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Ravens' Marshal Yanda to retire after 13 seasons

The Baltimore Ravens have a Gold Jacket-sized hole to fill on the offensive line this offseason.

Eight-time Pro Bowl guard Marshal Yanda will officially retire this week, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Tuesday morning, via a source informed of the decision. The team later confirmed the development.

ESPN first reported the news.

One of the best offensive linemen in NFL history, the 35-year-old contemplated retirement last season before returning for one more run. He helped spearhead the most dynamic ground-attack in football, plowing holes for the run game and quarterback Lamar Jackson.

A third-round pick in 2007 out of Iowa, Yanda became an immediate starter for Baltimore and has been a rock in the middle of the offensive line for the past 13 seasons.

A technician, Yanda might not have been the most athletically gifted lineman to ever step on a football field. Still, you'd be hard-pressed to find anyone consistently in better position to push large men out of the way than the Baltimore bruiser. Country strong, Yanda could move multiple NFL defenders with a single push, freeing up other blockers to climb to the next level.

Like most offensive linemen, Yanda's play was overlooked and underappreciated, but he exits his NFL career as a sure-fire Hall of Famer.

Along with his eight Pro Bowls in 13 years, Yanda also snagged two first-team All-Pro awards, was second-team another five times and won a Super Bowl.

One of the best run-blockers of the era riding into the sunset leaves a big hole for Baltimore to fill in front of the MVP Jackson this offseason. The Ravens will gain $7 million in cap space that could be used to help plug the gap. Baltimore historically grows its linemen in-house, so 2019 fourth-round pick Ben Powers could be the top option to step in if general manager Eric DeCosta doesn't foray into free agency.

The Ravens have known this moment could come any year now, but it doesn't make it any easier to fill the hole left by a man who will one day wear a Gold Jacket in Canton.

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