- Baltimore signed LB Roquan Smith to a 5-year contract extension.
- Roquan Smith’s new contract comes with a value of $100 million.
- Smith’s new contract shouldn’t inhibit their ability to pay Lamar Jackson.
For most football fans, January is the season of NFL playoff odds and Super Bowl futures.
However, that doesn’t mean the whole NFL news cycle completely shuts down. And back in January, there was some pretty big contract news regarding a key piece of the Ravens’ roster.
Roquan Smith News
On Tuesday, Jan. 10, the Baltimore Ravens signed linebacker Roquan Smith to a massive contract extension, per multiple reports.
That’s a nice pickup for Baltimore, which acquired the All-Pro linebacker from Chicago at the trade deadline for one second-round pick and one fifth-round pick in this spring’s NFL Draft.
Roquan Smith Contract Extension
The Baltimore Ravens signed linebacker Roquan Smith to a gargantuan 5-year, $100 million contract extension. The deal makes Smith the highest-paid linebacker in the history of the NFL. About $45 million is fully guaranteed.
Ravens Cap Space
Prior to the new contract for Roquan Smith, the Ravens had plenty of cap room – about $49 million, per Spotrac.
Even after Smith’s new contract is accounted for on their cap sheet, they should still have plenty of money to pay guys like Lamar Jackson.
Highest Paid Linebackers
Roquan Smith’s new contract rewrites the list of the highest-paid NFL linebackers.
Ravens made the trade w/Chicago for Roquan Smith knowing there were no guarantees they’d be able to sign him long term. They believed Smith would embrace the org’s culture and want to stay. It took a lot of $$ and they expected that, but they made sure Smith wasn’t going anywhere
— Jeff Zrebiec (@jeffzrebiec) January 10, 2023
Roquan Smith Draft Pick
Roquan Smith was drafted with the eighth overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.
Lamar Jackson Contract Offer
This could be a stretch, but I wonder if some part of the Roquan Smith contract news is tied to the ongoing developments around Lamar Jackson.
Jackson has famously played the season without a new contract. He and his mom have been negotiating a new contract with the Ravens with little success so far.
The timing of the contract extension for Smith – days before the Ravens’ playoff game against the Bengals, with Jackson’s status still in question – could be a meta-signal to Jackson from the front office that everything will work out.
Specifically, it could be a signal that the Ravens are not afraid to pony up the cash for high-end players. And Jackson is, of course, one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL.
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