Ravens RB Gus Edwards signs exclusive rights tender

The Baltimore Ravens have every member of their beastly backfield officially under contract for the 2020 season now that former undrafted gem Gus Edwards has signed his exclusive free agent rights tender.

The Ravens picked up Edwards’ tender back in March, securing his rights for the 2020 season and he put pen to paper on Tuesday afternoon. He originally signed with the Ravens as an undrafted free agent out of Rutgers in 2018 and while he flashed in the preseason that year, he didn’t make the final 53-man roster and was among those released during the final round of cuts.

Edwards was signed to the Ravens’ practice squad and was later promoted midway through his rookie season. He hit the ground rolling one he got elevated to the active game-day roster and hit opposing defenses even harder as a battering ram that bludgeoned them into submission as the Ravens went 6-1 down the stretch of the 2018 season once Lamar Jackson took over for an injured Joe Flacco. He appeared in 11 games as a rookie, including six starts, and led the team in rushing yards with 718 yards and two touchdowns for a 5.2 yard per carry average.

He earned the nickname ‘The Bus’ for his powerful rugged running style and makes the most of his opportunities when they come his way. After a strong showing as a rookie, Edwards was slated to be the full-time starter heading into his second season before the Ravens signed veteran Mark Ingram to a three-year deal worth $15 million in free agency and then drafted jitterbug change of pace back Justice Hill in the fourth round of last year’s draft out of Oklahoma.

However, despite the extra mouths to feed in the Baltimore’s backfield that includes the most dynamic and explosive running talent at the quarterback position in NFL history in Jackson and not starting a single game until the season finale when the team rested several of its starters, Edwards still managed to finish third on the team in rushing yards with 711 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

He received just four fewer carries in his sophomore season than he did as a rookie (133 down from 137), recorded just seven fewer yards on the ground, caught five more passes for 25 more yards (7-for-45 up from 2-for-20) and his per-carry average actually went up a tick (5.3 up from 5.2).

The Ravens added even more talent and competition for carries and touches at the running back position again this offseason by selecting J.K. Dobbins out of Ohio State in the second round of this year’s draft. Dobbins will be chomping at the bit to get involved with the offense and is a natural catcher of the football as much as he is a violent and explosive runner of it. He was viewed by many in the Ravens’ front office and coaching staff as well as around the league as a first-round talent, is the top-rated rookie running back in the video game Madden 21 despite being the fifth one off the board, and is viewed as Ingram eventual successor as the future of the Ravens backfield.

Despite yet another mouth to feed, Edwards isn’t going to be deterred from being the best he can be and make his carries count when they come without pressing the issue and getting careless with the ball. He welcomes the added competition and remains hungry to prove himself each and every day he steps out on the field in practice and in games.

There have been several trade rumors circulating his roster status all offseason and especially after the team added Dobbins but General Manager Eric DeCosta said that the team plans on having a four-headed monster in their backfield this season and Edwards will be one of those heads.

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