During their "State of the Ravens" address on Thursday, Baltimore Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome said that re-signing two-time Pro Bowl nose tackle Haloti Ngata is a top priority this off-season.
"He is a priority, and that’s not just (head coach) John (Harbaugh) saying that," Newsome said.
Harbaugh discussed Ngata's importance to the club earlier this week.
"I believe Haloti Ngata will be a Raven for life," Harbaugh said on Monday. "That’s the goal. I know that Haloti wants that. He’s told me that he wants to be here. I don’t want to speak for him, again, but I think he wants to be here, and I believe the organization wants him here.
"It’s priority No. 1 to have Haloti Ngata here."
Ngata started 15 of 16 games in 2010, establishing career-highs with 46 solo tackles (63 total) and 5.5 quarterback sacks.
In 78 career games, and 76 starts, Ngata has 247 tackles (33 for a loss) and 12 quarterback sacks.
With Pro Bowl-caliber nose tackles signing long-term contracts worth between $7-8 million dollars per year last off-season, a two-time Pro Bowler like Ngata, who turns 27 on Friday, figures to establish a new ceiling on the nose tackle pay scale.
Ngata signed a five-year, $13.95 million contract, with $8.275 million guaranteed, as the 12th overall pick of the 2006 NFL Draft out of Oregon. With a franchise for defensive tackles expected to be in the over $10 million neighborhood, a long-term extension for Ngata could include $20 million in fully guaranteed money.
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