Ronnie Stanley extension equals Ravens team building done right

Ronnie Stanley #79 of the Baltimore Ravens (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
Ronnie Stanley #79 of the Baltimore Ravens (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /

With the extension of Ronnie Stanley the Ravens are getting team building right:

When you look at the deal for Ronnie Stanley and the Baltimore Ravens, it’s a lot like the deal with Marlon Humphrey. What the Ravens are doing is locking down the cornerstone pieces of their franchise. They have their top of the line left tackle inked for six more seasons. They have their top of the line cornerback inked for six more years as well.

Now the Ravens just have to secure a deal with a top tier pass rusher and work on an extension for Lamar Jackson at some point before he’s set to become a free agent in 2021.  You have to think that will happen. Jackson is the franchise quarterback, that isn’t up for debate. Eric DeCosta just traded for Yannick Ngakoue.

If the Ravens get him a long-term deal they have all the main ingredients of a championship contending football team. A difference making quarterback, a left tackle to protect said quarterback, a pass rusher to make get after the other teams’ quarterback and a cornerback to shut things down.

The Ravens are doing this the right way. They have hit on draft picks and they are now rewarding those draft picks for their performance. While one could argue that this will make the salary cap a tough problem for the Ravens down the line, and that you can’t keep everybody, keeping cornerstone pieces of your franchise is generally a good practice.

In the past the Ravens have let good players go to other teams because they couldn’t afford to keep them. We’ve seen that with C.J. Mosley, Ryan Jensen, Kelechi Osemele, Torrey Smith, the list goes on for a while there. However they have always kept the truly special players in Baltimore.

They let a very good Ben Grubbs go elsewhere so they could keep a generational talent in Marshal Yanda. Ray Lewis stayed a Raven for life and so did Jonathan Ogden. Ed Reed may have finished his career with the New York Jets, but he basically spent 99.5 percent of his career in the Charm City. This is why the Ravens have always been a competitive team. They draft well and they keep the talent they absolutely have to.

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Look at what Ronnie Stanley is. He’s a left tackle who will never make you regret this deal. He’s a hard worker, a leader by example with all the intangibles (yes, intangibles matter for positions not called quarterback). He’s got prototypical height and length, he’s consistently one of the top shelf players at one of the most important positions.

The fact of the matter is that the Ravens are being proactive. They have chipped away at this deal for a while. Eric DeCosta knew that he couldn’t let it get to a spot where he had to slap the franchise tag on Stanley. This extension is a positive game changer for the Ravens, but that franchise tag scenario would have been a negative game changer.

The bottom line:

Stanley has been nothing but a positive for the Ravens. On and off the field, in the locker room, there’s just nothing to complain about when it comes to the big bodied protector of number eight. This is the kind of player you reward. This is the kind of player that gets the money bag.

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The Ravens have made two big contract extensions with fundamental building blocks of their franchise. At no point did they get greedy. At no point did they make an unreasonable move. This was calculated team building with proactive deals that help both the team and the very deserving player. Good job Baltimore Ravens. Keep this up and the window never has to close.