In the Baltimore Ravens organization, the team has begun to sign their tenders, bringing back several playmakers from last season.
The Baltimore Ravens signed five players to a tender on Monday; one restricted free agent tender, inside linebacker Patrick “Peanut” Onwuasor and four exclusive rights tenders, running backs Gus “The Bus” Edwards and De’Lance Turner, center Matt Skura and guard/tackle Jermaine Eluemunor.
He signed his 2019 tender offer worth $3.095 million. In March, the Ravens placed a second-round tender on him. Which meant if another team had extended an offer sheet to Onwuasor, the Ravens would have had a chance to match it. If the Ravens decided not to match the offer, they would receive a second-round pick from Onwuasor’s new team. No team offered which was good news for the Ravens. Onwuasor was part of the No. 1 ranked defense last season recording 59 combined tackles, two forced fumbles, three passes defended, one interception and 5.5 sacks playing inside linebacker. He was named the AFC Defensive Player of the Week during Week 16 against the Los Angeles Chargers for his playmaking skills. Now that C.J. Mosley is gone, he should be filling in that spot nicely.
Coming out of Rutgers, when Gus Edwards hit the field he exploded. He can maneuver through the defense, creating his own opening to head downfield. Edwards is a powerful running back that is hard to bring down. Whenever he has the ball, his average is 5.2 yards per carry. He led the team in rushing last season recording 718 yards with two touchdowns. With newly signed running back Mark Ingram, Edwards will move back to No. 2 running back.
Matt Skura moved positions and has become an aggressive playmaker. He started 12 games as a right guard in 2017, but in 2018, he started all 16 games as the center. In the offseason, the league awards players a performance-based salary for lower paid players that came through for their team. Skura was recognized by the NFL for his excellent performance and was given an additional $395,600.
This London-native was a soccer player and unfamiliar with football. Sports culture in London dictated that most athletes played soccer. Eluemunor became hooked on football after watching an NFL game on TV that was being played at Wembley’s Stadium. He moved to the United States when he turned 14 but did not have his first opportunity to play American football until he attended Lackawanna College. Eleumonor played from 2012 to 2013, making the All-Conference second team in 2013. Jermaine Eleumunor attended Texas A&M from 2014 to 2016 where he played right guard and right tackle.
Eluemunor signed with the Ravens in 2017 as an undrafted rookie, In his rookie season, he played in eight games with two starts and was named to the PFWA All-Rookie team along with Houston Texans quarterback Deshawn Watson and Kansas City Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt. Last season, he played in nine games with only one start. Although he has not had many reps on the field, the Ravens did the right thing by bringing him back. Standing at 6’4” and weighing 335 pounds with the versatility of playing guard and tackle is an asset, especially since the team is building an offense around quarterback Lamar Jackson.
Only the strong survive in the NFL. One injury can cause a player to lose their position on the team. Turner signed with the team in 2018 and got his big break on September 12 when he was promoted to the active roster when running back Kenneth Dixon was placed on injured reserve. He was the No. 3 running back behind Alex Collins and Javorious Allen. In his debut game playing against the rival Pittsburgh Steelers, Turner had a four-yard rush with 17 receiving yards, including a 10-yard pass from Joe Flacco. Then, as quickly as he was promoted to the active roster, he was removed and placed on injured reserve on October 13 due to a hamstring injury. This opened the door for running back Gus Edwards.
What happened to Michael Pierce?
At this time, defensive tackle Michael Pierce has not been resigned. Like Onwuasor, the Ravens placed a second-round restricted-free-agent tender on him. Another athletic defensive standout, the Ravens should offer Pierce a tender contract. Pierce was the only undrafted rookie in 2016 to start Week 1 of the regular season. He played all 16 games recording 35 tackles, one pass defended and two sacks. He finished second among rookie NFL defensive tackles with 35 tackles (19 of them solo). Friday is the deadline for restricted free agents to sign an offer sheet.