By Daniel Paulling
The Baltimore Ravens signed defensive tackle Haloti Ngata to a five-year contract extension on Tuesday afternoon.
“He is obviously instrumental to everything we do on defense,” Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome said in a news release. “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.”
According to the Baltimore Sun, the contract is worth $61 million, which would make Ngata one of the highest paid defensive linemen in the NFL. He is signed to a one-year deal worth $12.5 million after being given the franchise tag in February.
The Ravens drafted him 12th overall in the 2006 draft, and Ngata has 338 tackles, 12 sacks and three interceptions during his six-year career that includes two Pro Bowls. Since Ngata joined the team in 2006, Baltimore has allowed a league-low 32 rushing touchdowns and the NFL’s third-fewest rushing yards per game at 84.4.
“This is a great feeling, and I can’t explain how many different emotions I have,” Ngata said. “What I want to do now is continue to get better every year and help the team get better.
“You rarely see players around the league play with one team their entire career. 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.”
The topic of an extension for Ngata came up after practice Monday, but coach John Harbaugh distanced himself from talk.
“I’m worried about football right now, so I’m not involved in contract negotiations,” he said. “But thanks for asking.”
The extension gives the Ravens some good news following a 26-13 loss Sunday at Tennessee one week after beating division-rival Pittsburgh 35-7 at home.