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NFL Free Agency Grades: Ravens Receive Solid Grade After Re-Signing DT Justin Madubuike

After The Baltimore Ravens initially gave defensive tackle Justin Madubuike the franchise tag, they agreed on a four-year contract extension on Friday.

Few teams are better than the Baltimore Ravens at keeping their top talent beyond their rookie contracts, and they lived up to that billing again. 

The Ravens re-signed defensive tackle Justin Madubuike to a four-year $98 million extension on Friday. The $98 million extension comes with $53.5 million guaranteed at signing and $75.5 in total guarantees. 

Baltimore Ravens defensive tackle Justin Madubuike (92).

Baltimore Ravens defensive tackle Justin Madubuike (92).

With the deal, ESPN graded it as a B+ for Baltimore. 

 "Baltimore has long been one of the league's best teams at keeping its own and does so again," ESPN writes. "In a draft that is not loaded with 3-technique pass-rushers, the Ravens now lock up a core player of the defense at one of the most important positions on that side of the ball. The key for Baltimore will be getting this production from Madubuike consistently, as he had just 8.5 sacks in his career before last season."

Madubuike picked the perfect time to have a career year with free agency on the horizon for the 26-year-old. Madubuike led the team with 13 sacks, 33 quarterback hits and 12 tackles for loss. 

All three stats were also career-highs for Madubuike as he anchored a Ravens defense that allowed the points per game (16.5), led the league in sacks (60) and was tied for the most turnovers (31). 

The other part of Madubike's deal is it frees some cap space for the Ravens heading into free agency. Linebacker Patrick Queen, safety Geno Stone and pass rushers Jadeveon Clowney and Kyle Van Noy are among the Ravens players set to hit free agency. 

While keeping all those players is still far-fetched, keeping one or two is much more feasible after Madubuike's deal.

The one valid concern is ensuring Madubuike continues to produce at the level he played at in 2023. Coming into last season, he only had 8.5 sacks for his career. 

The ability to keep homegrown talent is the backbone of good franchises. 

Not only did the Ravens do that by re-signing Madubuike, but they opened up more cap space to keep more players from a league-leading defense last season, And if that's the result of keeping a cornerstone defensive tackle, a B+ is more than reasonable.