The Ravens pride themselves on great play within the trenches, and this shows with the investments they annually make along the defensive and offensive lines. One of the bigger ventures they’ve made in that respect was picking Notre Dame left tackle Ronnie Stanley at 6th overall back in 2016.
It’s worked out fairly well for them so far, and they acknowledged as much on Tuesday morning with a move that was largely to be expected:
The Ravens have exercised the 2020 fifth-year option on starting LT Ronnie Stanley, per league source.— Field Yates (@FieldYates) April 23, 2019
This move locks Stanley into the fifth and final year of his rookie contract that teams are allowed to exercise on their first round picks. This means he is now officially under team control for the next two seasons.
This decision was pretty much a no brainer, and it’s nice to see it finalized relatively early. In this respect, Stanley can go into training camp and the subsequent coming season knowing what he has to do to secure a long term deal moving forward.
It’ll be interesting to see how much he ultimately does receive and how he goes about earning it. While he hasn’t necessarily been a Tyron Smith level player, as some had compared him to prior to his rookie season, he’s been a pretty good left tackle for Baltimore since taking over the job from day one.
That continuity can be tough to find at such a premium position, which may work in his favor when it comes to negotiating his next deal. Regardless, if he continues playing up to par, it’s hard to imagine the Ravens not ponying up the cash to keep him around.
Good young players at positions in the top three of importance to the modern game are tough to come by, and the Ravens tend to build their roster (especially on offense) from the line outwards. We’ll see how those talks shake out when the time comes. For now, Ronnie Stanley is slated to be a Raven for another couple of years, which is a good development regardless of how they ultimately do.