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Marshal Yanda's former teammates react to retirement news: 'Hall of Famer'

Marshal Yanda's former teammates react to retirement news: 'Hall of Famer'

After 13 seasons in the NFL, Baltimore Ravens lifer Marshal Yanda has decided to retire.

Confirming the news, the Ravens posted a video tribute to Yanda, which adequately portrayed the impact Yanda had not only on the field, but off the field as well.

Upon hearing the news, fans, players and former teammates tweeted their well wishes to the eight-time Pro Bowler.

Many of the reactions on Twitter included the likelihood of Yanda becoming a "Hall of Famer."

Echoing the Hall of Fame sentiment was Mark Ingram II.

Parker Ehringer, whose first season with the Ravens was Yanda's last, tweeted about learning from the veteran his first season.

The New England Patriots' Benjamin Watson tweeted about playing alongside his former teammate, saying Yanda was the "epitome of #PlayLikeARaven."

Yanda is expected to officially announce his retirement during a press conference Wednesday at 11 a.m.

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Ravens’ left tackle Ronnie Stanley in ‘no rush’ to get contract extension before start of season

Ravens’ left tackle Ronnie Stanley in ‘no rush’ to get contract extension before start of season

Ronnie Stanley is less than a year away from adding a few more numbers to his contract. As to what day that will be, however, is yet to be determined. 

Stanley, the Ravens’ left tackle, is entering the fifth-year of his rookie contract at the best possible time for himself. He was an All-Pro and Pro Bowler in 2019, both the first selections of his career. He anchored the league’s best rushing attack and was widely regarded as one of, if not the best, pass blockers in the game. 

Now, it’s time for the Ravens to pay up. And by every indication, it won’t be cheap. But Stanley isn’t in a hurry to get his contract done just yet. 

“Honestly right now, I’m not really thinking about it,” Stanley said. “I’m kind of in no rush when it comes to that right now. I’m not really worried about it, per se. That’s just kind of my mentality toward it, at the moment.”

The sixth-overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, Stanley has slowly transformed himself into one of the game’s best offensive linemen at one of the most premier positions in the sport. That position pays handsomely, too. 

Laremy Tunsil, who was selected seven picks after Stanley in 2016, recently signed a contract extension with the Texans after being traded from the Dolphins at the outset of the 2019 season. The deal is for three years and worth $66 million with $40 million guaranteed at signing. After his fifth-year option expires in 2020, he will receive base salaries of: $16.15 million, $17.85 million and $18.5 million. His cap hit will account for nine percent, 9.3 percent, and nine percent in his three years on the Texans. 

Those numbers were music to Stanley and his agent’s ears.

“My first reaction was I was just super happy that he got what he got, first of all,” Stanley said. “I was happy because he deserved it. This position is definitely one of the top two, three hardest positions on the field. For him to get respected like that, with how much he got paid, made me feel very happy for him because he deserved it.”

The next three highest-paid tackles, Anthony Castonzo, Taylor Lewan and Nate Solder, all average more than $15 million per season. Stanley is sure to eclipse those numbers when his deal comes around. 

With the Ravens due up for contracts in the next few seasons for Stanley, Marlon Humphrey, Mark Andrews, Orlando Brown Jr. and eventually Lamar Jackson, how big of a contract Stanley receives could influence other negotiations. 

What Stanley has over all of those players, however, is that he might be the best player at his position across the entire league. 

“I definitely want to get paid my value and what I’m worth, or what I feel I’m worth,” Stanley said. “That part of it is important. But at the end of the day, I don’t think money is the most important thing to me.”

Stanley’s contract, while expected to come with a hefty price tag, will come with more off-the-field responsibilities. 

He’s now the unquestioned leader of the offensive line after the retirement of Marshal Yanda, leaving Stanley, just 26-years-old, as the eldest member of the line with significant starting experience in the purple and black. Now, more than ever, he’ll be looked at as a voice of veteran leadership in the offensive line room. 

With the NFL’s offseason in flux, and no set return date for the NFL, the Ravens — who might have two starters on the line who weren’t on the Ravens last season — minimizing the learning curve will be crucial to start the season. Unfortunately for offensive linemen, there’s no real equivalent to what the skill position players can do together.

“Super difficult to do that as an offensive line without being together,” Stanley said. “I really want to bring everyone together, but I know it’s pretty much impossible right now with the rona [coronavirus] and everything going on. Definitely in the future, that’s something I’d want to do. Bring us all together and do drills, work on things. It’s just really hard to get those type of things without really being physically there to really correct the technique and the little things. That’s what really matters.”

Whenever the Ravens’ offensive line is able to get together, though, they might be joined by one of the newly highest-paid players in the sport to protect Jackson’s blindside.

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Five players who could replace Marshal Yanda at right guard

Five players who could replace Marshal Yanda at right guard

The Ravens have a handful of options to replace retired Marshal Yanda at right guard. As for what the right combination is remains to be seen. 

With a few factors to consider, here are the top five candidates to replace Yanda’s spot at right guard.

D.J. Fluker

Fluker is the likeliest option — on paper — to start at right guard for the Ravens next season. He could run into problems with a diminished training camp. 

The newcomer from the Seahawks has played at right guard each year since 2015 and can slide out to tackle in a pinch if the Ravens need. But for now, he figures to be the best option as he’s the only member of this group who has actually seen significant time at right guard. 

At 6-foot-5 and 342 pounds, Fluker and right tackle Orlando Brown Jr. would make a massive right side of the offensive line.

Ben Powers

Powers has a leg up on everyone on this list as he not only played guard last season for the Ravens, he also played next to Brown at Oklahoma while the two were Sooners. In an offseason with limited time together, Powers’ chemistry could play a big role. 

He played in just one game last season, his rookie year, but has the most experience of anyone on this list because of that. If Powers wants to see the field, he’ll certainly have every opportunity to seize the opportunity.

Ben Bredeson

Bredeson is one of two rookies who could see the field in 2020, and significantly so. 

He played four seasons at Michigan as the team’s starting left guard and is a technically sound player the Ravens could look for. The 6-foot-5, 325-pound offensive lineman was the 143rd pick in April’s draft.

If he’s able to successfully make the switch from the left side to the right side, the Ravens could have their next starting right guard on an incredibly young offensive line.

Tyre Phillips

Phillips was the 106th pick in April’s draft, and while he played tackle in college at Mississippi State, he is confident he can make the switch to guard in the NFL. 

He remarked he’s got a tackle’s feet with a guard’s body, which should set him up well to play on the right side of the Ravens’ offensive line. He’s 6-foot-5 and 345-pounds, which could prove to play to his benefit.

Patrick Mekari

If the Ravens want to choose experience, Mekari is the dark horse here — with a caveat. 

Center Matt Skura is recovering from a knee injury, and if he’s unable to play at the start of the season, Mekari will be the odds-on-favorite to replace him like he did last season. 

But if Skura is ready and available, Mekari — a versatile offensive lineman — could find himself at right guard. He practiced there last season and has a year in the system already. 

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