The NFL offseason is just around the corner and teams are beginning to get their ducks in a row in relation to team related transactions, such as contract extensions. The Ravens are of course among those teams, and it looks like they may be ready to announce a fairly significant one:
Ravens announce news conference tomorrow with DeCosta, Harbaugh And unspecified player. Hearing occasion is a contract extension for CB Tavon Young.— Jeff Zrebiec (@jeffzrebiec) February 21, 2019
Fans who read through the first sentence of Zrebiec’s tweet wouldn’t be crazy for thinking it might end with the name C.J. Mosley, but it appears Young (who was still under contract for 2019) is the first domino to fall ahead of the official opening of free agency. A follow up tweet from Zrebiec indicates it’s a part of a specific strategy by new GM Eric DeCosta:
Young signed through next season, but one of DeCosta’s priorities is to lock up some of Ravens young players before they get to walk years. Young is an ascending player and slot corners very important in today’s NFL— Jeff Zrebiec (@jeffzrebiec) February 21, 2019
The details of the deal were later leaked by ESPN’s Adam Schefter:
Ravens are giving CB Tavon Young a three-year, $25.8 million extension with a max value of $29 million, making him the NFL’s highest-paid nickel back, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 21, 2019
Around 8.5 million a year is a starting-player type figure, which probably speaks to the future plans they have for Young beginning this season. It also may signal the end for Jimmy Smith, who’s had an up and down tenure with the team since signing his last big extension.
Regardless of the relatively significant figure, this is a smart maneuver, especially in the context of it being a part of that new philosophy by DeCosta. Too often the Ravens have allowed players to ascend to max value before locking up their services at a reasonable rate, and hopefully Young represents the first example of Baltimore buying in on rising stock rather than overpaying for aging talent or allowing their homegrown stars to walk away in their prime.
This is an especially deft move to make as they have one of the strongest cornerback rooms in the league and Young is among one of their more underrated (and younger) contributors. Him, Marlon Humphrey, and possibly Anthony Averett could all be some very nice pieces to build around for the next several years.
As far as the Mosley situation (and other players such as John Brown and Za’Darius Smith) this doesn’t necessarily preclude them from engaging in talks with those players. In fact, this helps their cap in the long term by locking up Young at solid value, and potentially shows they already have their plans for how they would like to allocate their resources before free agency officially opens.
For more on this situation as well as other Ravens related transactions, be sure to keep checking back with Baltimore Beatdown as we approach the new league year.