Ravens sign Justin Madubuike to $98 million extension, making him highest-paid defensive tackle in NFL

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After narrowly missing out on their first Super Bowl appearance since the 2012 season, the Baltimore Ravens are doing what they can to hold onto their young core.

Baltimore agreed to a $98 million contract extension with defensive tackle Justin Madubuike over four years, with $75 million guaranteed.

The deal makes him the highest-paid defensive tackle in the NFL, surpassing the $96 million the New York Jets gave Quinnen Williams last year.

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Justin Madubuike of the Baltimore Ravens celebrates during a game against the Miami Dolphins at M&T Bank Stadium Dec. 31, 2023, in Baltimore.  (Michael Owens/Getty Images)

“Justin is one of the best defensive tackles in the entire NFL and a cornerstone on our defense,” general manager Eric DeCosta said in a statement through X, formerly Twitter. “We are thrilled for Justin and his family and equally happy for our fan base. This is a great way to start the new league year!”

Baltimore originally placed the franchise tag on the interior lineman. Since Madubuike was a third-round pick, he was not eligible for a fifth-year option.

With no other worthy candidates, the Ravens played it safe and tagged him, ensuring he’d be on the team in 2024, but it was apparent something long-term was on the table.

DeCosta said at the time the team would keep trying to negotiate a long-term deal with Madubuike, and that worked out quickly. Baltimore previously used the franchise tag on star quarterback Lamar Jackson, then reached a long-term contract with him after he requested a trade.

Justin Madubuike WAVES

Justin Madubuike of the Baltimore Ravens celebrates after a game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Stadium Dec. 17, 2023, in Jacksonville, Fla.  (Perry Knotts/Getty Images)

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The average annual value of Madubuike’s deal is actually higher than the franchise tag price of $22 million. He will average $24.5 million over the course of the contract, the second-highest average ever behind only Aaron Donald’s $31.6 million.

The deal comes after Madubuike’s first Pro Bowl nod. He was a second-team All-Pro and finished in ninth place in the Defensive Player of the Year voting. Madubuike recorded a career-high 13 sacks, more than doubling his previous career high of 5½ in 2022.

Madubuike tied an NFL record when he had at least a half sack in 11 consecutive games.

The Ravens still have some decisions to make. Linebacker Patrick Queen, edge rushers Jadeveon Clowney and Kyle Van Noy and running backs J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards are all scheduled to be free agents.

Justin Madubuike hyped up

Justin Madubuike of the Baltimore Ravens celebrates after a sack during a game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at M&T Bank Stadium Jan. 1, 2023, in Baltimore. (Michael Owens/Getty Images)

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But with Madubuike locked up, and All-Pro safety Kyle Hamilton under team control for another five years, the Ravens can build around their two young studs on defense.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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