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Ravens DT Justin Madubuike agrees to reported 4-year, $98 million extension

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - JANUARY 01: Justin Madubuike #92 of the Baltimore Ravens celebrates after making a sack during an NFL football game between the Baltimore Ravens and the Pittsburgh Steelers at M&T Bank Stadium on January 01, 2023 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images)
Justin Madubuike got paid after a breakout season. (Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images) (Michael Owens via Getty Images)

The Baltimore Ravens had Justin Madubuike on the franchise tag. Now they have him on something longer.

The Pro Bowl defensive tackle has agreed to a four-year contract extension, the Ravens announced Friday. The deal is worth $98 million with $75.5 million in guarantees and $53.5 million due at signing, per ESPN's Adam Schefter.

The Ravens had previously hit Madubuike with the franchise tag earlier this week.

The new contract is a reward for a breakout season from Madubuike. The former third-round pick out of Texas A&M was already a steady performer in his first few years in Baltimore, but in 2023 became the kind of star pass rusher the Ravens had been sorely lacking for years.

Madubuike's 13 sacks were the most by any Ravens player over the past nine years and the most by any defensive tackle last season. He was the most dependable part of a Ravens front that led the NFL with 60 sacks — his 13 straight games with at least a half-sack tied an NFL record.

Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta seemed pretty happy in the release announcing the extension:

“We are pleased to announce a four-year extension with Justin Madubuike,” DeCosta stated. “Justin is one of the best defensive tackles in the entire NFL and a cornerstone on our defense. 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!”

That made Madubuike the Ravens' top priority in a free agency period where they seem likely to lose at least one major contributor from last season's 13-4 squad. The team's most significant free agents are now linebacker Patrick Queen, guard Kevin Zeitler, safety Geno Stone and pass rushers Jadeveon Clowney and Kyle Van Noy.

Queen at least seems excited for his teammate.

The good news for the Ravens is that signing Madubuike to an extension will do them some good on the free agency front. He was previously slated to come with a $22 million cap hit for 2024, which this deal will almost certainly reduce by millions.