Around the NFL
Ravens' Ricky Wagner set to blow the lid off RT market
By Kevin Patra
- Around the NFL writer
March 7, 2017 at 10:26 a.m.
March 7, 2017 at 10:56 a.m.
By Kevin Patra
It's not a good year to need offensive tackles. Many teams need offensive tackles.
The toxic potion of scarcity will allow the few solid veterans heading to the open market to hit the jackpot.
NFL Network's Mike Garafolo said Tuesday on Good Morning Football that Wagner is "going to blow the lid off the right tackle market."
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Swiping out Lane Johnson's outlier contract — he was paid as a future left tackle — the top of the right tackle market is Green Bay Packers' Bryan Bulaga at $6.75 million per year. Last offseason the Chiefs signed Mitchell Schwartz to a five-year, $33 million contract, which averages $6.6 million per season.
According to Garafolo, Wagner will end up signing for more than $8 million per season.
The former fifth-round pick played exceedingly well in 2016, particularly as a pass blocker on the right side, after struggling in 2015. Since taking over the starting gig in his second season, the 27-year-old has missed just two games. Pro Football Focus ranked Wagner its 18th overall tackle (both left and right side) in 2016.
With a gaggle of teams in need of tackles and a plethora of salary-cap space, Wagner's reps will have a boatload of leverage during the NFL's free agency negotiating window — opening Tuesday at noon ET.
Garafolo mentioned the Vikings are one team interested in Wagner's services. Minnesota general manager Rick Spielman knows he must upgrade a debilitating offensive line, and could make a splash adding Wagner.
The Vikes will have plenty of competition to land the top RT, however, including some within their own division. The Detroit Lions — with Riley Reiff heading to free agency — Chicago Bears and Houston Texans will all be in play for Wagner, per Garafolo.
Last week at the NFL Scouting Combine, Ravens coach John Harbaugh said the team had a "very competitive" offer to keep Wagner. But the Baltimore Sun's Jeff Zrebiec reported the ship has sailed on a return — i.e. he'll get offered more elsewhere.
Rich Eisen caps the combine by renewing his annual tradition of running the 40-yard dash. See the best photos from his 2017 run. View
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