After playing his first nine career seasons with the Baltimore Ravens, Jarret Johnson is set to hit the open market and become a free agent when the new league year begins next month.
Johnson, 30, has played in a franchise record 129 games, and the day after the AFC Championship Game loss in New England, the linebacker said he would like to retire as a Raven.
NFL Network analyst Jason La Canfora believes Johnson will be a valued commodity on the open market.
“He’s going to be a prized asset on the open market,” La Canfora said, via BaltimoreRavens.com. “Ravens defenders always are.”
Over the past few years, Baltimore has loaded up at the outside linebacker’s position through the draft. The Ravens selected Paul Kruger in the second-round in 2009, and took Sergio Kindle with their first pick in 2010.
Kruger made serious strides in his third season, playing in all 16 games and recording 5.5 sacks. However, he hasn’t proven he can be an every-down player like Johnson and still has much to show when it comes to stopping the run and playing the edge like Johnson has.
As for Kindle, he’s yet to see any regular-season action due to the head injury he suffered before his career could even get underway.
Johnson recorded 56 tackles and 2.5 sacks this past season, and is highly regarded in the locker room.
So, if Johnson is willing to take a hometown discount to remain in the Charm City, his chances of returning to the Ravens could be inevitable.