Baltimore Ravens agree to four-year extension with outside linebacker Tyus Bowser

The Baltimore Sun (TNS)
Baltimore Ravens linebacker Tyus Bowser (54) moves in position against the Tennessee Titans during the second quarter of an NFL wild-card playoff football game, Sunday, Jan. 10, 2021, in Nashville, Tenn. Ravens defeat Titans 20-13. (AP Photo/Brett Carlsen)

The Baltimore Ravens have agreed to a four-year contract extension with outside linebacker Tyus Bowser, according to media reports, moving quickly to rebuild their defensive depth after the loss of their top two edge rushers this offseason.

The deal is worth $22 million, with another $5 million available in incentives, and $12 million guaranteed, according to SiriusXM’s Adam Caplan.

Bowser, 25, a former second-round draft pick, had just two sacks last season and has 10 1/2 total over four years in Baltimore. But he was one of the NFL’s top coverage linebackers last season, with three interceptions and five passes defended. According to Pro-Football-Reference, he gave up 10 completions on 15 targets for just 87 yards, allowing a 42.2 passer rating in coverage.

With Bowser’s deal done, all five Ravens edge rushers set to reach free agency this offseason are off the market. Pro Bowl outside linebacker Matthew Judon (New England Patriots) and defensive end Yannick Ngakoue (Las Vegas Raiders), two of the top players available at the position, agreed to big-money deals Monday. Tuesday, defensive Jihad Ward reached a deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars, while outside linebacker Pernell McPhee signed a one-year extension Tuesday.

The Ravens will also bring back outside linebacker Jaylon Ferguson, who has 4 1/2 sacks over two years, and can fill out the position in free agency and through the draft.

Baltimore Ravens defensive end Jihad Ward (53) celebrates a sack against Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17) during the second quarter an NFL wild-card playoff football game, Sunday, Jan. 10, 2021, in Nashville, Tenn. Ravens defeat Titans 20-13. (AP Photo/Brett Carlsen)

Ward, 26, was a healthy scratch in five games last season but was one of the team’s most productive and versatile linemen. He finished with three sacks on just 169 pass-rush snaps, according to Pro Football Focus, a rate that wasn’t far behind Pro Bowl outside linebacker Judon (six sacks in 302 pass-rush snaps).

In 10 games, Ward finished with 16 tackles and eight quarterback hits, his most since his rookie year, and four tackles for loss, a career high. He played 26% of the Ravens’ defensive snaps, down from 38% in 2019, when he played in 11 Ravens games after a midseason signing. In Jacksonville, Ward will reunite with first-year defensive coordinator Joe Cullen, the Ravens’ former defensive line coach.

His agreement comes a day after Judon agreed to a four-year, $56 million deal with the Patriots and Ngakoue reached a two-year, $26 million deal with the Raiders.