Ravens Place Franchise Tag on Second Team All-Pro

baltimore ravens justin madubuike

Getty The Baltimore Ravens placed the franchise tag on DT Justin Madubuike

The Baltimore Ravens have officially made their first big move of the 2024 NFL offseason.

The team announced on March 5 that they would be placing the franchise tag on defensive tackle Justin Madubuike.

Madubuike is coming off of the best season of his career and was seen as a priority for the Ravens this offseason.

While the organization wasn’t able to come to terms on a long-term deal with their star lineman, they now have him locked in for another year at a cost of $22.1 million.

Following the announcement that the team had franchise tagged Madubuike, Ravens GM Eric DeCosta released a statement about the decision.

“We were unable to agree on a contract ext. w/Justin before the deadline and will use the franchise tag. Justin is a great player and person, and we’ll continue to negotiate long-term deal with him.”

Madubuike’s Huge 2023 Season

Madubuike has come a long way since being drafted in round three back in 2020.

After mostly being used as a depth option on the defensive line in his rookie year, Madubuike steadily improved over the next couple of years.

With each year that he played in the league, his numbers steadily improved until he had locked down a starting job and become an impactful part of the Ravens’ defense by the end of his third year.

In year four he absolutely went off.

During the final season of his rookie contract, Madubuike reached career highs in just about every major statistical category.

He made 56 tackles with 12 of them for a loss. He led the Ravens with 13 sacks and had 33 total pressures during the season. He even forced the first fumble of his career.

His huge year didn’t go unnoticed as Madubuike racked up accolades after the season.

He earned a spot in the Pro Bowl for the first time in his career and also got his first first All-Pro nod, making the Second Team.

He even finished ninth in the Defensive Player of the Year voting.

Now he has been rewarded even further with a nice payday for the 2024 season.

What This Means for the Ravens

This was a big decision for the Ravens.

If they hadn’t used the tag on Madubuike, they would have run the risk of their defense taking a major step back in 2024.

Their list of potential free agents for this offseason included players that accounted for the majority of their league-leading 60 sacks.

Now that Madubuike is set to return, they have their leading pass rusher back for another year, which should keep their defense formidable even if there are changes elsewhere.

The move also means that Ravens need to clear some cap space over the next week. Tagging Madubuike pushed the team back over the salary cap, which is something they’ll need to fix ahead of the start of the league year.

That means some cuts are likely coming for the Ravens as they’ve yet to let go of any of their potential cap casualties so far this offseason.

They’ll also need space to re-sign some of their other important free agents and to pursue replacements for the ones that leave.

Holding on to Madubuike was big for the Ravens and now they can focus on everything else they need to get done in order to be a contender again in 2024.

Read More