“I got something to do,” Stanley texted back.
It wasn’t until later that teammates found out that Stanley had been busy signing a five-year extension, which continues the Ravens’ commitment to keeping young All-Pro talent.
Stanley becomes the NFL’s second-highest-paid left tackle, striking a $98.75 million extension, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter. His annual average of $19.75 million trails only that of Houston‘s Laremy Tunsil ($22 million per season).
Stanley’s deal maxes out at $112.866 million, the source said. He did surpass Tunsil in three areas: signing bonus ($22.5 million), total guarantees ($70.866 million, over $16 million more than Tunsil) and payout through March 31 ($47.116 million).
“I’m very appreciative just to the whole organization, specifically Ozzie [Newsome, former Ravens GM] drafting me with the sixth pick [in 2016] and having faith when I know people were in his ear trying to persuade him other ways,” Stanley said. “I’m just really happy that I could prove him right.”
The extension keeps Stanley protecting Lamar Jackson‘s blind side through the 2025 season and comes 29 days after the Ravens signed All-Pro cornerback Marlon Humphrey to an extension that also was for five years and $98.75 million.
“Ronnie is the mainstay on our offensive line,” Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta said. “He’s a shutdown left tackle who excels on the field and in our community. This is just the beginning for Ronnie, and we could not be happier for him and his family.”
Stanley, 26, used his size, athleticism and strength to develop into the game’s best left tackle last season, when he allowed six pressures — the fewest by an offensive tackle in 14 years — during Jackson’s NFL MVP campaign. He also was a key blocker in Baltimore’s dominant running game, which set an NFL record for single-season rushing yards in 2019. All of this earned him All-Pro and Pro Bowl honors for the first time in his career.
Through seven weeks this season, Stanley has a pass block win rate of 96.8%, the highest among qualified offensive tackles. His 78.3% run block win rate ranks ninth among offensive tackles.
“It matters to him,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. “It’s important to him. He wants to be the best. He cares about it. We’ve had many conversations about that.”
The Ravens drafted Stanley hoping he could fill the long-standing void left by a Hall of Fame lineman. After Jonathan Ogden retired in 2007, Baltimore went through seven starting left tackles in eight years: Jared Gaither, Adam Terry, Michael Oher, Bryant McKinnie, Eugene Monroe, James Hurst and Kelechi Osemele.
“More than anything, he’s a smart guy,” Harbaugh said. “He understands the value of hard work. He really is a technician at what he does. He talks about that all the time. And really, at that position, along with talent, that’s the most important thing. He’s pretty special that way.”
It looked as if Stanley was headed to getting the franchise tag in February, especially if he wanted to become the highest-paid left tackle. Tunsil shattered the left tackle market in April because he had leverage. The Texans had traded two first-round picks and a second-rounder to the Miami Dolphins for Tunsil, and they couldn’t afford to let him walk.
The problem for the Ravens is they would be unable financially to keep one of the most talented young rosters intact if they signed everyone to record-setting deals. But Stanley showed how much he wanted to stay in Baltimore by signing a similar extension to the one for Humphrey, who is the NFL’s second-highest-paid cornerback behind the Los Angeles Rams‘ Jalen Ramsey.
Stanley said he had faith a deal would get completed before the end of the season.
“That was definitely one of the main reasons for my decision to stay here,” Stanley said. “I want to play with these guys because they’re like family to me.”
Even after signing Stanley and Humphrey, the Ravens have more big financial decisions looming after the season. Baltimore has to decide which pass-rusher to sign long term: Yannick Ngakoue, who was recently acquired in a trade, or Matthew Judon, who received the Ravens’ franchise tag this season.
There are three other Pro Bowl players on the Ravens who are scheduled to become free agents over the next three years: Jackson (potential free agent in 2023), tight end Mark Andrews (2022) and offensive tackle Orlando Brown Jr. (2022).