12:40pm: Yanda and the Ravens have reached an agreement on a new deal, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. It’s a four-year extension, per Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter link).
12:33pm: The Ravens are closing in on a contract extension with veteran guard Marshal Yanda, according to Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun, who reports (via Twitter) that an agreement between the two sides should be finalized soon.
Yanda, who turned 31 last month, is one of the steadiest and most reliable guards in the league, having started all but two regular season games for the Ravens since the start of the 2011 season. He has also earned four consecutive Pro Bowl nods, and was named to his first All-Pro First Team in 2014.
Per Over the Cap’s data, Yanda’s previous contract placed him among the league’s highest-paid guards. According to OTC, no right guard earns a higher annual salary than Yanda’s $6.4MM average, while only four left guards make more than the Ravens standout — Logan Mankins ($8.5MM), Mike Iupati ($8MM), Orlando Franklin ($7.3MM), and Josh Sitton ($6.75MM) all have slightly higher annual averages, and two of those players signed new free agent contracts earlier this year.
Yanda’s contract had been set to expire at the end of the 2015 season, and his new deal figures to average just as much as his old one, if not more. I can’t imagine the former third-round pick getting a huge raise, since he’s in his early-30s now, but the Ravens clearly like him enough to make sure he didn’t reach free agency this winter. When Dallas Robinson of Nerdy Football examined the Ravens’ guards as extension candidates in June, he suggested something in the range of four years and perhaps $32MM might make sense for Yanda.
Of course, Yanda’s new deal leaves Baltimore’s other starting guard, Kelechi Osemele, as the possible next man up for an extension of his own. However, there has been some skepticism in recent months that the Ravens will have the cap flexibility to take care of both players, since clubs typically don’t devote significant chunks of cap space to guards. One July report suggested that Osemele could be the odd man out when the Ravens started locking up potential free agents.