Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta said Tuesday at the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis that the team will “probably” designate All-Pro defensive lineman Justin Madubuike with the franchise tag if a long-term deal is not reached by next week.

The Ravens have until 4 p.m. next Tuesday to tag Madubuike, a pending free agent who led all interior linemen in 2023 with 13 sacks. A one-year franchise tag tender for defensive lineman is worth a fully guaranteed $22.1 million, which would limit the Ravens’ salary cap flexibility this offseason.

DeCosta said the Ravens are “trying to get a [long-term] deal done” with Madubuike, which would keep one of the NFL’s rising defensive stars in Baltimore and likely lower his cap hit in 2024. If the Ravens tag Madubuike, they would likely have mid-July to sign him to a multiyear contract extension.

“We’ve had discussions with Justin,” DeCosta said. “He’s a guy that obviously has put himself in a fortuitous position this year by the way that he played. Had a great season for us. He’s a valued player on the team, and we’re hopeful that we can get a long-term deal done.”

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According to the NFL’s Next Gen Stats, Madubuike’s 64 quarterback pressures in 2023 tied for the second most of any Ravens player since 2016, behind only outside linebacker and pending free agent Jadeveon Clowney last season.

Madubuike was also a signficant contributor to the Ravens’ run defense. With him on the field in 2023, according to TruMedia, the Ravens ranked sixth in success rate, 11th in expected points added per play against designed runs and 12th in yards before contact per rush. Without Madubuike, their run defense ranked 20th, 20th and 24th, respectively.

A former third-round pick, Madubuike called Baltimore “home” at the Pro Bowl but added: “Business is business, and that side is going to take care of itself.”

Jonas Shaffer is a Ravens beat writer for The Baltimore Banner. He previously covered the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun. Shaffer graduated from the University of Maryland and grew up in Silver Spring.

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