The market for good offensive tackles is fairly slim this year. It makes a player like Ravens Kelechi Osemele a hot commodity, despite the fact that he has played at guard most of his career.
This week the Ravens and Osemele's people have been in discussions as the team would very much like to bring him back and have made contract offers to him which would make him the second highest paid player on the offense behind only quarterback Joe Flacco, according to NFL.com's Ian Rapoport.
With pending FA G Kelechi Osemele, #Ravens are aggressive, sources say. Offered to make him the 2nd highest offensive player behind Flacco— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 25, 2016
"It's a really aggressive deal," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said of the offer Thursday at the scouting combine. "I think it shows a lot of respect to K.O. [Osemele]. It shows him that we really want him here, and I hope that he takes it."
The 6-5, 333-pound offensive lineman has played at guard the past three seasons, after playing at right tackle as a rookie. He moved over to left tackle as an injury replacement late last season and is now seen as one of the top left tackles on the market. It's the reason the Ravens are offering him so much to keep him.
Should Osemele turn his nose up at the Ravens offer and instead look to free agency, the 26-year-old will have many suitors who could be willing to offer him big money.
Osemele landed firmly on my Raiders Free Agent wishlist for offensive tackles. Also on that list is current Raiders left tackle Donald Penn, who is headed for free agency as well and whose agent spoke with the Raiders this week in the hopes of working out a deal for him to re-sign.
Penn and his agent were frustrated with the lack of communication from the Raiders in the month following the season, prompting to soon-to-be 33-year-old left tackle to prepare to hit the market. And despite the LA native being a lifelong Raiders fan, Penn has no intention of giving the Raiders a hometown discount.
The negotiating period between teams and outside free agents begins March 6. If Osemele and Penn remain unsigned, we could see quite a few left tackles moving around when free agency opens on March 9.