Stanley extension keeps another homegrown player in Baltimore originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
Ravens center Matt Skura was a bit concerned that Ronnie Stanley, the Ravens’ franchise left tackle, was late to meetings on Friday. So he sent him a text and asked where he was.
Stanley replied, “I got something to do.”
Skura thought his absence was weird, but he just didn’t hear yet that Stanley was busy with signing his five-year contract extension worth $112,866,000 in total max value with $70,866,000 in guarantees.
“Ronnie had kept it on the down-low for the whole morning and the last day,” Skura said. “I couldn’t be prouder of him. He’s worked so hard since getting here. Both being in the same class, it’s awesome to see how much he’s grown.”
The Ravens made another move to lock up homegrown talent in October with Stanley’s signing, which comes off the heels of cornerback Marlon Humphrey’s extension on the first of the month.
Since general manager Eric DeCosta was promoted in January 2019, he’s made several key extensions of homegrown players including Stanley, Humphrey, fullback Patrick Ricard, tight end Nick Boyle and safety Chuck Clark.
Stanley, 26, is simply the latest.
“That was definitely one of the main reasons for my decision to stay here,” Stanley said Friday. “I want to play with these guys because they’re like family to me. I’m very appreciative of the whole organization, specifically Ozzie drafting me and having faith in my ability, drafting me with the sixth pick, when I know people were in his ear trying to persuade him other ways. I’m just really happy I can prove him right, prove the organization right.”
The move to lock up Stanley will keep him in Baltimore through the 2025 season, which will be his 10th as a professional.
With the Ravens to receive contract extensions, Baltimore is building a long-term nucleus of some of the best players at their positions — who happen to be at some of the pre-eminent positions in the league.
Humphrey will be under contract through 2026. Stanley through 2025. Clark through 2023 (along with the entire 2020 rookie class).
Now, the Ravens have given themselves, oddly enough, a bit more flexibility as it relates to the 2021 offseason. At least as it relates to roster construction.
With Stanley, who seemed primed as a franchise tag candidate, now under contract, the Ravens will be able to use the franchise tag elsewhere if need be. The likeliest option figures to be newly acquired outside linebacker Yannick Ngakoue.
Outside linebacker Matthew Judon, who is playing the 2020 season on the franchise tag, would cost about $5 million more under his second tag than Ngakoue would cost under his first tag. With the salary cap expected to drop for the 2021 season, saving every penny will be crucial to the Ravens. And not only for the 2021 season, but for the future as well.
Tight end Mark Andrews and right tackle Orlando Brown Jr. are both up for contract extensions after the 2021 season and figure to receive top dollar amounts once their time to negotiate comes. The ever-looming and seemingly inevitable massive extension for quarterback Lamar Jackson will kick into place after the 2022 season — an extension that is eligible to be negotiated once this season ends.
In terms of roster construction problems, the Ravens have one of the best problems to have in that they’ve got too many young, talented players all due for contract extensions at some point.
The Stanley deal will give the Ravens a blindside tackle for Jackson until he’s nearly 30-years-old. It will keep the former Notre Dame product in Baltimore “for life.”
And it was yet another sign of DeCosta and the Ravens keeping their younger, talented players in the organization for the long-term.
“We all know we’re a family here and I think all the guys are on the same page of what we’re trying to build here in Baltimore, and that’s long-term success,” Stanley said. “We have a lot of young players that are going to try to get paid in these next couple years and I think everyone wants everyone to get theirs and to really just be happy with the commitment that they’re getting from the team that they’re signing with. We’re going to try to keep as many key pieces here as we can.”