Ravens' Ronnie Stanley hoping to get paid like NFL's top left tackle

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Ronnie Stanley was the best left tackle in the NFL last season, and the Baltimore Ravens offensive lineman believes his next contract should reflect that.

"I definitely want to get paid my value and what I feel I'm worth," Stanley said Thursday during a video conference call with Baltimore reporters. "That part of it is important. But, at the end of the day, I don't think money is the most important thing to me."

Stanley, 26, is entering the final year of his rookie deal after becoming the first Ravens offensive tackle to earn first-team All-Pro honors since Hall of Fame lineman Jonathan Ogden did so 16 years ago.

The expectation is that Stanley will become the NFL's highest-paid lineman and surpass Houston's Laremy Tunsil, who significantly changed the market value for left tackles a month ago by signing a three-year, $66 million extension. His $22 million average per season was $4 million more annually than the previously highest-paid offensive tackle, Lane Johnson of Philadelphia.

"I felt in my heart of hearts this position is one of the top two, three hardest on the field," Stanley said. "For [Tunsil] to get respect like that with how much he got paid made me feel very happy for him, because he deserved it."

Stanley excelled in protecting the blind side of NFL MVP Lamar Jackson, allowing the fewest pressures (six) by an offensive tackle in 14 years, according to Pro Football Focus. He opened holes for the NFL's all-time best single-season rushing attack on the left side, where Baltimore averaged 7.2 yards per rush.

The sides have been in contract talks for the last couple of years, Stanley said. The Ravens could use the franchise tag on Stanley to keep him from becoming a free agent in 2021.

Earlier this month, Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta said he remained "optimistic" that an extension could get completed. Stanley indicated that he's in "no rush."

"I'm comfortable with where we are in that regard," Stanley said. "When the time comes, it'll come."

The Ravens selected Stanley with the No. 6 overall pick in 2016. He was solid in his first three seasons before breaking out last year, when Baltimore's offense led the NFL in scoring.

Three of the top-five picks in that draft have signed new deals (Jared Goff, Carson Wentz and Ezekiel Elliott). Joey Bosa and Jalen Ramsey are seeking extensions.