Lamar Jackson has been so successful with the Baltimore Ravens in part because of his stellar offensive line, but he just lost his All-Pro protector at left tackle.
Ronnie Stanley, who signed a five-year, $98.75 million contract extension with the Ravens on Friday, was carted off the field after suffering an apparent left ankle injury against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday. If Stanley is in fact out for the season, it would be a brutal blow to Jackson and the Ravens offense.
Ronnie Stanley is Lamar Jackson’s best protector
Ronnie Stanley is in his fifth year in the NFL, and he just keeps getting better every season. Stanley had his best year as a pro in 2019, as the outstanding left tackle out of Notre Dame made the Pro Bowl and was named a First-Team All-Pro at the end of the season.
The LT has been a crucial part of the Ravens’ run-first offense ever since Jackson was drafted in 2018. He was ranked No. 74 on the NFL’s Top 100 Players of 2020 before the season. Pro Football Focus called Stanley “the best blocking tackle in the NFL” at the time.
Stanley hasn’t just been stellar on the field throughout his young career. He’s also been extremely reliable. The ND product has played 56 of a possible 64 regular-season games through four seasons in the NFL.
Stanley signed a $98.75 million extension on Friday
The Ravens were so impressed with Stanley’s development over the past few seasons that they decided to lock him up for the foreseeable future before his rookie contract ran out.
Baltimore and Stanley agreed to a five-year extension worth $98.75 million on Friday. The deal makes Stanley the second-highest-paid left tackle in the NFL behind only Laremy Tunsil of the Houston Texans.
“I’m very appreciative just to the whole organization, specifically Ozzie [Newsome] drafting me with the sixth pick and having faith when I know people were in his ear trying to persuade him other ways,” Stanley said. “I’m just really happy that I could prove him right.”
The extension carries a signing bonus of $22.5 million, and Stanley can earn up to $112.86 million with incentives and bonuses.
The Ravens just lost Stanley to a devastating ankle injury
Two days after signing his mega-deal, tragedy struck for Stanley and the Ravens. In the first quarter against the Steelers on Sunday, T.J. Watt rolled up on Stanley’s left leg, and the LT’s left ankle appeared to snap.
Stanley was carted off the field after writhing in pain, and team doctors placed an air cast on his left ankle before bringing him to the locker room. The Ravens fear Stanley will be out for the season.
If so, it will be a devastating blow to the Ravens, who need to protect Jackson’s blind side above all else.