NFL

Ravens, Roquan Smith agree to 5-year extension, source says

Ravens, Roquan Smith agree to 5-year extension, source says

OWINS MILLS, Md. — Pro Bowl linebacker Roquan Smith will continue to be the center of Baltimore Ravens‘defense beyond the middle of the season.

Smith agreed to a five-year extension on Tuesday, a team source confirmed. NFL Network reports the deal is worth $100 million, which would make him the highest-paid linebacker in the league at $20 million per season.

The extension with Smith doesn’t just make Baltimore’s best defensive player a free agent in two months; The Ravens will be free to use the franchise tag on the quarterback Lamar Jacksonwho is expiring the fifth-year option on his rookie contract.

Smith, 25, has lived up to expectations since being acquired by the Ravens in October Chicago Bears For second- and fifth-round picks in the 2023 NFL draft. A leader and tone-setter, Smith finished this season as the NFL’s third-leading tackler (169), allowed the third-fewest points (18.5) for Baltimore’s defense, and was named to his first career Pro Bowl.

“He wants to do the things that are necessary to be a great player and to be a great unit and then make an impact on your team,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said of Smith on Monday. “That’s him — 100 percent — [and] that’s what i love. He’s one of the best guys I’ve ever seen, and I think that always affects everyone as a leader, for sure.”

Smith has been Baltimore’s most influential player in the second half of the season. In the Ravens’ first eight games without Smith, the defense ranked 20th in points allowed (22.9) and 24th in yards allowed (364.3). In nine games with Baltimore Smith, the defense allowed the NFL’s second-fewest points (14.7) and held the team to its third-fewest yards (288.8).

He is the first linebacker in the Hall of Fame Ray Lewis recording at least 100 tackles, multiple sacks and an interception in the first five years of his career.

Jackson reacted to Smith’s deal on Twitter:





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