The Baltimore Ravens and star linebacker Roquan Smith agreed to a historic contract extension on Tuesday ahead of the NFL Playoffs. A looming Wild Card Round matchup with the Bengals didn’t prevent the Ravens from rewarding their mid-season trade acquisition with a lucrative new deal. Smith and the Ravens agreed to a five-year, $100 million extension which includes $45 million in fully guaranteed money and $60 million in total guarantees, per Ian Rapoport.

As Rapoport denotes, Roquan Smith becomes the first off-ball linebacker to earn an AAV of $20 million in his contract extension, effectively resetting the market for others at his position.

It’s a well-earned payday for Smith, who joined the Ravens midway through the 2022 season after having requested a trade from the Chicago Bears last offseason. Smith had been seeking a contract extension from the Bears, who balked at the idea of handing him a big-money deal.

For our Week 18 recap and head coaching carousel discussion, listen below:

Live and breathe the NFL?

🚨 Get viral NFL graphics, memes, rumors and trending news delivered right to your inbox with the Clutch Newsletter.

Instead, they traded him to the Ravens, for whom Smith has been a revelation for their defense. In 17 games this year, Smith recorded 169 tackles, 4.5 sacks, four QB hits, and 11 tackles for loss. In his nine games with the Ravens, Smith had 86 tackles, 2.0 sacks, and seven tackles for loss. The 25-year-old was selected to his first-ever Pro Bowl after a huge year for the Ravens.

By figuring out Smith’s contract extension, the Ravens will have more time to navigate a deal for Lamar Jackson, whether they elect to use the franchise tag on their star quarterback, whose contract is set to expire after the season.

After living up to some lofty expectations in Baltimore, the Ravens and Roquan Smith have agreed to run it back for the next half-decade.