The Baltimore Ravens agreed to two-year, $10-million contract extension with running back Gus Edwards this week. The deal means he’ll be around for the next two seasons in a dual backfield with emerging star J.K. Dobbins.
Edwards originally signed with the Ravens in 2018, an undrafted free agent in 2018 after playing college football at the University of Miami and at Rutgers. His story is a remarkable one that goes back to moving to the United States from Liberia when he was five years old. Edwards played football at Tottenville High School in Staten Island, New York.
He clawed his way onto the Ravens roster and managed to be a fixture because his rugged running style fits the team’s physical approach to the game.
“I just knew that it was physical. What I knew about Ravens’ football is that it was physical in every aspect— offense, defense. And the running game has just been getting better. The more comfortable, the more years that we’re in the system, we add more sauce to it. I’m blessed, man. We’re in a special space. We’ve got a great offense. We’ve just got to keep building,” Edwards said.
The keep building approach is lockstep with the mindset that Ravens coach John Harbaugh wants the team to possess. Seeing Edwards get rewarded after working his way into a vital role with the Ravens is rewarding for the blue-collar minded coach.
“It means a lot. He’s a guy who we all root for. He came in as an undrafted free agent, and he had to work his way in from the bottom to the practice squad. Obviously, he’s played some special teams for us, and then what he’s done as a running back for the last three years is pretty remarkable,” Harbaugh said. “I think he’s a really good fit in our offense, and he understands that. He’s just a really good fit, also, in our personality as a football team. We appreciate him and the way he plays, and the way he carries himself. He’s just really the most deserving guy. To see that and have that kind of security now going forward for his family, as a coach, it’s pretty rewarding. So, [I’m] very happy for him and expecting nothing but the best from him going forward as a football player.”
Breaking the news to his father was an international experience. Edwards said he called his father to tell him that he was going to sign the contract. His father happened to be in Liberia at the house they lived in 20 years ago. A lot of his family was there with his dad in Liberia. Family has become his ‘why.’
“I always wanted to do it for my family. My family has been great for me— a great support, and they push me every day. When you can do for your family, it just makes you feel that much [more] of a man. I’m just happy. Thank you to [Ravens owner], Mr. [Steve] Bisciotti, the whole Ravens organization just for believing in me— a guy that didn’t have too much of an opportunity anywhere else. So, I’m blessed and I couldn’t thank this organization enough, pretty much,” Edwards explained.