The Ravens announced today that they have agreed on a 5-year contract extension with cornerback Lardarius Webb.
Many fans feared that Webb, who was a restricted free agent in 2012, would be snatched up by a team like Cincinnati or New England who could afford to give up the first round draft pick it would have cost to pry #21 from Baltimore. (We tried to ease the concerns of fans back on March 24 in a column by Tony Lombardi.)
Instead, Ravens faithful can rest easy knowing that Webb will be in town for at least the next six seasons.
According to Ravens24x7’s Aaron Wilson, Webb’s new deal is for $50 million with a $10 million signing bonus, and will pay him $18 million in the first two years of the deal, $25.5 million in the first three years, and $33.5 million in the first four.
Webb emerged as one of the NFL’s best cornerbacks in his fourth season, leading the Ravens with five interceptions in the regular season and three more in the playoffs. He did not allow a passing touchdown in his coverage, and opposing quarterbacks throwing in his direction had a dismal QB rating of 42.0.
According to Ravens24x7’s film study guru Ken McKusick, Webb graded out with exemplary marks across the board in 2011.
Along with fellow cornerbacks Jimmy Smith, the Ravens’ first round draft choice in 2011, and Cary Williams, a pleasant surprise last season, what was once (not very long ago) a position of weakness for the Ravens has become one of the team’s strongest areas.