The Baltimore Ravens may have checked off the biggest box on their to-do list when it comes to turning around their offensive line, but today the Tennessee Titans didn’t make their job any easier.
Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean reported that the Titans have agreed to a four-year, $20 million contract for tackle Michael Oher, who is a native of the state. The contract includes $9.5 million in guaranteed money.
Both the Ravens and the Pittsburgh Steelers have now lost their 2009 first-round draft picks to four-year deals. Yesterday, defensive end Ziggy Hood came to terms with the Jacksonville Jaguars on a contract worth $16 million.
The Titans, meanwhile, are using the signing to replace veteran right tackle David Stewart, whom the team just released. Stewart was set to earn $6.4 million in salary this season, and have now, presumably, used most of that to sign Oher.
Oher’s deal in comparison to the one signed by Eugene Monroe makes the latter seem even more like a bargain. One of the best young left tackles in the league, Monroe signed a five-year, $37.5 million deal to stay in Baltimore.
Still, the Ravens have a long way to go to make up for what they’ve lost.
I suspect that they will try to replace Oher with third-year lineman Kelechi Osemele, who started all 16 games at right tackle as a rookie in 2012 before moving to left guard for the playoffs, and continuing there in 2013.
The Ravens then have options, albeit not ideal ones, to assume the left guard position in A.Q. Shipley or Jah Reid. Baltimore would also like to improve the center position, with Gino Gradkowski underwhelming in his first season as a starter.
In 2013, Oher surrendered eight sacks and nearly 50 other combined hits and pressures on Joe Flacco in 1125 snaps. His five penalties this past season, amusingly, are actually a career-low by a wide margin. He is the highest-penalized player since 2009.