WNST broke the news 9:30 this morning that Terrell Suggs signed a 6-year, $63 million deal with the Ravens. This deal came in the final few hours of negotiation before the Ravens would have been forced to pay Suggs over $10 million for the season as part of the Franchise tag. Suggs will now be able to play this season without any issue of contract talk on his mind. I believe he will have his best season as a Raven.
When the Ravens had the number 10 draft pick in 2003, I was shocked that Terrell Suggs was still on the board. Suggs, who was projected as a top 5 pick, slipped to the Ravens thanks to a slow 40 yard dash time in the NFL Combine. Ozzie Newsome and company once again capitalized on their amazing scouting and drafted Suggs 10th overall. Now 26, Suggs was the youngest player ever drafted until the Texans took Amobi Okoye two seasons ago. All he has done in his six years in the purple and black is record 368 tackles, 53 sacks (which ranks him sixth in the NFL since 2003), intercept five passes and get selected to three pro bowls. Is Terrell Suggs worth 63 million? Absolutely.
Three years ago I would have thought this deal was crazy because Suggs was a one dimensional football player. Suggs has evolved into the complete linebacker, not only having the ability to rush the passer, but also being able to defend the run and pass. There are more than just statistics in determining a player’s worth to his franchise; and Suggs’ worth to the Ravens in 2009 is at an all time high.
To see how valuable Suggs is to the Ravens, fans need to look no further then his inspired performance in the playoffs last year where he played with a shoulder injury that basically limited him to using one arm. Suggs not only played the Steelers game with the injury, but he played effectively recording two sacks. Fans need to start viewing Suggs as a good overall linebacker and not just the pass rusher that he was in the beginning of his career.
Football is a business and most NFL teams make decisions that are the best economic decisions for their franchise. Terrell Suggs may have felt disrespected by having the franchise tag slapped on him two years in a row, but it was what was best for the team.
After last season the Ravens needed to negotiate contracts with Ray Lewis, Bart Scott and Terrell Suggs, but it was unlikely they would retain all of them. Despite Ray Lewis being my all time favorite football player, I considered it a priority for the Ravens to retain Suggs and would have been immensely disappointed if they didn’t resign him. Once again Ozzie Newsome stepped up to the plate and made a decision that will help the Ravens franchise for the future.
Terrell Suggs has emerged into one of the best linebackers in the NFL and now the highest paid. He will remain a Raven through his prime football years. The 2003 Ravens draft will go down in history as the draft that gave us the enigma that was Kyle Boller; it also gave us what will eventually be one of the greatest Ravens to ever play the game in Terrell Suggs.
Once again Ozzie Newsome was smarter then everyone when he selected the 20 year old “tweener” from Arizona St. who was viewed as too slow.
All that Suggs has done since is s work hard to become one of the best Linebackers in the NFL.
I look forward to watching T-Sizzle for the next six seasons. I have no doubt he will have one of the best seasons of his career this year. I am sure “Number 55” will dazzle us with some amazing performances, continue to represent the City of Baltimore and the Ravens Organization with honor.
Hopefully, he ends his career with us and we can see “Number 55” in our Ring of Honor.