The Baltimore Ravens are keeping a key piece of their defense after agreeing to terms on a new contract with defensive tackle Brandon Williams. The Ravens announced Thursday that Williams will sign a five-year extension with the team.
According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, Williams' contract is a $54 million deal with $27.5 million guaranteed, making him the highest-paid nose tackle in the league.
Drafted 94th overall by the Baltimore Ravens in 2013, Williams started 46 of 48 games played over the past three seasons. He has recorded 104 combined tackles since the start of 2015 and emerged as a standout two years ago.
Following the 2015 season, Ben Stockwell of Pro Football Focus noted Williams finished third among all nose tackles with 38 defensive stops and named him Baltimore's best defender.
"Another exceptional season in run defense for the Ravens’ former third-round pick; Williams has only graded negatively in run defense in six of 34 games over the last two seasons," Stockwell wrote. "Williams’ best four games came in the first half of the year."
At just 28 years old, Williams figures to maintain his prime level of play for at least the next two or three years. He's never had a significant injury, only playing in seven games during the 2013 season because the Ravens still had Haloti Ngata and Arthur Jones.
Williams is nearly impossible to move in the middle of the defensive line at 335 pounds. He's excelled as a run defender, giving him a significant role on any defense in the NFL.
The Ravens had all sorts of problems with an offense that finished 21st in scoring last season, but the defense finished ninth in points allowed.
Williams is an essential piece of the puzzle in Baltimore and has been rewarded for his efforts with an extension to bring the team back to glory in the AFC North starting in 2017.