Ravens S Geno Stone Eyeing Full-Time Starting Role

Safety Geno Stone emerged as a vital element on the backend of the Ravens’ defense in 2023, boosting his free agent stock considerably in the process. His chances of holding down a full-time starting spot in Baltimore are murky, however, which could lead him elsewhere on the open market.

Stone joined the Ravens as a seventh-round pick in 2020. His tenure included a trip to the waiver wire in his rookie season, and he was claimed by the Texans. The 24-year-old did not see any playing time in Houston, though, and he quickly found himself back with the Ravens. Stone logged eight starts between the 2021 and ’22 seasons, and his workload increased further this past season.

The Ravens declined to tender Stone as a restricted free agent last offseason, but they moved quickly in re-signing him to a one-year deal. That pact carried a cost of $1.76MM, and it proved to be a bargain. Stone saw a snap share of 82% in 2023, and he racked up seven interceptions, nine pass deflections and 68 tackles. Those career-high figures have upped his market value and proven his ability to handle first-team defensive duties.

Baltimore already has fellow safety Marcus Williams on the books through 2026, however. Many of Stone’s starts have come during the time Williams has missed due to injury, though the pair were used simultaneously under ex-defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald at times. Baltimore has fellow safety Kyle Hamilton on his rookie contract, although his versatility could allow the Ravens to use three-safety looks moving forward. In any case, Stone is seeking a full-time starting spot on his next contract, wherever it comes from.

“At the end of the day, Baltimore is always home, but business is business,” the Iowa alum said during an interview on NFL Total Access“You know that being in this league this long. I’ve been through it all, especially my rookie year. I just want to be somewhere I’m appreciated, you know, who wants me and for me to be a starter, whatever it may be. I just want my value to be there.”

The Ravens currently have just over $5MM in cap space, but a number of impact defenders are set to hit the open market. That group is headlined by defensive tackle Justin Madubuike, who will likely receive the franchise tag in short order. Linebacker Patrick Queen is also a pending free agent, and he and Madubuike profile as higher offseason priorities who will be able to command a higher price once the new league year begins next month.

Given his one year of standout production, Stone will likely be hard-pressed to join the group of 14 safeties averaging at least $10MM per year on his next contract. He will no doubt see a substantial raise from his $4.9MM in career earnings, though, as he eyes a commitment as a first-teamer moving forward. Whether or not that comes from the Ravens will be worth watching as the offseason unfolds.

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