The Baltimore Ravens have come to terms on a four-year contract extension with pass-rusher Terrell Suggs. This is the first huge move of the NFL's 2014 offseason, and it sets the Ravens up for some aggressive moves to improve upon a disappointing 2013 campaign.
The Ravens confirmed the news Monday afternoon:
The new deal for Terrell Suggs is a FOUR-YEAR extension.— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) February 17, 2014
Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports first provided the news, adding the deal would make Suggs, "a Raven for life," per his source:
Ravens press conference tomorrow will be to announce a longterm extension with Terrell Suggs keeping him a Raven for life, team source said— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) February 17, 2014
Albert Breer of NFL.com had the details on the financial breakdown of Suggs' deal:
Suggs' deal has an $11M signing bonus. Base salaries (2014-18): $1M, $4M, $4.5M, $4M, $4M. Cap numbers: $7.8M, $6.6M, $6.7M, $6M., $6M.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) February 17, 2014
Following the announcement, Suggs spoke about news (via the Ravens):
The star player also spoke about how the deal helps the Ravens and what his legacy with the organization (via Aaron Wilson and Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun):
Terrell Suggs on his contract being resolved: 'We all knew we needed some salary cap space so we can reload.'— Aaron Wilson (@RavensInsider) February 17, 2014
Terrell Suggs on Ray Lewis' influence regarding legacy: 'You learn more about priorities when you see a man like that.'— Aaron Wilson (@RavensInsider) February 17, 2014
Suggs: "If you count the franchise tag, this is the 4th time I've had the opportunity to continue to play here and I'm truly grateful."— Jeff Zrebiec (@jeffzrebiecsun) February 17, 2014
After the Ravens missed the playoffs in 2013 for the first time in John Harbaugh's six-year tenure, there were many who wondered if Suggs would be a part of the team's future. After all, general manager Ozzie Newsome didn't hesitate to cut ties with such stars as Ed Reed, Paul Kruger and Anquan Boldin just one year before.
Did Baltimore make the right decision to sign Suggs to a long-term extension?
He also was extremely guarded when discussing a potential new deal for Suggs when asked by media members back in early January, as relayed by Ryan Mink of BaltimoreRavens.com: "I'm not afraid when it comes to letting guys walk out the door. What we'll do is we'll look at every aspect of it and see what's best for the 2014 and '15 and '16 Ravens and make that decision."
However, it appears Newsome still sees plenty of use for Suggs, who led the team with 10 sacks last year. The veteran has tallied 94.5 sacks, 27 forced fumbles, seven interceptions, 45 passes defensed and 667 total tackles in his 12-year career.
It will be interesting to see what kind of money Suggs earns from this deal. However, Andrew Brandt of ESPN thinks the total amount is meaningless:
Interesting part of Suggs deal will be how much more money in this year than current $7.8M. Overall number will have no meaning.— Andrew Brandt (@adbrandt) February 17, 2014
It wouldn't be surprising if Suggs took a hometown discount to help the Ravens retool for another Super Bowl run. After making the playoffs five years in a row under Harbaugh and winning Super Bowl XLVII, it must have killed him to watch the games from home this past season.
The Ravens could certainly use the cap help, too. According to ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert, Baltimore's cap number at this time comes in roughly at $115.95 million, which is just over $11 million under the projected cap of $127 million.
With big needs on both sides of the ball, any savings the team may have made this year could help Baltimore get back into the playoffs in 2014.
Follow me on Twitter @JesseReed78.