Wow! What a way to start the biggest Purple Friday of the year thus far. Big time money for a big time left tackle who has been playing on the last year of his rookie deal. Laremy Tunsil set the market for left tackles earlier this year by signing a 3 year $66M deal. With Ronnie being a comparable (if not better) left tackle, you knew negotiations were going to start with that $22M a year framework.
The pressure heightened a few weeks ago when Marlon Humphrey signed his long-term extension. When you've got as much young talent (including an MVP QB in year of his rookie deal) as the Ravens do, it's really difficult to try to keep everyone beyond those first 5 years. More often than not, there's going to have to be an odd man out, and with Humphrey getting his deal despite having been drafted a year later than Stanley, it looked like the writing may have been on the wall. On top of that, I heard from multiple people this week that it was a possibility that Stanley could get traded. It was unclear whether that would have been before next week's deadline or a sign-and-trade type situation in the offseason, but something was clearly up. Hence my surprise this morning when this deal was announced. Maybe the information was leaked as a negotiating ploy to gain leverage by one side, but I'm pleased with the ultimate outcome.
It's obvious why left tackles are paid so handsomely in this league. That necessity is heightened when you've got a young talent like Lamar Jackson at QB. I contend that quarterbacks are most at risk for injury not when they're on the run, but rather when they get hit awkwardly by hits they don't see coming. Ronnie Stanley has been a mainstay and is as dependable as they come. Hell, according to PFF he hasn't allowed a sack since 2018. That's worth the $20M a year alone.
Great to see an absolute thoroughbred of a left tackle stay here in Baltimore. Ronnie was the consolation prize of that horrific 2015 season that we don't like to talk about. He's also the only top 10 draft pick the Ravens have made since 2003, which is a testament to this front office as a whole. This championship window is going to be open for a very long time. Gotta think the next big one is Lamar this upcoming offseason. Can't wait.