Knowing his rookie contract was expiring and he was set to become a free agent after the season, Ravens left tackle Ronnie Stanley knew he was in line for a big payday, but he had one major goal throughout the negotiations: staying in Baltimore.
“I want to play with these guys,” he said, “because they’re like family to me.”
Stanley got his wish and signed a five-year contract extension Oct. 30, meaning one of the team’s offensive cornerstones will remain in place for the foreseeable future.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but ESPN reported the extension to be worth $98.75 million, with roughly $70 million in guarantees.
“I was just very happy to see all the work and dedication and my obsession with my technique pay off,” he said.
“Ronnie is the mainstay of our offensive line,” general manager Eric DeCosta said via statement in announcing the extension. “He’s a shutdown left tackle who excels on the field and in our community. This is just the beginning for Ronnie, and we could not be happier for him and his family.”
Stanley, 26, the Ravens’ first-round pick in 2016 (No. 6 overall) out of Notre Dame, was playing out the fifth-year option of his rookie contract.
Speaking about his new deal after the team’s practice Oct. 30, Stanley praised former general manager Ozzie Newsome, who drafted Stanley, for “having faith in my ability. … I’m just really happy that I could just prove him right, prove the organization right.”
Stanley has been the anchor of the Ravens’ offensive line throughout his five-year career and earned First-Team All-Pro honors in 2019 as the Ravens rolled to a 14-2 record and became the most prolific rushing attack in NFL history, setting an all-time record with 3,296 rushing yards.
Stanley also was the league’s top-rated pass blocker last year, according to Pro football Focus, protecting quarterback Lamar Jackson’s blind side. Jackson threw for 3,127 yards and a league-best 36 touchdowns en route to league Most Valuable Player honors.
Stanley has started 61 games in his career. He missed one game earlier this year with a shoulder injury.
Stanley’s extension comes just four weeks after the Ravens signed Pro Bowl cornerback Marlon Humphrey to a five-year, $98.75 million extension, as DeCosta closed deals on two of the biggest roster questions that would have loomed over the offseason.
DeCosta succeeded Newsome as general manager in the spring of 2019, and retaining core players has been at center of his roster-building philosophy. Since the summer of 2019, DeCosta has signed more than a dozen Ravens to contract extensions or new deals with the team.
With Stanley and Humphrey taken care of, DeCosta’s most pressing contract issues become the outside linebackers — Matthew Judon, Tyus Bowser, Pernell McPhee and newly acquired Yannick Ngakoue are all set to become free agents next season. Judon and Ngakoue, however, are technically both playing under the franchise tag and the Ravens by rule cannot negotiate with them until after the season.
Looking down the road, tight end Mark Andrews and right tackle Orlando Brown Jr. are set to become free agents after the 2021 season, and Jackson, assuming the Ravens pick up his fifth-year option, a year later.
This story has been updated to reflect Stanley’s reaction to the deal.
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