The Ravens signed defensive lineman Broderick Washington to a three-year contract extension Wednesday, rewarding one of the team’s most improved players and addressing a position with looming depth concerns.

The deal for Washington, 26, who was entering the final year of his rookie contract, is reportedly worth $15.8 million through 2026.

“I was very excited,” Washington said after Wednesday’s training camp practice. “I’m just blessed to even be in this position. I’m glad my mom wasn’t here; I would’ve cried. I’m supposedly a tough guy here. ... I’m filled with emotions. I’m happy to be able to be home for the next three years. I’m glad it’s here. I don’t have to go anywhere different. I don’t have to learn a new scheme. I know everything already. I’m comfortable and I’m just really excited for the opportunity to grow each and every year.”

The Ravens were set to enter this season with just one defensive lineman, 2022 third-round pick Travis Jones, under contract beyond 2023. Along with Washington, fellow projected starters Michael Pierce and Justin Madubuike are in the final year of their deals. Defensive linemen Brent Urban and Angelo Blackson also signed for just one year.

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Washington’s extension represents a significant investment in a player who has improved by leaps and bounds since an anonymous rookie year. A fifth-round pick in 2020, Washington played just 161 defensive snaps in 2020, a mark he nearly doubled (293) in 2021. Last year, he started nine games and played 44% of the Ravens’ defensive snaps (483 total). He also led all Ravens defensive linemen in run stops, according to Pro Football Focus, with 23 tackles leading to unsuccessful carries by an opponent. He added six passes defended, among the most at his position.

“I don’t know that there’s a person in this building that works harder than Broderick Washington,” assistant head coach and defensive line coach Anthony Weaver said last week. “If you even look [at] his body from when he got [here] to how it is now, he looks completely different. You talk about a guy that’s taken every bit of coaching and then some, it’s him. So I’m not surprised by any of his success, and I would expect more.”

Washington said Wednesday there were no clues a deal was imminent; coach John Harbaugh had only mentioned the possibility of an extension during offseason workouts. By Wednesday afternoon, Washington hadn’t even spoken at length with his mother about the new contract. He said he couldn’t wait to “just embrace her and have that moment with her.”

“I’ve barely scratched the surface of what I can really be,” said Washington, who was recognized after practice in the team’s huddle. “I’m just looking forward to the opportunity to do that here.”

With one of their top run stuffers signed, Ravens officials can now focus their efforts on re-signing their top interior pass rusher. Madubuike had 5 1/2 sacks last season, nearly triple Washington’s career total (two), and has 17 tackles for loss and 16 quarterback hits since he was drafted in 2020.

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“Everybody goes through a contract year; that’s how I see it,” Madubuike said last week. “You just put your head down and work, put your head down and work, put your head down and work. I feel like the more you think about it, the more it becomes a distraction. If you just put your head down and work, I feel like everything is going to work itself out in the end.”