Outside linebacker Jarret Johnson is the Baltimore Ravens’ iron man, having played in a franchise-record 130 consecutive games.
But Johnson’s not sure if he’ll be returning to be the work horse and perennially underrated talent many Ravens fans have come to know and love.
“I don’t know, we’ll see,” Johnson said, via BaltimoreRavens.com. “We’ve got a lot of good young players. We’ve got a lot of guys that they’ve got to re-sign.”
The Ravens have quarterback Joe Flacco and unrestricted free agents Ray Rice and Ben Grubbs to deal with and take care of. Those three could take up a large portion of Baltimore’s salary cap in 2012.
Baltimore also has a pair of former second-round picks in Sergio Kindle and Paul Kruger, both of whom played behind Johnson this season.
In his third season–Kruger emerged as a legitimate pass rusher–notching 5 1/2 sacks in the regular season and another against the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship Game. He regularly came in for Johnson on third-down passing situations.
Meanwhile, Kindle was only active for two games this season, and sat out his entire rookie year due to a head injury. However, he could be a talent the Ravens look to develop in a full off-season.
Johnson was a fourth-round draft choice of the Ravens in 2003. He began his career as a defensive end, before making the transition to outside linebacker, where he has made his name through grit and determination.
This season, Johnson recorded 56 tackles, 2 1/2 sacks and had three pass deflections.
“I’d like to fit in again here,” Johnson said. “But unfortunately this is a business and sometimes business decisions [have] got to be made. I hope to be back. I’d love to retire a Raven, but we’ll see.”