BALTIMORE – Kelechi Osemele, a free agent after this season, sounded amenable to re-signing and playing left tackle next season if the Ravens wanted to head in that direction.
Osemele made his first career start at left tackle Sunday, moving from his normal starting left guard position. The Ravens were routed by the Seahawks, 35-6, but Osemele said he felt comfortable enough to continue playing left tackle, for the rest of this season and beyond.
Asked if he felt left tackle could be his future position, Osemele said, “I sure hope so. I would definitely love to be the guy for the Ravens in the future, as long as I can keep performing at a high level.”
Osemele’s move to left tackle Sunday further clouds the future of Eugene Monroe, the team’s current starting left tackle, Monroe still has three seasons remaining on his five-year, $37.5 million contract, but there is no guarantee the Ravens will not trade him or release him. Monroe was officially played on injured reserve Saturday, ending his second straight injury-plagued season.
Osemele said he had conversations with general manager Ozzie Newsome and coach John Harbaugh leading up to Sunday’s game, and they asked him to move to left tackle.
“They felt that this was the best way to go,” Osemele said. “It threw me off a little bit. I wouldn’t say I was shocked. It’s the NFL. It’s not the first time I’ve been moved around.
“I won’t talk about any conversations we’ve had privately, but we’ll see what happens.”
Re-signing Osemele as the starting left tackle might bring more cohesion to the entire line in 2016, once starting center Jeremy Zuttah returns from his pectoral injury. The Ravens believe John Urschel is ready to be a starting guard. Perhaps next year’s line would feature Osemele at left tackle, Urschel at left guard, Zuttah at center, Marshal Yanda at right guard, and Rick Wagner at right tackle.
Asked if he would use the final four games to try and convince the Ravens they should re-sign him at left tackle, Osemele said, “The thought has definitely crossed my mind. That’s the approach I’m taking.”