Ravens’ Decision On Star Defender Named Best Offseason Move

Justin Madubuike, Ravens
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The Baltimore Ravens are on the cusp of greatness. They had one of their best regular seasons ever, earning the No. 1 seed and hosting the AFC Championship Game for the first time in franchise history.

Alas, they were cut down by the buzzsaw known as the Kansas City Chiefs and Patrick Mahomes. They were on the wrong end of the AFC Championship Game, losing to the eventual Super Bowl champions.

Heading into the offseason, there weren’t many glaring holes the team needed to address. They lost a key player defensively in linebacker Patrick Queen, but his departure was expected. What hurts is that he signed with the rival Pittsburgh Steelers.

Looking to take more pressure off of quarterback Lamar Jackson, the team made a splash in free agency. They signed star running back Derrick Henry, creating the most fearsome rushing attack in the NFL.

But, it wasn’t the signing of Henry that Trevor Sikkema of PFF was most excited about. In his opinion, the best move the Ravens made this offseason was re-signing defensive lineman Justin Madubuike.

“The Ravens’ secondary is budding and anchored by linebacker Roquan Smith in the middle, but Madubuike’s pass-rushing abilities are vital to the defense’s overall efficacy. 

He is coming off career bests in PFF pass-rush grade (79.6) and run-defense grade (66.9). His consistency is what helps him be such a force, as he recorded at least half a sack in 11 straight games last year,” Sikkema wrote.

Madabuike was dominant for the Ravens in 2023. He earned his first trip to the Pro Bowl and earned a spot on the All-Pro Second Team.

In 17 games, all starts, he recorded 13 sacks. In his first three seasons in the NFL, he had only 8.5.  He added 12 tackles for loss, 23 quarterback hits and 33 total pressures as a one-man wrecking crew in the middle of the trenches.

Without household names at edge rusher, Madabuike’s ability to get after the quarterback is a huge help for the Ravens’ defense. He was rewarded with a four-year, $98 million contract, cashing in on a career year in the midst of a defensive tackle market boom.

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