The Ravens’ Plan A at left guard was re-signing Pro Bowl performer Ben Grubbs, who eventually signed with the New Orleans Saints. Plan B was an aggressive bid at free agent Evan Mathis, who opted Saturday to re-sign with the Philadelphia Eagles.
What is Plan C? The Ravens, of course, aren’t going to publicly announce that to the media, but don’t be surprised if it includes giving second-year player Jah Reid an extended look at left guard.
Regardless of their plans for Reid, I think the Ravens will sign at least one free agent offensive lineman and add one or two more offensive linemen in the draft. But giving Reid, a third-round pick out of Central Florida last year, an opportunity to compete for the job would be a typical move by the Ravens, who always look internally first when filling needs.
Reid is 6 feet 7, 330 pounds, and primarily a right tackle. He played sparingly in his rookie season, being used as a third tight end in certain packages. His most extensive action probably came in the AFC Championship game when Michael Oher was forced out during one series with a knee injury.
It certainly would be a risky move, replacing a Pro Bowl guard with an untested, younger player who is going to be asked to play a different position. And it certainly may be a tough sell for the fans, who undoubtedly remember Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome saying that bolstering the offensive line was one of the offseason’s biggest priorities. As of now, it appears that the 2012 starting offensive line will look an awful lot like the 2011 version minus the solid Grubbs.
But the Ravens obviously have a history of making good evaluations of their own personnel, and they feel like Reid made some nice strides in practice last year. If they don’t feel like there is a strong option still available on the free agent market, I could see them using the money elsewhere and giving Reid the opportunity.
Don’t get me wrong, I still expect them to bring in a veteran guard. Jake Scott, Robert Gallery, Bobbie Williams, Kyle Kosier and Eric Steinbach are all solid options. However, don’t be surprised at all if Reid gets every opportunity to prove that the job should be his.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times