Ronnie Stanley

AFC North Notes: Colts, Mack, Ravens, Stanley, Humphrey

After his first season with more than 1,000 yards rushing, Marlon Mack isn’t assured the starting role in the Colts‘ backfield. Head coach Frank Reich says he’ll have a leg up on second-round pick Jonathan Taylor, but he also says that fans shouldn’t get too hung up on the RB1 designation.

There’s definitely inherent respect for the starter returning,” Reich said (via Kevin Bowen of 105.7 The Fan). “I see it as a 1-1 (punch). The way the league has gone and the way role playing has been elevated in our league, it’s made it prominent. We used to say in San Diego that when we had Danny Woodhead. He was not our starter, he was our ‘role playing’ starter. He played such a significant role. He had 80 catches in a year. You look at a guy like Nyehim Hines. We talk about Marlon and Jonathan, but what about Nyheim? He’s such a good third-down back that he’ll play a prominent (role). In some ways, (Hines) is a starter. He’s a role-playing starter.”

Right now, it seems like Mack will have to prove himself all over in camp as he gets set for his final year under contract. As it stands, he’s set to make $2.13MM in base salary before reaching the open market in March of 2021.

Here’s more from the AFC North:

  • After turning in a stellar season, Ravens left tackle Ronnie Stanley could become the league’s highest-paid non-quarterback, ESPN.com’s Jamison Hensley writes. Currently, Bears edge rusher Khalil Mack ($23.5MM per year) leads the way, followed by Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald ($22.5MM). This year, fellow left tackle Laremy Tunsil ($22MM/year) put himself in that neighborhood, but Stanley is likely to leapfrog him. In 2019, Stanley allowed Lamar Jackson to be pressured just six times, the lowest total of any offensive tackle in 14 years.
  • The Ravens have other deals on their agenda, of course, including a new contract for Marlon Humphrey. With all due respect for Stanley, Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic argues that the cornerback should actually be priority No. 1. When it comes to Stanley, his comp has already been set, thanks to the Tunsil deal. Meanwhile, time is of the essence with Humphrey – the top of the CB market will be reset soon with Jalen Ramsey, Marshon Lattimore, and Tre’Davious White all due for new deals.
  • The Browns went ahead with their gradual re-opening plan with Phase 1 beginning on Monday (Twitter link). Meanwhile, other clubs are still working on alternative plans. The Raiders, who were set to hold camp in Napa, California, may shift to their new headquarters in Henderson, Nevada.

Ravens LT Ronnie Stanley On Contract Talks

The Ravens have started discussing an extension for left tackle Ronnie Stanley, but Stanley himself does not seem overly concerned about the process. “I’m in no rush. I’m not really worried about it,” he said (Twitter link via Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic).

Baltimore was surely unhappy to see Texans head coach/GM Bill O’Brien hand LT Laremy Tunsil the key to the city and a three-year, $66MM extension last month. As Joel Corry of CBS Sports observes, the Ravens generally aren’t fans of short-term deals for premium players — unless that player cedes some money in exchange for the shorter term — so the fact that Tunsil got a three-year pact while also resetting the left tackle market in terms of AAV ($22MM) and full guarantees ($40MM) could make things tough for the Ravens.

That is especially true when considering that Stanley is probably the better player. Though both Stanley and Tunsil received their first Pro Bowl nods in 2019, Stanley took home First Team All-Pro honors, and he graded out as Pro Football Focus’ top pass blocker last season. The Notre Dame product is also a force in run-blocking, and his performance was instrumental in the Ravens’ offensive explosion during Lamar Jackson‘s first full year at the helm.

However, perhaps Stanley will not try to top Tunsil’s pact. While the 26-year-old of course wants to be paid what he is worth, he also said, “at the end of the day, I don’t think money is the most important thing to me” (Twitter link via Zrebiec). One way or another, Stanley will be incredibly rich in fairly short order, and perhaps resetting the market is not as meaningful as protecting Jackson’s blindside for the foreseeable future and remaining with a well-respected organization that appears to have a championship-caliber foundation.

According to Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com, though, the expectation is that Stanley’s next contract will exceed Tunsil’s. Stanley is presently slated to earn $12.8MM in 2020 under the fifth-year option of his rookie deal.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Ravens Discussing Extensions With Matt Judon, Ronnie Stanley

The Ravens have started discussing new deals with edge rusher Matt Judon and left tackle Ronnie Stanley, according to GM Eric DeCosta (Twitter link via ESPN.com’s Jamison Hensley). A deal with one of those players, or both, would give the Ravens some much needed breathing room against the salary cap for 2020.

[RELATED: Ravens Interested In Clowney?]

The Ravens have until the middle of July to hash out a deal with Judon, who was cuffed via the franchise tag. For now, Judon is set to play out the 2020 season at a rate of $15.8MM since he has been classified as a linebacker. However, as we’ve seen before with DE/LBs, a grievance could be coming. If Judon fights back and wins, he could be in line for roughly $17.8MM this year.

I’d rather have a long-term deal for stability. It is what it is,” Judon said in March (Twitter link via Josina Anderson of ESPN.com). “I feel like this is what many of us go through that are facing free agency. At the end of the day, I know I’m playing football next season.”

Judon has been a key weapon for the Ravens for years. Last year, he took another giant step forward with 9.5 sacks and a total of 33 quarterback hits. The 27-year-old has 24.5 sacks over the past three seasons and lots of leverage as he discusses a new pact with Baltimore.

Stanley also has one year to go, thanks to his fifth-year option. Last year, he graded out as Pro Football Focus’ top pass blocker in the NFL. In 2020, he’s slated to earn $12.8MM.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Injury Notes: Ravens, Hockenson, Jones

Ravens defensive tackle Michael Pierce is doubtful to play in Monday Night’s game against the Rams with an ankle injury, according to Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic. Peirce started Baltimore’s first nine games before going down. Veteran Domato Peko Sr. will replace Peirce in the lineup.

Also via Zrebiec, wide receiver Chris Moore, offensive tackle Ronnie Stanley, and offensive guard Ben Powers all remain questionable with injuries of their own. Stanley, who is dealing with an ankle issue of his own, is the only starter of the three, but he would be a substantial loss as the team’s starting right tackle. Moore has started one game this season and played sparingly, while Powers has yet to take the field.

Here’s more Saturday notes on the injury front around the NFL:

  • Lions tight end T.J. Hockenson was added to the injury report as questionable with a shoulder injury, according to a team press release. The eight overall pick in this year’s draft practiced all week without any reported issues so the news comes as a surprise. Hockenson has split time at tight end this year with Jesse James, but represents a far superior pass-catching option for quarterback Jeff Driskel. Hockenson has made 26 receptions and recorded 349 yards, while James has only caught 8 of 15 targets and gained 64 yards.
  • The Broncos signed cornerback Cyrus Jones last week and he was a healthy scratch against the Vikings. Even if the team wanted to activate him tomorrow, though, Jones has been ruled out with an illness, according to Aric DiLalla of Broncos.com. Jones was a second-round selection by the Patriots in 2016, but was released by New England earlier this season. He then jumped between the Ravens and Patriots practice squads before signing in Denver.

Ravens Exercise Ronnie Stanley’s Option

The Ravens have exercised the fifth-year option on starting left tackle Ronnie Stanley, a league source tells Field Yates of ESPN.com (on Twitter). With that, Stanley is now under contract through the 2020 season. 

[RELATED: 2020 Fifth-Year Option Decision Tracker]

There was little doubt that the Ravens would pick up the fifth-year option on the 2016 first-round pick. Stanley has been a starter for the Ravens in all three of his NFL seasons and, last year, he graded out as the No. 17 ranked tackle in the league, according to Pro Football Focus.

The additional year will cost the Ravens $13MM in 2020 after his initial four-year deal wraps up. It’s not chump change, but it’s well worth it for the Ravens to lock down one of the best young tackles in the NFL.

The Ravens had until May 3 to make the call, but they didn’t need to take it down to the wire. Stanley’s $13MM sum will be guaranteed for injury only, so the club can easily get out of the deal if there’s an unexpected regression in his performance.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC Notes: Dolphins, Grimes, Gordon, Hali, Ford, Stanley, Pats Injuries

The Dolphins season has taken a dive in recent weeks. After starting the year 4-2, the team has lost control of the final AFC Wild Card spot, losing their past three games by a combined 67 points, thanks to blowout defeats at the hands of the Ravens and Panthers. However, while their reliance on Jay Cutler and midseason trade of Jay Ajayi have’t helped, Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald opines that the secondary has been one of the major reasons why the Dolphins are not in position to be playoff contenders, particularly in regards to loss of Brent Grimes when the franchise opted to cut him before the 2016 season.

Beasley explains that the front office decided to move on from the veteran cornerback because his age, salary, 2015 performance and even his wife’s antics, but in hindsight the team misses Grimes’ steady contributions. The 34 year-old corner will face his former team for the first time since they let him walk this Sunday. Since his release, the Dolphins have failed to rectify the position with the likes of Byron Maxwell, Tony Lippett, Xavien Howard and Cordrea Tankersley. While Howard and Tankersley are still young, both aren’t guys you can lean on during a playoff run. In comparison, Grimes has played more like a middle of the pack corner this season , grading out as the 60th best corner in the league, according to Pro Football Focus. Still, in Beasley’s opinion the way the team has handled their defensive back situation has been a dud all around over the past few years.

  • Josh Gordon is back at the Browns practice facility and he has made a positive impression on head coach Hue Jackson, according to Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal (Twitter link). Ulrich passes along that the second-year Cleveland head coach has stated that the wideout has been “involved” and is a “pleasure to be around”. The Browns reporter also states that Jackson expects the talented reciever to be back on the practice field on November 20. Still just 26 years old, Gordon last played for the team in 2014, and has since been suspended from the league for multiple drug violations. The former high supplemental draft pick will be a restricted free agent in 2018, so he needs to make the most of every opportunity to impress the coaching staff if he wants a real chance to continue his playing career.
  • The Chiefs will be without two key pass rushers when they travel to New Jersey to take on the Giants this Sunday. Both Dee Ford and Tamba Hali have been ruled out for the contest, according to Adam Teicher of ESPN.com (Twitter link). This is particularly interesting development in the case of Hali because the team took the cautious approach to resting him by putting him on the PUP before the start of the regular season. However, he remains on the sideline despite being placed back on the active roster. Kansas City will lean on Frank Zombo with these pass rush specialists unavailable. Getting to the quarterback has been an issue for the team, as the Chiefs currently rank in the bottom half of the league in terms of sacks, racking up just a combined 19.0 through ten weeks.
  • The Ravens have already lost their best offensive lineman for the year in Marshal Yanda and have another troubling injury situation unfolding regarding left tackle Ronnie Stanley. Even after a bye, the second-year lineman is doubtful to play with a concussion, tweets Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun. Obviously, all concussions should be taken seriously, but his absence should be a concern considering that Baltimore has really had to shakeup their protection for Joe Flacco with the injuries to Yanda and second-year guard Alex Lewis. James Hurst would likely get the start in place of Stanley, which is a significant downgrade for a team that is looking to gain momentum in securing the final AFC wild card spot over the last seven weeks of the regular season.
  • The Patriots will be without two starting offensive lineman of their own when they travel to Mexico City to take on the Raiders on Sunday afternoon. Both center David Andrews (illness) and right tackle Marcus Cannon (ankle) have been ruled out, according to Mike Reiss of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Backup lineman Ted Karras got some snaps at center during last week’s blowout of the Broncos and the team has reserve tackles in Cameron Fleming and LaAdrian Waddle who could fill in at right tackle. Bill Belichick and co. will also be without Chris Hogan and special teams ace Matt Slater, so the team has to overcome more than just new surroundings to get out of Mexico with their eighth win of the year.

 

Ravens Sign Ronnie Stanley

The Ravens are the latest team to lock up their first-round pick from this year’s draft, announcing today (via Twitter) that offensive tackle Ronnie Stanley has signed his rookie contract. More than half of 2016’s first-rounders are now under contract, with 17 signed and 14 still unsigned.Ronnie Stanley

Stanley, who was the first offensive tackle off the board this year, was selected with the sixth overall pick by the Ravens. There was speculation that if a video showing Laremy Tunsil smoking marijuana out of a gas-mask bong had not been leaked just before the draft, Baltimore would have drafted the Ole Miss tackle over Stanley, but both players were very high on the team’s board, and the Ravens are happy to have a potential long-term left tackle to protect Joe Flacco‘s blind side.

According to Over the Cap’s data, Stanley will be one of six rookies who receives a four-year contract with a total value exceeding $20MM. The Notre Dame alum’s deal is set to be worth $20.484MM, with a signing bonus of about $13.098MM. Baltimore will also have a team option for Stanley’s fifth season in 2020, which the team can exercise or decline in 2019.

As our tracker shows, the Ravens have now secured nine of their 11 draftees, with only third-round edge defender Bronson Kaufusi and sixth-round QB/WR Keenan Reynolds not locked up yet.

The Ravens also announced a few more roster moves today, per Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun, who tweets that the team has cut wide receiver Marlon Brown, defensive end Nordly Capi, and defensive backs Jermaine Whitehead and Nick Perry. Brown received a failed physical designation.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC Notes: Tunsil, Carroo, Ravens, Steelers

The Dolphins slotted Laremy Tunsil as their No. 2-rated player before the draft, with Jaguars defensive back Jalen Ramsey at No. 1, Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald reports. Had Tunsil not fallen to them at No. 13, the Dolphins would have been inclined to trade back and seek cornerback help, Salguero writes.

Among corners, the Dolphins had Eli Apple rated No. 2 behind Ramsey. Although Miami traded for Byron Maxwell, the team is now without all three of its primary starters from 2015 — Brent Grimes, Brice McCain and Jamar Taylor, the latter being traded to the Browns for a seventh-round pick Saturday.

Here’s more from the AFC as we transition into a post-draft world, beginning with more on the Dolphins’ board.

  • Miami traded up in the third round to take Rutgers wideout Leonte Carroo, but it’s not where the ex-Scarlet Knights target came off the board that’s interesting; it’s where his new team rated him. “We thought he was the second-best receiver in the draft,” Dolphins owner Stephen Ross said, via Salguero. That assessment runs counter to just about every pre-draft analysis in a draft that saw four wideouts go in the first round and three come off the board in Round 2. Prior to Miami selecting Carroo at No. 86, the Texans took Braxton Miller at No. 85. The Dolphins surrendered a sixth-round pick in this year’s draft — which it traded to the Vikings to select another receiver, Jakeem Grant — as well as third- and fourth-round choices in 2017 to become the ninth team to select a receiver this year. Rutgers suspended Carroo twice in 2015, and he was arrested once on a domestic violence-related charge.
  • Tunsil’s selection strikes Salguero as interesting considering as the No. 2 player on the Dolphins’ board, they couldn’t have done the exhaustive work on him as they did on someone like Apple or another player they thought would be in play at 13. He uses the Patriots, who did not pick until the 60s, not doing much work on Ramsey as an example.
  • Although Ozzie Newsome denied the Ravens picked Ronnie Stanley over Tunsil because of the now-infamous bong video posted on the tackle’s Twitter account before the draft, Peter Schmuck of the Baltimore Sun reports that the social media posting was passed around the Ravens draft room prior to the team selecting Stanley. The Ray Rice moment still hangs over the franchise, Schmuck writes, inducing Baltimore to play it safe when it comes to questionable prospects.
  • The past two years, the Steelers have chosen 11 defensive players compared to just four on offense, and Mike Tomlin told media (including Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette) it’s realistic three could emerge as starters in Week 1. “I believe it’s realistic,” Tomlin said of the prospect of the team’s top three picks — cornerback Artie Burns, safety Sean Davis and nose tackle Javon Hargrave — starting against Washington in September. “That’s why we chose them where we chose them. But they have to earn it, and we’ll give them the opportunity to do that.” Following the departures of Steve McLendon and Brandon Boykin, the team has holes in its lineup at No. 2 corner and at defensive tackle.

Draft Rumors: Ravens, Tunsil, Jack, Panthers

Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome claims that the team preferred Ronnie Stanley over Laremy Tunsil, even before the leak of Tunsil’s now infamous video.

The thing that I’m so proud of, . . . our scouts get a lot of information,” Newsome said, according to Jeff Zrebiec of The Baltimore Sun. “When things happen, a lot of the times we’re not surprised. We took the best player, the player that was rated the highest on the board at that point. I cannot neglect the importance of the work that our scouts do in the fall and in the spring getting information for us.”

More draft rumors from around the NFL:

  • The Panthers had UCLA linebacker Myles Jack on their draft board when they selected at No. 30, but the knee injury kept them from taking him, as David Newton of ESPN.com writes. “Very frankly, the kid came out and said he is going to need microfracture (surgery),” GM Dave Gettleman said. Earlier today we learned that the Cowboys are not considering Jack with their early second round selection.
  • At least one team strongly considered drafting Jack late in the first round, Alex Marvez of FOX Sports tweets. However, that team couldn’t get over the knee issue and the risk factor involved with taking the UCLA linebacker so early.
  • The Browns didn’t attempt to trade up late in first round last night for Memphis QB Paxton Lynch, a source familiar with the situation told Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon-Journal (on Twitter).

Pauline’s Latest: OTs, Steelers, Packers, Bucs

League insiders believe that as many as six offensive tackles could be selected in the first round of tonight’s draft, according to Tony Pauline of WalterFootball.com. Laremy Tunsil, Ronnie Stanley, Jack Conklin, and Taylor Decker are the obvious names, but Jason Spriggs, Le’Raven Clark, and Germain Ifedi are also candidates to go off the board tonight. The clubs that have put the most research into offensive tackles, per Pauline? The Colts, Packers, Seahawks, Broncos, Panthers, and Steelers.

Let’s check out the latest draft rumors, all courtesy of Pauline:

  • Among the teams hoping to trade down tonight are the Falcons, Colts, Vikings, and Jets, according to Pauline. On the other side of the coin, the Cardinals, Panthers, and Broncos may like to trade up. Denver, presumably, would be targeting a quarterback in a trade-up scenario.
  • The Steelers will consider a cornerback at pick No. 25, but they’ll also look at offensive tackles, writes Pauline. Pittsburgh returns Alejandro Villanueva at tackle, and signed Ryan Harris this offseason, but an upgrade wouldn’t be out of the question.
  • The Packers might also like to find a new left tackle, says Pauline, as Green Bay would like to transition incumbent David Bakhtiari to left guard.
  • If pass rusher Noah Spence is still available at the end of the first round, a club might trade back up in order to draft him, per Pauline. The Buccaneers are one team to watch in such a situation.