Ronnie Stanley had a career year in 2019, one worth first-team All-Pro honors.
He hopes it'll soon be worth a significant pay day, too.
"I definitely want to get paid my value and what I feel I'm worth," Stanley said Thursday during a conference call, via ESPN. "That part of it is important. But, at the end of the day, I don't think money is the most important thing to me."
Stanley wasn't the best tackle in the NFL in 2019, but he was the best left tackle, per Pro Football Focus, earning the top grade at his position. His stellar 2019 came as part of a Ravens offense that incinerated opponents with a steamrolling ground attack, relying on the dual-threat mastery of quarterback Lamar Jackson and a deep backfield to lead the league in rushing and strike with the pass in between. Stanley's play was an integral part of that attack, especially in the passing game in which he posted a win rate of 98.7 percent, per PFF, earning the site's Pass Blocker of the Year award.
He allowed just six total pressures across 16 games, an incredible rate of effectiveness for anyone playing the most difficult position on the offensive line. The next best in the category at his position surrendered nearly three times as many pressures (17), per PFF. His pass-blocking grade of 93.7 was one of the five best ever given to a player in PFF's history, and three of those grades were earned by players in the Pro Football Hall of Fame (Jonathan Ogden) or who will be (Joe Thomas).
That's elite-level play, which is worth elite-level money.
Ogden was the last Ravens tackle to earn first-team All-Pro honors, and we know how his career turned out. We're still too far from being able to say whether Stanley might one day be enshrined in Canton, but he's on track to get paid as such. Laremy Tunsil recently received an extension that will pay him an average of $22 million per year, the most in the NFL at the position. Stanley, who's playing out the final year of his rookie deal, very well could be headed toward such a pay increase.
"I felt in my heart of hearts this position is one of the top two, three hardest on the field," Stanley said. "For [Tunsil] to get respect like that with how much he got paid made me feel very happy for him, because he deserved it."
If Stanley puts together another sparkling season like he did in 2020, the Ravens will have little reason to justify doing anything but paying Stanley like the top tackle he's proven to be. Investing in a superstar quarterback's best protector is always a wise decision.