Ravens agree to 4-year extension with DT Justin Madubuike after using franchise tag on him

FILE - Baltimore Ravens defensive tackle Justin Madubuike (92) follows a play during the second half of an NFL football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Sunday, Dec. 17, 2023, in Jacksonville, Fla. Madubuike had more sacks last season (13) than his first three seasons combined. His breakout season will land him a significant deal, and perhaps a franchise tag. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack, File)

FILE – Baltimore Ravens defensive tackle Justin Madubuike (92) follows a play during the second half of an NFL football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Sunday, Dec. 17, 2023, in Jacksonville, Fla. Madubuike had more sacks last season (13) than his first three seasons combined. His breakout season will land him a significant deal, and perhaps a franchise tag. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack, File)

The Baltimore Ravens agreed to a four-year contract extension with defensive tackle Justin Madubuike on Friday, three days after putting the franchise tag on him.

“Justin is one of the best defensive tackles in the entire NFL and a cornerstone on our defense,” general manager Eric DeCosta said in a statement. “We are thrilled for Justin and his family and equally happy for our fan base. This is a great way to start the new league year!”

The new league year begins next Wednesday, and the Ravens had already taken a step to prevent Madubuike from leaving when they put the franchise tag on him. The tag for defensive tackles came with a one-year cost of just over $22 million.

DeCosta said at the time the team would keep trying to negotiate a long-term deal with Madubuike, and that worked out quickly. Last season, Baltimore used the franchise tag on star quarterback Lamar Jackson, then reached a long-term contract with him weeks later.

On Thursday, another player who received the franchise tag — Chicago’s Pro Bowl cornerback Jaylon Johnson — agreed to a four-year deal to stay with the Bears.

Madubuike put himself in position for a big new contract with 13 sacks last season. He more than doubled his previous career high and helped Baltimore’s defense become one of the league’s best.

The Ravens drafted Madubuike in the third round in 2020. He became a regular starter in his second season, and his sack totals have increased every year. In 2023 — the final season of his rookie contract — he earned second-team All-Pro honors for a team that posted the league’s best regular-season record.

Madubuike tied an NFL record when he had at least a half-sack in 11 consecutive games.

After losing in the AFC championship game, the Ravens face a complicated offseason. Linebacker Patrick Queen, edge rushers Jadeveon Clowney and Kyle Van Noy, and running backs J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards are all scheduled to be free agents.

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