OWINGS MILLS, Md. — There is no doubt Marshal Yanda is an all-time Raven and a future Pro Football Hall of Famer. He played 13 NFL seasons. All of them were in Baltimore.
He left it all on the field. There is no more left to give. He’s healthy, he’s content and said that’s why he is retiring.
"The whole process of my career and how things have gone, I just did not want to risk another injury," he said. "My two last years were healthy, got to do everything I wanted to do. Wanted to end on a high note, end healthy, end it my way and not on injured reserve. So, this was the right time."
The 35-year-old is one of the toughest and grittiest players ever to suit up. He was all business. He played the offensive guard position with precision. Yanda was an eight-time pro-bowler, a seven-time all-pro and Super Bowl Champion who helped define one of the Ravens’ most successful eras.
"It was a winning culture my entire time here," he said. "Yeah, we had some down years but compared to other places we were in the playoffs a lot."
The auditorium where he officially walked away was filled. Current and former coaches and teammates packed the room. Joe Flacco was one of them.
"You know you can count on him at every moment and hopefully he felt the same way about me," said the former Ravens quarterback.
"As a coach you could never ask for anything beyond what Marshal did and gave," added Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh. "He embraced every bit of his career, made the most of it and is, in my opinion, a first-ballot hall of fame."
Yanda said he knew entering the 2019 season that it would probably be his last one as a professional. It turned out to be what he described as his most fun. And he made the most of it just like the entirety of his career.
How would he like to be remembered? What does he think is his legacy?
"As an accountable person, player, teammate. That type of guy. Tough, physical football player and a grinder," he answered.
Yanda said he has lost 45 pounds since playing in his final game, that playoff loss to the Titans in January. He now weighs 265 lbs. As for his future he said he plans to go back home to Iowa an figure out how much he wants football in his life.
Ravens General Manager Eric DeCosta announced that Yanda will be inducted into the Ravens' Ring of Honor in the "near future".