On Monday, the NFL’s legal tampering period began. As many expected, Baltimore Ravens inside linebacker, C.J. Mosley drew a lot of interest from throughout the league. General manager Eric DeCosta and the Ravens brass tried to keep Mosley in Baltimore, but ultimately lost the bidding war that developed for the star player. Baltimore continually increased its offer in a last minute attempt to keep Mosley. According to Ravens Insider, Jeff Zrebiec of the Athletic, the Ravens offered Mosley $14 million per year. But the Ravens could not compete with the $17 million average per year contract the Jets dished out to the former Alabama player.
The structure of the contract as reported by the NFL Network’s Ian Rappaport is as follows: five years, $85 million, with $51 million in guaranteed cash. The Ravens were simply in no position to match this offer. Mosley wanted to remain in Baltimore, but the Ravens could not dump a boatload of cash like the Jets. Baltimore committed to its principle of not overpaying players. The Ravens declined to place the franchise tag on Mosley worth $15 million, so it is not surprising that Baltimore would not pay Mosley over $14 million.
Mosley was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in the first round of the 2014 draft. Since then, he developed into one of the league’s best inside linebackers. During his five year tenure in Baltimore, Mosley appeared in four Pro Bowls and was named a second-team All-Pro four times. “Half man, half amazing,” Mosley was expected to be the heir to Ray Lewis as the Ravens’ top linebacker for years to come. But the dream was dashed by the business nature of the NFL. Baltimore could ill afford to throw more than half the cap space at one player. Mosley departs Baltimore as one of the best Ravens of the past few years. His presence on the defense will be incredibly difficult to replace.