Tavon Young has agreed to a contract extension with the Ravens, and it reportedly could set the market for slot cornerbacks.
ESPN reported Thursday that Young has signed a three-year, $25.8 million extension that could be worth up to $29 million, making him the NFL’s highest-paid nickel back.
The average annual value of Young’s extension is $8.6 million and could rise to $9.7 million, an acknowledgement of the position’s growing importance. It surpasses the $8.5 million Denver Broncos slot cornerback Chris Harris Jr. makes annually. Harris, who signed his deal in 2014, finished third overall in Pro Football Focus’ 2018 cornerback ratings; Young finished 75th.
Young, who is scheduled to attend a news conference Friday with Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta and coach John Harbaugh announcing the contract, said Thursday on Twitter that he was “extremely blessed” to remain in Baltimore.
Young had one year remaining on his rookie contract and was set to make over $2 million. DeCosta said last month that the Ravens would make retaining young talent a priority.
A 2016 fourth-round draft pick, Young missed all of 2017 with a torn ACL, but appeared in 15 games last season, often matching up against opponents’ quickest receivers for the NFL’s top-ranked defense. The Oxon Hill native played over 58 percent of the team’s defensive snaps and over 17 percent of its special teams snaps in 2018.
Young missed the Ravens’ playoff loss to the Los Angeles Chargers with a groin injury, but his 62-yard return of a fumble for a touchdown in Week 16 against the Chargers clinched an important victory late in the fourth quarter.
Young underwent offseason surgery for a sports hernia, but is not expected to be sidelined for any significant team obligations. In his two active seasons, he has 90 tackles, three interceptions, 13 passes defended and two defensive touchdowns in 31 games.