All signs are pointing toward Kelechi Osemele soon being an ex-Raven.
The Raiders are preparing to make Osemele an offer that could exceed $10 million per season, according to both ESPN’s Adam Caplan and Mike Garafolo of FoxSports. That’s an offer Osemele probably can’t refuse, despite the Ravens’ efforts to keep him. Even if the Raiders don’t land Osemele, the Vikings are also expected to make a strong push for him, according to Rand Getlin of NFL Network.
It’s clear the Ravens are underdogs in their attempt to re-sign Osemele, despite making him what coach John Harbaugh called an “aggressive” offer. After waiting years to become a free agent, Osemele looks poised to cash in. Showing his ability to play left tackle in addition to left guard last season only increased Osemele’s marketability, and he’s one of the most coveted players in free agency at age 26. The Raiders have far more cap room ($65.4 million) than the Ravens ($10.55 million), and are in much stronger position to win the bidding war.
Osemele’s expected departure would leave the Ravens with a hole to fill on the offensive line. John Urschel could be ready to assume a starting role at left guard after two years as a backup offensive lineman, and Ryan Jensen would also compete for the job.
The bigger issue is whether the Ravens will keep left tackle Eugene Monroe, who has missed 15 games over the past two seasons, after signing a five-year, $37.5 million deal in 2014. The Ravens could create $2.1 million in cap space by cutting Monroe, but if they do, who starts at left tackle next season if Osemele is gone? That’s a question the Ravens will likely have to answer, as Osemele looks ready to move on.