Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Ravens' Yanda Might Be Most Important Free Agent

9 months ago: Baltimore Ravens wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh, left, cuts around New England Patriots safety Pat Chung (25) with the help of a block from Ravens guard Marshal Yanda during the first quarter of a NFL football game at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., Sunday, Oct. 17, 2010.

By Bruce Raffel

July 1, 2011

With all the potential free agents on the Baltimore Ravens, there might be one guy who re-signing should be perhaps the biggest priority of all of them. Guard/tackle Marshal Yanda has played both positions on the right side of the offensive line, and has performed anywhere from good to excellent, depending where he has lined up.

Yanda was drafted to be a guard and would probably be considered one of the better right guards in the NFL if he had been permitted to stick at one position and excel there. However, due to the combination of his versatility and mounting injuries on the Ravens offensive lines, Yanda has been plugged in wherever and whenever he has been needed.

According to a story on Football News Now, that versatility combined with his solid performance, playing what is considered to be out of position, makes him perhaps the most valuable player that could hit the free agent market once the Collective Bargaining Agreement is signed by the NFL owners and players. If Yanda tests the open market, he will more than likely find a much more lucrative offer elsewhere than he would if he stays with his current team. Let's hope the Ravens never give him a chance to look around by re-signing him at the earliest possible moment.

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