The Baltimore Ravens lineman Kevin Zeitler received some good news on Thursday, December 14. The Ravens announced on X (formerly Twitter), that Zeitler “is a finalist for the Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award.”
The award, according to the NFL website, “recognizes players around the league who exemplify outstanding sportsmanship on the field.”
— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) December 14, 2023
Last year’s winner was also a Raven, and now current Atlanta Falcon, defensive tackle Calais Campbell. According to the NFL, “The award is presented each year to an NFL player who best demonstrates the qualities of on-field sportsmanship, including fair play, respect for the game and opponents and integrity in competition.”
NFL executive vice president of football operations, Troy Vincent spoke about the award saying, “Sportsmanship is the core of the game, the vanguard of public confidence, the keeper of game integrity.”
Eight finalists were announced for the 2023 Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award. The award recognizes an @NFL player who best demonstrates on-field sportsmanship, including fair play, respect for the game and opponents, and integrity in competition. Learn more: https://t.co/b29ONgBcQE pic.twitter.com/TKqSIt8P4V
— NFL Football Operations (@NFLFootballOps) December 14, 2023
The other players Zeitler will be going up against include New York Jets LB C.J. Mosley (former Raven), San Francisco 49ers FB Kyle Juszczyk (former Raven), Las Vegas Raiders DE Maxx Crosby, Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott, Los Angeles Chargers LB Khalil Mack, Arizona Cardinals safety Budda Baker and Seattle Seahawks LB Bobby Wagner.
Kevin Zeitler is Setting Himself up for Another Payday
Zeitler will be a free agent following the 2023 season and should be in line for a nice payday after his stellar play. The Wisconsin product was drafted in the first round of the 2012 draft by the Cincinnati Bengals.
He joined the Ravens in 2021 and has been a staple on the line at the guard position. The 33-year-old has only two penalties this season and only 11 in his three years with the Ravens.
Kevin Zeitler was out there tossing Rams players around the field. pic.twitter.com/WPypfUz6GE
— (@LIVERavenNation) December 15, 2023
Pro Football Focus released their top 50 free agents heading into the 2024 season and had Zeitler ranked 32. They projected him to receive a two-year, $15 million contract. The Ravens will be cap-strapped after this season so bringing back a veteran like Zeitler at a reasonable price will be at the top of their list.
The Ravens offensive line will be in flux following this season. Tackles Ronnie Stanley is having a difficult season and veteran Morgan Moses is getting long in the tooth.
It will be important to keep some consistency, besides breakout Tyler Linderbaum. PFF grades Zeitler at a 70.5 overall and has a pass blocking grade of 80.8. This would rank Zeitler as the 16th best guard out of 79. The Ravens need to do everything they can to bring back the veteran.