The payday of one future Raven became a bit clearer on Wednesday morning.
With Jalen Ramsey’s whopping five-year, $105 million deal signed Wednesday, Ramsey reset the cornerback market entirely, a deal that is sure to have lasting impacts on the rest of the league and its defensive backs. Ramsey's contract was the largest ever signed for a cornerback, with an extension that averages $21 million per season.
Ravens cornerback Marlon Humphrey is entering his fourth season in the NFL after a breakout 2019 campaign. A year ago, he had three interceptions and played in 16 games as he was named a Pro Bowler and a First Team All-Pro.
Now, the 2017 first-round pick has one more season before he’s eligible to sign a contract extension. He’s set to hit the free agent market in 2022, after the Ravens inevitably pick up his fifth-year option. And that Ramsey deal will surely be brought up at some point.
Either way, whenever Humphrey gets paid, he’s not going to come cheap — or easy to swallow.
Prior to Wednesday, just three cornerback deals in league history had averaged more than $15 million per season. Ramsey’s deal eclipsed $20 million per year.
Now, the Ravens will have to cram Humphrey in under what is likely going to be a damaged salary cap, due to financial restrictions after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Because not only do the Ravens have Humphrey to sign, but left tackle Ronnie Stanley is in a contract year, as is edge rusher Matthew Judon. Right tackle Orlando Brown Jr. is eligible to sign a contract extension after the 2020 season, as is tight end Mark Andrews.
All of those deals, however, will pale in comparison to the massive deal set to come for quarterback Lamar Jackson, who is eligible to start negotiating a deal after the 2020 season. His fifth year option will extend through the 2022 regular season, meaning he’s not due to hit free agency until 2023.
The Ravens will have to weigh all of that, as they’re faced with an unprecedented pandemic and a young and talented roster set to reach their big paydays.
Wednesday, they got a glimpse at what Humphrey’s contract could look similar to.