Ravens agree to four-year extension with Justin Madubuike

One of the biggest tasks on this offseason's to-do list is already done.

Miami Dolphins v Baltimore Ravens
Miami Dolphins v Baltimore Ravens / Michael Owens/GettyImages

Even before free agency begins, one of the Ravens' biggest offseason questions has already been answered.

On Friday afternoon, NFL Network reporter Ian Rapoport reported that Baltimore reached an agreement on a contract extension with defensive tackle Justin Madubuike The extension is a four-year, $96 million extension, with around $75 million guaranteed.

Getting an extension done with Madubuike was one of the bigger priorities for Ravens' GM Eric DeCosta, who was vocal about wanting to get the deal done ever since the season ended. Earlier this week, the team did use the nonexclusive franchise tag on Madubuike, which would have seen the Ravens pay him over $20 million next season.

The move allowed the Ravens the opportunity to exclusively negotiate with Madubuike, who otherwise would have been able to talk to any team he wanted to when free agency began next week. It also helps free up a major chunk of cap space, which no small detail for a team that has plenty of work cut out for them in that regard.

Madubuike, who's only 26, has played all four years of his career in Baltimore. The defensive tackle had a breakout season this year, starting in all 17 games and setting a career-high with 13 sacks – his previous season high was 5.5. Among qualified defensive lineman, Pro Football Focus ranked Madubuike 17th. He also ranked 6th in pressures among all interior defensive linemen, and more than trippled his QB hits from 2022.

With Madubuike under contract, DeCosta will now figures to turn his attention towards a couple other stars of the Raven's league-best defense from 2023. Both Patrick Queen – who was 2nd on the team in total tackles – and Jadeveon Clowney – who was 2nd on the team in sacks – are unrestricted free agents this offseason.