-year extension at a very reasonable rate. Eric DeCosta makes another smart move keeping a great player here a little longer without breaking the bank.
You know I love receipts but I also believe in accountability.
I was certainly wrong about Edwards. He thrived early in his career on veer reads but the way he has developed the rest of his game, notably his vision, he has taken some big steps.
— Cole Jackson (@ColeJacksonFB) June 7, 2021
Gus the Bus definitely deserves this raise. Statistically, he’s one of the league’s most efficient backs, who averaged 5.0 yards per carry and picked up a first down on 31% of his rushes last year. Sure, $10 million over two years might be high for a running back for most teams, but the Ravens run-heavy attack is certainly the exception. Importantly, Edwards has gotten better every year of his career, improving his vision and even making a few receptions out of the backfield. Locking him down for a few more years is a no-brainer, and pairing him with J.K. Dobbins (not to mention Lamar Jackson) fits the Ravens ground-n-pound ethos perfectly.
My only nitpick is the length – I would’ve liked to see a three-year deal so that he and Dobbins don’t have their contracts expire in the same year.
The Ravens run the ball more than any team in the league, is while Gus is technically a backup RB, he still gets a lot of carries. He was 29th in the league last year and 33rd the year before. In 2019, he was second amongst RB in YPC and in 2020, he was 9th. He is coming off a PFF grade of just under 86 and it was also solid in 2019, at just under 71. He has also established himself as one of the best short yardage backs in the league, having one of the best conversion rates in the league since his rookie season. He is also a very durable player. He has played each game the last few years. Availability is a very underrated aspect of athletes and being a RB in the NFL, it’s hard to stay durable.
He’s a good story that has worked hard and has become one of the more underrated players on the team and one of the more underrated RBs in the NFL.