Everyone knew Marlon Humphrey was going to be a Raven for the foreseeable future. It was just a matter of how long and for how much.
Thursday, those questions were answered as Humphrey signed a five-year deal worth reportedly $98.5 million which will keep him in Baltimore through 2026.
“I can’t express how important it is, because of the type of person that he is, and the player, and what he does for us specifically on the defensive side of the ball,” defensive coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale said. “I just can’t be more elated for a guy who gets a contract like that. It’s one of those things that we’ve talked about before; you want all your guys to succeed, almost like they’re your kids. He’s a guy who has worked his tail off since he’s been here.”
Humphrey was a 2017 first-round draft choice of the Ravens and, at 24-years-old, is still an ascending player. In 2019, he made his first Pro Bowl and was named to a First Team All-Pro.
He’s racked up eight career interceptions, including one this year, and has allowed a 52.4 percent completion percentage this season according to Pro Football Reference, with zero touchdowns allowed.
Now, the Ravens will have him in the fold until he’s 30.
“For me, being the highest paid never really was a factor,” Humphrey said Thursday. “The biggest thing for me was just staying a Raven. I remember when I first got here, me and Chris Moore used to joke around saying that we’re Ravens for life. And it’s a very good feeling to actually be one.”
He got emotional during the press conference while talking about his father, Bobby, who also played in the NFL.
“My dad has been so much more than a father -- he coached me as a kid,” Humphrey said. “He’s actually been my everything for me, along with my mom. And, so, I really thank him a lot for what he’s done, and I know he’ll continue to be a great father to me. And hopefully one day, (when) I get a family, I can treat my sons and my daughters the way my dad has treated me and my brothers and sisters.”
Humphrey’s skillset has been a nice mix with fellow cornerback Marcus Peters, as Humphrey’s physicality has allowed him to be effective after a catch is made.
He attributed that to a former high school coach, who routinely said he was a “track guy,” -- meaning he didn’t have the toughness to play.
“If you look-up Deion Sanders highlights -- well, not highlights -- but if you look-up every game, he’s going to get the ball caught on him. If you look-up Richard Sherman, he’s going to get the ball caught on him," Humphrey said. "If you look up all these top corners, eventually the ball is going to get caught on you. So, the thing that I try to do is try to get the ball out after it gets caught on you and try to show other things of your worth as far as, like, tackling."
Now, the Ravens have most of their secondary set for the next few years.
Peters, who lines up opposite Humphrey, is signed through the 2022 season. Safety Chuck Clark is signed through the 2023 season.
The biggest questions on the roster now exist outside of the back-end of the defense.
Left tackle Ronnie Stanley is set to hit free agency after the season. Outside linebacker Matthew Judon is as well. Tight end Mark Andrews and right tackle Orlando Brown Jr. have through the 2021 season before their rookie deals expire.
Then, the massive contract for quarterback Lamar Jackson is set to come into play after the 2022 season.
With the Ravens up near the salary cap limit, and the league’s cap number set to decrease due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ravens’ financial situation in the coming months and years remains unknown. The only certainty is that there are deserving players coming up for contracts and they won’t come cheap.
One box on the Ravens’ future to-do list was checked Thursday, though. It comes in the form of one of the game’s top cornerbacks, who is set to spend the majority -- if not the entirety -- of his career in the purple and black.