Fitting his even-tempered personality, Ronnie Stanley is not sweating his contract situation with the Ravens. He is entering his fifth-year option on his rookie deal, he is confident a new deal will get done at some point, and he has established himself as an All-Pro left tackle at age 26.
Stanley has handled his business, and he believes the contract business will be handled.
"We've been in talks for the last couple of years now," Stanley said during a Wednesday video conference. "I'm comfortable with where we are in that regard. When the time comes, it will come."
The Ravens' desire to re-sign Stanley before he becomes a free agent next offseason goes without saying. The sixth-overall pick in the 2016 draft took his game to another level last season, making the Pro Bowl as the highest-graded left tackle in the NFL, according to Pro Football Focus. The Ravens want Stanley protecting Lamar Jackson's blindside for the long haul, as General Manager Eric DeCosta has affirmed on numerous occasions.
"Love Ronnie, played his butt off this year, All-Pro left tackle," DeCosta said at the NFL Scouting Combine. "Excited about that, excited about his future, excited about the player, and excited about the person."
It will take a lucrative long-term deal to re-sign Stanley, a young player in his prime playing one of the game's most important positions. Houston Texans left tackle Laremy Tunsil set the bar high when he agreed to a reported three-year, $66 million contract extension in April. Stanley was taken seven picks ahead of Tunsil in 2016, and seeing the numbers connected with Tunsil's deal did not upset Stanley.
"My first reaction was I was just super happy he got what he got," Stanley said. "He deserved it. I felt in my heart of heart (that) this position's definitely one of the top two, three hardest positions on the field. For him to get respected like that with how much he got paid made me feel really happy for him."
On the fifth-year option, Stanley's base salary jumps from $3.2 million last year to almost $12.9 million this season, per Spotrac. The Ravens could create some more immediate cap space if they were to agree to a long-term extension with Stanley this offseason.
However, Stanley's isn't focusing on money this offseason. He has the talent to become a great offensive lineman and Stanley wants to maximize his ability.
"I definitely want to get paid my value and what I'm worth, or what I feel I'm worth," Stanley said. "I think that part of it is important. But at the end of the day, I don't think money's the most important thing to me.
"Being healthy, being a good person, I try to think big picture about things like that. That's what I mean when I say money's not the most important thing to me. That's not really what drives me. That's not my motivation. Being the best, being the greatest, that's more what's important to me."
The retirement of Pro Bowl left guard Marshal Yanda will increase Stanley's role as a leader on the offensive line next season, and he's looking forward to that responsibility. Until he signs a new deal, Stanley knows his contract situation will be on people's minds, but he's not losing sleep. Asked if he would be willing to continue contract talks with the Ravens once the regular season begins, Stanley left open the possibility.
"Honestly, right now I'm not really thinking about it," Stanley said. "I would probably have a better answer for that if training camp starts. I'm kind of in no rush when it comes to that right now. I'm not really worried about it. That's kind of my mentality towards it at the moment."