The Baltimore Ravens and outside linebacker Terrell Suggs have agreed on a contract extension, according to ESPN. The deal is set to keep Suggs with the Ravens through the 2018 season and will pay him $16 million fully guaranteed through the 2014 and 2015 seasons, according to Pro Football Talk. Despite the raise, the new deal also frees space for the Ravens, lowering the cap number for Suggs from $12.4 million to $7.8 million.
Suggs, 31, was entering the last year of his current deal, which was originally six years and $62.5 million.
For Baltimore, it could not have asked for a better career out of Suggs when he was drafted tenth overall by general manager Ozzie Newsome in the first round of 2003. A star at Arizona State University, Suggs took the NFL by storm, earning Defensive Rookie of the Year. He has since went on to amass six Pro Bowl nominations, one first-team All-Pro (2011), one second-team All-Pro (2008), and a Defensive Player of the Year Award (2011).
Over at Baltimore Beatdown, Jason Butt is happy with the timing of the move:
With the Ravens locking Suggs up, it will allow them to focus on other offseason priorities. That includes bringing back soon-to-be free agent Dennis Pitta and making Eugene Monroe the left tackle of the future.
Throughout his career, Suggs has been one of the most feared defensive players in the game. The former Sun Devil is the all-time leader in sacks for the Ravens franchise with 94.5, including a career-high 14 in 2011. Right out of college, Suggs showed his ability, nabbing a sack in each of his first four games, tying an NFL record. In that season, Suggs finished with 12 sacks and six forced fumbles.
After his second season in 2004 when Suggs racked up 10.5 sacks, the linebacker went through a long spell on single-digits in the sack column. For the next five years, Suggs ranged from 4.5 to 9.5 sacks. In that time, Baltimore remained a playoff contender but could not get over the hump, both with Steve McNair and Joe Flacco.
In 2011, Suggs had by far the best season of his career. After notching 11 sacks in 2010, Suggs ratcheted up his game and collected 14, earning his Defensive Player of the Year status. He came tantalizingly close to his first Super Bowl, if only for a Lee Evans dropped touchdown and a Billy Cundiff missed field goal against the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship game.
That offseason, Suggs tore his Achilles tendon. Many figured it could be career-threatening, but Suggs returned to play in eight regular season games, only getting two sacks. In the playoffs, Suggs stepped up and matched his season total, helping to win his first Super Bowl and the franchise's second.
In 2013, Suggs totaled 10 sacks and was a force against the run, ranking tops among 3-4 outside linebackers on Pro Football Focus. Overall, he came in ninth per PFF.
Suggs most certainly is in the conversation when talking about the best Ravens defenders of all-time, right alongside Ray Lewis, Haloti Ngata and Ed Reed. Lewis and Reed are sure-fire Hall of Famers, but Suggs will have his chance to be in Canton.
With a few more seasons of quality production, Suggs might have around 120 sacks. Should he hit that milestone, it will put him in the class of Rickey Jackson (128.0), Derrick Thomas (126.5), Simeon Rice (122.0) and Clyde Simmons (121.5). Considering half of that group is enshrined in the Hall, Suggs has legitimate hope.