Free agent OLB Pernell McPhee wants to remain with Ravens

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Robert Sobus
·3 min read
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Free agency is set to begin in a few weeks and the Baltimore Ravens have plenty of questions to answer. At the top of the list are Baltimore’s own pending free agents. While Willie Snead and Dez Bryant have seemingly pointed themselves away from the team this offseason, outside linebacker Pernell McPhee has made it clear he’d like to return.

“Of course, the plan is to come back to Baltimore and continue to play some ball, help win a championship and build a dynasty,” McPhee told Ravens writer Clifton Brown. “That’s the goal. Myself and my agent haven’t really talked about it yet. I’ve been chilling, taking care of my body. I’ll think about things, but my thought is really just on coming back.”

The Ravens originally drafted McPhee in 2011 before seeing him leave in free agency. Unfortunately, McPhee had several injury-plagued seasons with Chicago and Washington before returning to Baltimore in 2019 after the Ravens lost Terrell Suggs and Za’Darius Smith in free agency.

Though McPhee had an injury-shortened 2019 campaign, he’s been a stout defender for Baltimore since his return. While other younger players like Jaylon Ferguson were expected to step up and develop into starters, the Ravens have had to lean on a consistent McPhee far more than they might have envisioned. But it’s hard to argue with his results, despite McPhee being on the wrong side of 30. Over 22 games in his latest stint with Baltimore, McPhee has accounted for six sacks, 21 quarterback hits, and 28 total pressures in a reserve role.

The Ravens will have some tough decisions to make at outside linebacker over the next few weeks. Jihad Ward, Tyus Bowser, Matthew Judon, and Yannick Ngakoue are all set to become free agents. Both Judon and Ngakoue are considered to be among the top of this free-agent class and will likely garner plenty of attention and top contract offers if they hit the open market.

McPhee, who left Baltimore for a big contract in 2015, is all about winning another championship as he’s set to hit free agency this offseason. He was with the Ravens in 2012 when Baltimore won Super Bowl XLVII and he wants another taste of that championship feeling.

“I don’t care if somebody gets 25 sacks,” McPhee continued. “That’s a great achievement, but it’s not like winning a championship. Going undefeated in the regular season is great, but if you don’t win the Super Bowl, it doesn’t matter. I just want to get that Super Bowl feeling again.”

The Ravens have fallen short of that goal the last two seasons despite looking promising. With an MVP at quarterback in Lamar Jackson and the second-ranked defense in points allowed, Baltimore is once again among the favorites to win Super Bowl LVI. McPhee seems to be willing to bet on the Ravens getting it done this time around.

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