Humphrey, Ravens agree to lucrative contract extension through 2026

0
74

The Ravens locked up one of their cornerstone players well into the new decade by signing All-Pro cornerback Marlon Humphrey to a lucrative contract extension on Thursday.

According to multiple reports from ESPN and NFL Network, the sides agreed to a five-year, $98.75 million contract that runs through the 2026 season and is added to his 2021 fifth-year option worth $10.244 million and his 2020 base salary of $2.08 million. The extension reportedly includes $66 million in total guarantees and $40 million fully guaranteed at signing.

“Since I’ve been here, I’ve really enjoyed this organization, this city, these fans [and] the people around me, so it was really big for me to stay a Raven,” Humphrey said. “I was really excited to sign that extension.”

The deal makes Humphrey the second-highest paid cornerback in the NFL behind only Jalen Ramsey, who signed a five-year, $105 million extension that included $71.2 million in guarantees with the Los Angeles Rams last month. Assuming good health for the star cornerback who turned only 24 in July, the price was only going to increase the longer the Ravens waited to sign the Alabama product.

“Marlon is the type of player we want in Baltimore,” general manager Eric DeCosta said in a statement released by the team. “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.”

Despite his first-round selection in the 2017 draft initially being met with mixed reaction, the 6-foot, 197-pound cornerback was an above-average player from the time he stepped on an NFL field, registering two interceptions, 11 pass breakups, and 34 tackles in 16 games as a rookie. In 2018, Humphrey was voted team MVP by the local media after being a headlining performer for a Baltimore defense that finished first in total yards and second in points allowed. Humphrey finally received league-wide recognition last season as he was selected to his first Pro Bowl and voted a first-team All-Pro selection.

Since the start of 2019, Humphrey has intercepted four passes, forced three fumbles, recovered three fumbles, and scored two defensive touchdowns. Over that time, he’s also displayed his versatility and strong tackling ability by moving inside to play the slot in place of injured nickel corner Tavon Young.

“If you look up all these top corners, eventually the ball is going to get caught on you,” Humphrey said. “The thing that I try to do is try to get the ball out after it gets caught on you and try to show other things of your worth as far as like tackling. Deion [Sanders] said he was a cover corner, but I’ve always tried to put both things in my game to make me a little bit more valuable as a skill set.”

According to Pro Football Focus, Humphrey has allowed a 67.8 passer rating in coverage, the second-best in the NFL since 2010. And despite questions about his ability in deep coverage coming out of college, Humphrey has allowed only 13 catches and has forced 15 incompletions on 49 targets of at least 20 yards downfield in his career.

Thursday’s signing reinforces Baltimore’s commitment to having a very strong secondary as DeCosta has signed Young, ex-Raven Earl Thomas, Pro Bowl cornerback Marcus Peters, safety Chuck Clark, and Humphrey to multiyear contracts since the start of the 2019 calendar year.