The Ravens finally agreed to that long-term contract extension with Pro Bowl defensive tackle Haloti Ngata on Tuesday, ensuring that one of the NFL's best defensive linemen will remain under contractual control through the 2015 season. The deal is for $61 million. As far as investments go, Ngata is about as safe as they come.
Now that the Ngata deal is done, the team's top two selections from the 2008 draft should be next in line.
Quarterback Joe Flacco is in the fourth year of a five-year deal. He has voiced displeasure with the Ravens for not trying to get a deal done this offseason. But on Tuesday night, in an appearance on Sirius XM NFL Radio, Flacco said he is “glad” to be playing football and isn’t worried about a deal right now. “There will be a time to worry," he said. "This is obviously not one of those times. You just go out, play football and try to get some wins.”
Meanwhile, running back Ray Rice, a Pro Bowl player in 2009, is in the final year of his rookie contact. He stands to benefit from the four-year, $53 million extension that Titans running back Chris Johnson signed this month. Rice and Johnson are comparable players, but I don’t see Rice getting $13.25 million a year.
So who will get his new deal next? Rice is a pending free agent, but franchise quarterbacks are more valuable than running backs. If the Ravens are sure Flacco is their guy, he will likely come first.
Your turn: Who should next in line -- Flacco or Rice?