Ravens All-Pro guard Marshal Yanda has decided to retire after 13 NFL seasons, ending one of the best careers in Ravens history and answering one of the team’s most pressing offseason questions heading into the 2020 season.
The move was widely expected although Yanda publicly had been noncommittal since the end of the season. The retirement, which officially will be announced at a news conference March 11, was first reported by Barstool Sports.
Yanda, 35, a third-round draft pick out of Iowa in 2007, made the Pro Bowl every year from 2011 to 2019 except for 2017, when he missed virtually the entire season with an ankle injury. His eight Pro Bowl honors are the most of any active NFL guard. He was named First-Team All-Pro twice and Second-Team All-Pro four times, including this past season.
The Ravens surely wanted clarity on Yanda’s situation before free agency begins next week, though they already were preparing for life after Yanda. Last spring, Yanda signed a contract extension through the 2020 season, and his retirement will free up about $7 million in cap space.
Of course, it also creates a massive hole in the middle of the Ravens’ offensive line, and sound offensive line play is critical to the Ravens’ run-first approach led by reigning league Most Valuable Player Lamar Jackson.
The Ravens’ final depth chart listed veteran utility lineman James Hurst as Yanda’s top backup, but Hurst is facing a four-game suspension for a violation of the league’s policy in performance-enhancing drugs. Other in-house possibilities include Ben Powers, who played in just one game as a rookie last season, and Patrick Mekari, but he took over the starting center job after Matt Skura was sidelined by a knee injury, and Skura’s availability for the start of the season is still uncertain.
Yanda played 177 games in his Ravens career, tying Jonathan Ogden for the most in franchise history among offensive linemen.
Some of Yanda’s former teammates have reacted to the news on social media:
Ravens FB Patrick Ricard:
Ravens WR Chris Moore:
Former Ravens LB and current Ravens coaching analyst Zachary Orr:
Ravens C Matt Skura:
Ravens G Parker Ehinger:
Former Ravens RB Justin Forsett:
Former Ravens C and current Buccaneers C Ryan Jensen:
Ravens RB Mark Ingram:
Former Ravens TE Benjamin Watson:
Former Ravens S Tony Jefferson:
Ravens WR Willie Snead:
Former Ravens LB and current Ravens director of player engagement Jameel McClain:
Ravens RT Orlando Brown Jr.:
Former Ravens G and current Patriots G Jermaine Eluemunor:
Former Ravens DE and current Bears DE Brent Urban:
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