The Baltimore Ravens are back in the playoffs and have a first-round matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals, a team they have a ton of familiarity with due to them both being in the AFC North.
The Ravens defeated the Bengals in October and then lost to them in Week 18, although Lamar Jackson wasn’t available for the final game of the year.
However, with playoff week here, the Ravens have given a star a massive deal.
No, it isn’t Jackson.
— NFL (@NFL) January 10, 2023
The Ravens have given linebacker Roquan Smith a five-year deal worth $100 million, making him the highest-paid LB in NFL history.
Smith was traded by the Chicago Bears during the season, and the Ravens sent Chicago a couple of draft picks.
Since coming to Baltimore, Smith has been terrific, registering 86 total tackles, two sacks, and an interception in just nine games in a Ravens uniform.
As such, they wasted no time signing Smith to a massive deal.
After the news came, even more questions are going to swirl about the contract status of Jackson this offseason once again, and it feels more and more likely that he will end up hitting the open market once free agency begins.
For now, the focus is on the playoffs, and the Bengals are a tough team for Baltimore to face, especially with this game being played in Cincinnati.
But the Ravens lock in Smith for the next five years, and the defense in Baltimore gets a massive jolt for the foreseeable future.