Ravens put DT Justin Madubuike on franchise tag after career-high 13 sacks in 2023

Tue, Mar 5, 2024
NFL News (AP)

Ravens put DT Justin Madubuike on franchise tag after career-high 13 sacks in 2023

The Baltimore Ravens put the franchise tag on Justin Madubuike on Tuesday after the defensive tackle finished his rookie contract with a breakout season in 2023.

The franchise tag for defensive tackles comes with a one-year cost of just over $22 million, although Madubuike and the Ravens can continue negotiating for a longer deal, with a preseason deadline of July 15.

"We were unable to agree on a contract extension with Justin before the deadline and will use the franchise tag," Baltimore general manager Eric DeCosta said in a statement. "Justin is a great player and person, and we will continue to negotiate a long-term deal with him."

The Ravens used the franchise tag on star quarterback Lamar Jackson last offseason, but were able to reach a long-term contract with him several weeks later.

Madubuike could have been one of the league's top free agents after he had 13 sacks last season, more than doubling his previous career high. He was a key part of a Baltimore defense that was one of the NFL's best.

Even with Madubuike under the franchise tag, the Ravens have a lot to do in the next couple of weeks. Linebacker Patrick Queen, edge rushers Jadeveon Clowney and Kyle Van Noy, wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., offensive linemen Kevin Zeitler and John Simpson and running backs J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards are all free agents.

The new league year - and the free-agent frenzy that accompanies it - officially starts March 13.

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