A contract extension for left tackle Ronnie Stanley would seem like a no-brainer for the Baltimore Ravens.
However, the team appears to be treading carefully because of the potential financial ramifications.
Laremy Tunsil recently negotiated a three-year, $66 million contract extension with the Houston Texans.
Stanley, who was the highest-rated left tackle by Pro Football Focus last season, could command a much higher deal. He was coy about offering the team some sort of hometown discount.
“I definitely want to get paid my value and what I’m worth, or what I feel I’m worth,” Stanley said in a Zoom call with the media. “I think that part of it is important. But at the end of the day, I don’t think money’s the most important thing to me.
“I try to think big picture about things like that. That’s what I mean when I say money’s not the most important thing to me. That’s not really what drives me. That’s not my motivation. Being the best, being the greatest, that’s more what’s important to me.”
— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) May 27, 2020
Stanley has been an integral part of the Ravens’ offensive line since he was taken by the team in the first round (sixth overall) in the 2016 NFL Draft. He was especially effective this past season when he did not allow a sack on quarterback Lamar Jackson.
Stanley was named the “Pass Blocker of the Year” by Pro Football Focus. He was the highest-ranked left tackle with 300 or more pass-blocking snaps in PFF pass-blocking efficiency (99.3). Overall, Stanley allowed 10 total pressures in 515 pass-blocking snaps in 2019, according to the report.
Apparently, the Ravens have already approached Stanley about an extension, but have yet to reach an agreement. Stanley does not appear to be the least bit stressed about the situation.
“We’ve been in talks for the last couple of years now,” Stanley said. “I’m comfortable with where we are in that regard. When the time comes, it will come.”
In addition to Stanley, the Ravens also have to negotiate a new deal with cornerback Marlon Humphrey, who is eligible for free agency in 2022. Humphrey, selected by the Ravens in the first round (16th overall) of the 2017 NFL Draft, had 65 tackles, three interceptions, a team-leading 14 passes defended, three fumble returns — two of which were returned for touchdowns
The top cornerbacks in the NFL make about $15 million annually and Humphrey will be in the position for that type of payday.
The Ravens have historically done a solid job retaining their top players. Stanley and Humphrey certainly fall into that category.
General manager Eric DeCosta is confident the team will eventually reach agreements with both players. However, the Ravens might have to be financially creative to absorb both costs.
“We want to try and keep our elite young players,” DeCosta said. “We think Ronnie and Marlon and are two of those guys.”
Stanley doesn’t expect the contract situation to be a distraction if a deal is not finalized before the regular season.
“I’m kind of in no rush when it comes to that right now. I’m not really worried about it,” he said. “That’s kind of my mentality towards it at the moment.”