Ronnie Stanley staying with Ravens with new contract in surprising move

Stanley is going to be the left tackle in 2024.

Jan 20, 2024; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) celebrates with
Jan 20, 2024; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) celebrates with / Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

The Baltimore Ravens have already made one of the most impactful moves of the free agency legal tampering period, agreeing to a contract with star running back Derrick Henry and pairing him with Lamar Jackson. The next item on the agenda was figuring out what to do with left tackle Ronnie Stanley.

With the Ravens needing to make some cuts to get under the salary cap, Stanley seemed like an obvious choice due to his age and performance. Once again, however, Baltimore zigged when every other team would have zagged.

According to Jeremy Fowler of ESPN, Stanley and the Ravens have agreed to a reworked contract that will reduce both his $15 million in base pay and $26.2 million cap hit next season. The upside of his new contract could allow him to surpass his base pay number if he performs at an exceptional level.

While last season wasn't the best for the former All-Pro tackle due to his myriad injuries starting to take hold, Baltimore seems to be banking on a bounce-back year. If they're correct, they might be able to keep most of their offensive line from last season intact.

Ronnie Stanley agrees to new contract with Baltimore Ravens

With Kevin Zeitler still a free agent and John Simpson leaving to join the New York Jets, the Ravens didn't want to completely remake their offensive line ahead of such an important campaign. When not impacted by injuries, Stanley is still better than most tackles in this league.

Baltimore can still use one of their top picks in the 2024 NFL Draft on an offensive lineman in what has become a very deep class, but keeping Stanley means they likely won't have to be forced to pick a tackle. Flexibility in April is important, and the Ravens have it once again.

Stanley did manage to improve towards the end of the season, but it's always a risk when a team commits to an older tackle with a declining lower body. Jackson's mobility helps make up for Stanley's mistakes, but the Ravens have to be a bit frustrated with his pressure rate surrendered.

Like so many Ravens, No. 79 is going to be under a microscope next season. If the Pro Bowl player Baltimore saw in past seasons doesn't suddenly return during Baltimore's push for their third Super Bowl in franchise history, keeping him around will be even more difficult to justify next year.