LT Bryant McKinnie, Ravens agree to two-year contract

McKinnie will return to Baltimore. (USATSI)
McKinnie will return to Baltimore. (USATSI)

After spending the past two seasons in Baltimore, free-agent left tackle Bryant McKinnie was thought to be deciding between signing a deal with either the Dolphins or the Chargers.

The Ravens, meanwhile, seemed out of the picture. Until, of course, they weren’t.

On Thursday afternoon, the Ravens announced they have agreed in principle to a two-year deal with McKinnie. Multiple reports state that his deal is worth a maximum of $7 million. This likely means Kelechi Osemele, who was thought to be in the running for McKinnie’s job, will return to the left guard spot, while Michael Oher will stay at the right tackle position.

The announcement came as a surprise because it appeared as though McKinnie was closing in on a decision between Miami and San Diego (reportedly, the Cowboys also had gotten involved in the past day or so). But the Ravens apparently didn’t want him to get away.

"I'd love to have him back here," Osemele said last month. "He's a great asset to our team, just a powerful weapon to have especially with both of us on the same side. But I trust Ozzie [Newsome] and those guys. They know what they're doing and they know what direction they want to [take] our team into. Whatever they decide to do, I trust them fully. … As long as I'm on the field, and we have the best linemen on the field, that's what's most important to me, giving the team the best possible chance to win games."

McKinnie actually didn’t start a game in the regular season last year with Oher at left tackle and Osemele on the right side (McKinnie had started 147 of the 148 games he’d played in previous years). But McKinnie took over the left tackle spot in time for the playoffs and did a wonderful job slowing down big-name pass-rushers during the team’s Super Bowl run.

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