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The Ravens went right up against the deadline, but their No. 1 offseason priority was finally reached Tuesday when they agreed to terms on a new contract with defensive tackle Haloti Ngata.
Ngata, 27, is locked in to a five-year contract that will keep him in Baltimore until 2015, the team confirmed. Reports stated that the contract is worth a total of $61 million, with $40 million over the first two seasons.
“This is a great feeling, and I can’t explain how many different emotions I have,” Ngata said in a statement. “What I want to do now is continue to get better every year and help the team get better. Our goal is to win Super Bowls, and I want to do my best to help us make that happen.”
Haloti Ngata Signing His Contract Extension
There were reports that talks between the Ravens and Ngata’s representatives broke down Monday evening, which would have meant Ngata would be playing under a nearly $12.5 million franchise tag.
But apparently, both sides got back together on Tuesday, when the deadline to take the franchise tag off players was 4 p.m.
“We’ve been talking, but didn’t want it to be real public and in the media,” said Ngata. “We just wanted to make sure we don’t put too much emotion into it and make sure we got the right deal.”
At the end of the process, it was Ngata’s agent making the news public.
“Congrats to Haloti Ngata for agreeing to terms on a 5 year deal with the Baltimore Ravens,” Ngata’s agent, Mike McCartney, tweeted at 2:56 p.m.
Since being selected 12th overall in the 2006 NFL Draft, Ngata has blossomed into one of the most-dominant defensive linemen in the league.
The 6-foot-4, 330-pounder earned his first Pro Bowl last season after he logged 65 tackles and a career-best 5 ½ sacks.
“He is obviously instrumental to everything we do on defense,” General Manager Ozzie Newsome said. “He’s a player who commands an offense’s attention every single play, and his presence allows us to play a variety of effective defenses. Teams have to prepare for Haloti every week. Opposing coaches game-plan on Tuesday with Haloti in mind. They know he can dominate, and they know he is going to play at a very high level.”
With Ngata in the trenches, the Ravens have never dropped out of the NFL’s top eight-stingiest run defenses , finishing second twice (2006-07) and third once (2008). Ngata hopes to continue that tradition of excellence in purple and black.
“You rarely see players around the league play with one team their entire career,” Ngata said. “For me to be here another five years is great, and I’m thankful for the opportunity the Ravens have provided me. Hopefully, I can retire here.”
Now, with Ngata and Suggs in the mix for several more years – Suggs signed a six-year contract in 2009 – the Ravens’ defense boast a young core of players just entering their prime.
“This is another commitment from [Owner] Steve Bisciotti making sure we keep our best players,” Newsome explained. “Haloti’s re-signing is significant as we push to win consistently and battle for championships. His leadership is not only integral to our defense, but also the entire team.”