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Ravens’ left tackle Ronnie Stanley in ‘no rush’ to get contract extension before start of season

Ravens’ left tackle Ronnie Stanley in ‘no rush’ to get contract extension before start of season

Ronnie Stanley is less than a year away from adding a few more numbers to his contract. As to what day that will be, however, is yet to be determined. 

Stanley, the Ravens’ left tackle, is entering the fifth-year of his rookie contract at the best possible time for himself. He was an All-Pro and Pro Bowler in 2019, both the first selections of his career. He anchored the league’s best rushing attack and was widely regarded as one of, if not the best, pass blockers in the game. 

Now, it’s time for the Ravens to pay up. And by every indication, it won’t be cheap. But Stanley isn’t in a hurry to get his contract done just yet. 

“Honestly right now, I’m not really thinking about it,” Stanley said. “I’m kind of in no rush when it comes to that right now. I’m not really worried about it, per se. That’s just kind of my mentality toward it, at the moment.”

The sixth-overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, Stanley has slowly transformed himself into one of the game’s best offensive linemen at one of the most premier positions in the sport. That position pays handsomely, too. 

Laremy Tunsil, who was selected seven picks after Stanley in 2016, recently signed a contract extension with the Texans after being traded from the Dolphins at the outset of the 2019 season. The deal is for three years and worth $66 million with $40 million guaranteed at signing. After his fifth-year option expires in 2020, he will receive base salaries of: $16.15 million, $17.85 million and $18.5 million. His cap hit will account for nine percent, 9.3 percent, and nine percent in his three years on the Texans. 

Those numbers were music to Stanley and his agent’s ears.

“My first reaction was I was just super happy that he got what he got, first of all,” Stanley said. “I was happy because he deserved it. This position is definitely one of the top two, three hardest positions on the field. For him to get respected like that, with how much he got paid, made me feel very happy for him because he deserved it.”

The next three highest-paid tackles, Anthony Castonzo, Taylor Lewan and Nate Solder, all average more than $15 million per season. Stanley is sure to eclipse those numbers when his deal comes around. 

With the Ravens due up for contracts in the next few seasons for Stanley, Marlon Humphrey, Mark Andrews, Orlando Brown Jr. and eventually Lamar Jackson, how big of a contract Stanley receives could influence other negotiations. 

What Stanley has over all of those players, however, is that he might be the best player at his position across the entire league. 

“I definitely want to get paid my value and what I’m worth, or what I feel I’m worth,” Stanley said. “That part of it is important. But at the end of the day, I don’t think money is the most important thing to me.”

Stanley’s contract, while expected to come with a hefty price tag, will come with more off-the-field responsibilities. 

He’s now the unquestioned leader of the offensive line after the retirement of Marshal Yanda, leaving Stanley, just 26-years-old, as the eldest member of the line with significant starting experience in the purple and black. Now, more than ever, he’ll be looked at as a voice of veteran leadership in the offensive line room. 

With the NFL’s offseason in flux, and no set return date for the NFL, the Ravens — who might have two starters on the line who weren’t on the Ravens last season — minimizing the learning curve will be crucial to start the season. Unfortunately for offensive linemen, there’s no real equivalent to what the skill position players can do together.

“Super difficult to do that as an offensive line without being together,” Stanley said. “I really want to bring everyone together, but I know it’s pretty much impossible right now with the rona [coronavirus] and everything going on. Definitely in the future, that’s something I’d want to do. Bring us all together and do drills, work on things. It’s just really hard to get those type of things without really being physically there to really correct the technique and the little things. That’s what really matters.”

Whenever the Ravens’ offensive line is able to get together, though, they might be joined by one of the newly highest-paid players in the sport to protect Jackson’s blindside.

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Ravens' Matt Judon jokingly asks 'how's the real estate' in Kansas City after seeing Chris Jones' lucrative deal

Ravens' Matt Judon jokingly asks 'how's the real estate' in Kansas City after seeing Chris Jones' lucrative deal

Over the past two weeks, the Kansas City Chiefs have carved out two lucrative contracts. Last week, QB Patrick Mahomes signed a record $503 million deal, and on Tuesday, defensive end Chris Jones agreed to an extension with a maximum value of $85 million.

As Kansas City has taken care of its stars with nice paydays, Ravens linebacker Matthew Judon has taken notice. After seeing reports of Jones' deal, Judon sent Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu a tweet, jokingly asking "how's the real estate" in Kansas City.

Mathieu, who Kansas City signed to a three-year, $42 million deal last offseason, responded saying it's a "nice bang for ya buck."

The tweet, for all intents and purposes, was likely a joke, but there was some hidden meaning behind it. Judon, who will play the 2020 season for Baltimore under the franchise tag unless the two sides are able to agree to a long-term deal by Wednesday, has stated multiple times he believes he's earned a lucrative pay-day.

Additionally, Baltimore tagged Judon as an outside linebacker rather than a defensive end, despite him playing the majority of his snaps at DE. With this distinction, Judon was expected to earn nearly $2 million less in 2020 than had he been designated as a defensive end.

But, after hearing Judon's concerns, Baltimore decided to ante up and pay the 28-year-old a salary of $16.8 million, a number right in the middle of the two positions' franchise tender salaries.

In a Zoom conference in June, Judon said he's "blessed" to be playing under the tag.

“I’m blessed, regardless,” Judon said. “If I play under the franchise tag, or if we come to a long-term deal, I’m going to be happy regardless."

RELATED: HOW EFFECTIVE OF A SEASON CAN JUDON HAVE?

Plus, Baltimore fans shouldn't worry. Even if Judon wanted to play in Kansas City, it's unlikely the team would be able to afford him.

In addition to Jones' lucrative deal, Kansas City just signed Frank Clark to a five-year, $104 million deal last offseason. Add in Mahomes' record deal, as well as likely future extensions for stars Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill, the Chiefs likely don't have the money to pay Judon what he feels he deserves.

If Judon builds off his solid 2019 campaign, he'll have plenty of leverage with Baltimore come contract negotiations next spring.

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Lamar Jackson reacts to Madden 21 rating: ‘I wish it was better’

Lamar Jackson reacts to Madden 21 rating: ‘I wish it was better’

Madden 21 released a few ratings of top players in this year’s game, and to no one’s surprise, Lamar Jackson is perhaps the game’s most fun player.

Jackson is the game’s fastest quarterback with a 96 speed rating, paired with a 95 overall throw on the run rating, as well as a 94 rating for throwing under pressure. His throw power is 10th in the game at 92 overall.

RELATED: WHERE DOES LAMAR JACKSON RANK IN MADDEN 21 QB RATINGS?

But Jackson did take a little exception to his overall rating, which is a 94 -- good for the third best quarterback in the game behind Patrick Mahomes and Russell Wilson.

“I wish it was better,” Jackson said Monday evening on SportsCenter. “But hey, it’s better than it was last year. I guess we can roll with it till the season starts.”

Jackson, the cover athlete for this year’s game, started last year’s game at just a 76 overall.

Jackson wishes his rating was a little better this year due to his improvement from his rookie season to his second year in the league.

“I just think I did better than last year,” Jackson said. “I did a lot more than people expected, and our team did.”

As for what Jackson guessed his rating would be before the big reveal?

“At least 96, 97 probably,” Jackson had said.

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