Ravens lock up NFL’s best young cornerback, sign Marlon Humphrey to 5-year, $98.75M extension - Sam Monson
Humphrey was one of five first-round cornerbacks from the 2017 draft class, with Tre’Davious White the first to sign an extension last month. White signed a four-year, $69 million extension with the Buffalo Bills at a $17.25 million average-per-year value, which we thought could have been even higher given his ascendancy to the top of the league alongside Humphrey. There is no question that Humphrey may be the best in the class, though.
Critically, you can make a strong argument that Humphrey isn’t just good, but that he is the best young cornerback in football. His PFF grades have been consistently strong, if not spectacular, but you also need to look at the job he has been asked to do in Baltimore.
Where Humphrey shines is in man coverage, particularly when allowed to play in his natural position outside. Since the start of 2018, Humphrey leads all cornerbacks in PFF grade in single coverage (91.1) and is the only player with a grade above 90.0.
Humphrey has legitimate man-to-man cover skills, and if that’s all the Ravens asked him to do, he would already be seen as a rival to Gilmore as the best shutdown man in the game. But his versatility is what the Ravens value when they are signing him to this monster contract, even if that versatility is the reason he is a little underrated in league circles.
The deal came together rather quickly. Humphrey said there was talk Tuesday, the day after the Ravens’ loss to the Chiefs, and discussions intensified Wednesday.
“I said some subtle jokes [about money] to some guys yesterday and they thought I was kidding,” Humphrey said.
Of course, a big payday was something he wanted and deserved, but Humphrey said the contract figures, or becoming one of the NFL’s highest-paid cornerbacks, wasn’t his top priority. He wanted to remain part of his Baltimore family too.
Humphrey’s new deal puts him under contract through the 2026 season. The Ravens have a lot of tough decisions still to come as they try to retain a cluster of young Pro Bowlers, but they made it clear that Humphrey is everything they want for the long-haul.
“The biggest thing for me was just staying a Raven,” Humphrey said, adding that even as a rookie he would joke with wide receiver Chris Moore about being a Raven for life. “It’s a very good feeling to actually be one.”
The Ravens have invested heavily in their secondary in recent years. Last season, they inked Marcus Peters to a three-year extension, and now they’ve locked up arguably the NFL’s best cornerback duo for years to come.
“Marlon is the type of player we want in Baltimore,” General Manager Eric DeCosta stated. “Besides his obvious talents as a playmaking corner, he’s a passionate competitor who craves winning. Marlon has been a stalwart in our community, and we are excited that he’s going to remain with us for seven seasons.”
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Things simply aren’t turning around for linebacker Patrick Queen. He had a three-play stretch Monday night where Clyde Edwards-Helaire beat him for a 24-yard catch, he committed a horse-collar tackle and then missed a tackle. He’s got an ugly 30.0 overall grade for the season.
Guard Tyre Phillips has similarly struggled and will face a difficult interior duo of Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne on Sunday. He’s got a 47.3 overall grade on the season and has allowed five pressures.
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Baltimore Ravens 33, Washington Football Team 13
The Washington defensive line was the team’s identity. After losing underrated defensive tackle Matthew Ioannidis for the season and Chase Young possibly for this week, what’s left? Quarterback Dwayne Haskins is coming off the worst game by any quarterback this season, and it’s not all on his surroundings. Play-caller Scott Turner is quietly getting receivers open, but Haskins is too often a beat late finding them. That’s a huge concern facing a humbled Ravens team coming off a Monday night meltdown. Expect Baltimore to start blitzing and running the ball off the bus in this rare battle of I-95.
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Ravens Game Plan
The Ravens have four capable running backs — Mark Ingram, Gus Edwards, Justice Hill and rookie J.K. Dobbins — and are averaging 166.3 yards per game, ranked fifth in the league. Washington has allowed 125 yards on the ground over the first three weeks of the season. Baltimore will get a break if Washington defensive end Chase Young cannot play because of a groin injury.
Jackson also has to be more efficient throwing downfield. His best deep playmaker Hollywood Brown is averaging 13 yards per reception. Washington’s secondary with cornerbacks Jimmy Moreland and Fabian Moreau, along with safety Landon Collins, has been the strength of the team.
The Ravens will look to Haskins guessing with multiple looks and exotic blitzes. Redskins running back Antonio Gibson is averaging 4.5 yards per carry and the Ravens will need to keep him contained and force Haskins to win the game through the air.
Final Score: Ravens 32, Washington 16