The Baltimore Ravens plan to pick up the fifth-year option on C.J. Mosley, although the team is thinking more long-term with the two-time Pro Bowl linebacker.
The Ravens have until May 3 to officially exercise the option, which assures them of having Mosley in the middle of their defense for the next two seasons. Ravens coach John Harbaugh called the decision a "formality."
"I’m sure that we’ll pick up his option," Harbaugh said at the NFL owners meetings Tuesday. "I expect C.J. Mosley to be a Raven for many, many, many years.”
Mosley has lived up to expectations after being selecetd No. 17 overall in 2014, making the Pro Bowl twice (2014, 2016) in his first three seasons. Plus, the fifth-year option -- projected to be north of $8 million -- is a reasonable price for a top inside linebacker when you consider seven made at least that much in base salary in 2016.
The Ravens would likely see this fifth-year option as the first step toward getting a long-term extension with Mosley. This is what happened with cornerback Jimmy Smith, who saw his fifth-year option picked up in 2014 and then reached a long-term deal with Baltimore the next year.
Since the fifth-year option began, the Ravens picked up the one for Smith in 2014 and declined it for safety Matt Elam in 2016. Baltimore didn't have a first-round pick in 2012, so the Ravens didn't have a decision on a fifth-year option in 2015.