With two Super Bowl victories since the franchise’s beginnings in 1995, the Baltimore Ravens have become one of the NFL’s most successful franchises in the last thirty years. Those two championships are tied for third in the league in that time frame, trailing only Denver’s three and New England’s near-impossible six.
Online sports wagering went live in the state of Maryland in November of 2022, 11 months after retail betting began at in-person establishments. The Ravens currently have the sixth best odds of raising the Lombardi Trophy in 2024, listed at +1800 at the Free State’s BetMGM Sportsbook: a line that could swing dramatically as they work out the details of star quarterback Lamar Jackson’s new contract (or fail to do so). BetMGM’s Maryland bonus code is live as well: if you want to bet on the Ravens, or any other of a host of college and professional sports, be sure to use this code to claim a first bet offer of up to $1,000.
With the Ravens’ record of success and a host of legendary NFL players like Ray Lewis and Ed Reed for young football players to look up to and emulate, it’s no surprise that Maryland has become a hotbed of NFL talent. With 43 active NFL players from the state at the end of the 2022 NFL season, roughly one out of every 40 players in the league hails from Maryland: significantly better than you might expect, given that the state makes up just one percent of the American population.
Here are some of the highest paid active NFL players who hail from the state of Maryland based on their contract’s AAV (average annual value).
1. Stefon Diggs, $24 million AAV
The Gaithersburg native inked a new deal last offseason, solidifying his place as one of the highest paid wide receivers in the NFL. It’s no accident that Bills’ quarterback Josh Allen’s breakout season came after Buffalo acquired Diggs in 2020. Diggs’ ability to find the soft spot in a defense and get open for chunk plays is nearly unmatched, and his soft hands make him a quarterback’s best friend.
2. Shaq Barrett, $17.125 million AAV
The Buccaneers’ edge rusher grew up in Baltimore, leaving when he was 15 for a boarding school in Nebraska to avoid the violence that has plagued the city. His path to NFL stardom wasn’t the typical one. He played at Nebraska-Omaha for a year before their football team was axed, then transferred to Colorado State. He won Super Bowl 50 with the Broncos, and later signed a one year “prove it” deal with Tampa Bay. The gamble paid off, as he led the league with 19.5 sacks in 2019, later parlaying the monstrous season into a four year, $68 million deal.
3. Darren Waller, $17 million AAV
Waller was born in Landover, but moved all over the country as a child. He’s lived a tumultuous life, but has turned his struggles into a success story after he became the highest paid tight end in the NFL. Waller struggled with drug and alcohol abuse from the age of 15, a battle that carried into his NFL career when he was suspended for four games in 2016 and for the duration of the 2017 season. After taking a year away from the sport where he went to rehab and got a job stocking shelves at a supermarket, Waller managed to resurrect his career with back-to-back seasons where he racked up more than 1,000 receiving yards.
Waller signed a three year, $51 million deal to begin the 2022 season.