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Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Ozzie Newsome stepping down as GM factor in Terrell Suggs' departure

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Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Ozzie Newsome stepping down as GM factor in Terrell Suggs' departure

While you've been hard at working drawing up the perfect March Madness bracket, here's the latest Baltimore Ravens news you need to know.

Team Notes:

Former Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs spoke on his decision to leave Baltimore after 16 seasons and sign with the Arizona Cardinals on Skip and Shannon: Undisputed  Wednesday. While his decision last week came as a surprise to the Ravens front office, it was something Suggs had been contemplating for quite some time. 

"It was probably hands down the most difficult decision I ever had to make it my life," Suggs said.

"Through and through I'm an Ozzie Newsome guy. Once I knew Ozzie was going to step down as GM, you know, I kind of had to question my future in a Ravens uniform." 

Suggs mentioned in his interview that the departure of other veterans helped him make his decision. With the Ravens' focus shifting to young guys stepping up to the plate, Suggs felt that he was the last piece standing in their way. While the departure was "mutual," the 36-year-old said he probably would have finished out his career in purple and black had Newsome remained GM. 

Cornerback Marlon Humphrey wasn't going to initially give up his No. 29 uniform for cheap. According to the Ravens' website, he asked for $100,000 from Earl Thomas in exchange. Thomas shot that offer down and Humphrey eventually offered up his number for free. However, it seems like the Humphrey family will get a little something in return. 

"His mom has a track team, so I might throw a little bread that way," Thomas said.

Throughout the offseason, new general manager Eric DeCosta has preached that the Ravens are interested in containing the young talent on their roster now before it's too late. So far he has accomplished that as the team currently has 48 players under the age of 26

Looking Ahead: 

March 24-27: Annual League Meeting in Phoenix, Az.

April 15: Voluntary OTA's may begin

April 19: Deadline for restricted free agents to sign offer sheets

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Ravens focused on ‘pretty hard’ task of re-signing pass-rusher Matthew Judon

Ravens focused on ‘pretty hard’ task of re-signing pass-rusher Matthew Judon

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Ravens’ biggest offseason decision likely is Matthew Judon’s expired contract and what to make of his imminent pay raise. 

The choice the Ravens are faced with is to let the team’s best pass-rusher walk in free agency, or to extend him to a long-term deal. Free agency opens on March 18, at which point the Ravens will have to have made a decision on Judon’s future with the organization.

Coach John Harbaugh, while he admitted the challenge of extending one of the team’s best defenders, said the team certainly wants to.

“We’re going to try,” he said. “Haven’t we signed eight of our guys already this year, if we do the count? So there’s no question that’s a priority for us. That’s something that’s really important to us. So we’re going to try and get as many of these guys re-signed as we can and Matt is probably right at the top of the list, for sure.”

Judon finished the season with 9.5 sacks, a career best for the 27-year-old fourth-year pro. In the three years prior, he had seven, eight and four sacks, respectively. He also had a career-high 33 quarterback hits.

Last season, the Ravens lost pass-rusher Za’Darius Smith in free agency to the Packers after he signed a four-year, 66 million dollar contract with 20 million dollars guaranteed. In a bit of a surprise, the Ravens appear to have gotten the short end of the stick on a free agency deal as it relates to Smith.

Smith had a career-high 13.5 sacks and 37 quarterback hits in Green Bay in a breakout year, and if the Ravens want to avoid a repeat of that, they’ll have to shell out for Judon. 

But if the team wants to wait, with younger edge rushers Jaylon Ferguson and Tyus Bowser on the roster, the possibility of putting the franchise tag on Judon still exists.

The move would cost the Ravens nearly 20 million dollars for one season, but would ensure they’ve got a No. 1 pass rusher on the roster. 

With an estimated nine picks in the NFL Draft there’s room to add talent in the front seven, but the Ravens would likely have to trade up to acquire a blue-chip edge talent.

The decision with Judon will affect the rest of the organization’s offseason plans, as a long-term contract restricts what else the Ravens can do across the roster in free agency and into the draft. 

Whether or not the team decides to let him walk, extend him long-term or slap the franchise tag on him, the decision will have ripple effects throughout the team for the 2020 season.

“There’s a lot of things that can go into that, as we all know, the business part of it that agents and general managers deal with back and forth,” Harbaugh continued. “I’ll stay out of that, probably Matt will stay out of that too. We’ll let everybody do their jobs. Our goal will be to have Matt back, that’s what we try to do.”

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Ravens cornerback Marcus Peters backs out of Pro Bowl, replaced by Steelers' Joe Haden

Ravens cornerback Marcus Peters backs out of Pro Bowl, replaced by Steelers' Joe Haden

Marcus Peters was named to his third career Pro Bowl in 2019, but the Ravens cornerback has decided to back out of the NFL's All-Star game.

Pittsburgh cornerback Joe Haden will be headed to Orlando in Peters' place, the Steelers announced on Wednesday.

Peters will not participate in the Pro Bowl due to injury, according to the Steelers' release. The terms of his injury have not been disclosed, but Peters did not miss a game for the Ravens since coming over in an October trade.

Upon his arrival in the Charm City, the cornerback made a huge impact in Baltimore. Peters was named to the NFL's All-Pro team, recording three interceptions and two touchdowns in 10 games with the Ravens. The 26-year-old corner re-signed with Baltimore for three years this past December.

But after Baltimore's season came to an unexpectedly early end this past Saturday against Tennessee, the cornerback has chosen not to participate in a relatively meaningless game. It's worth noting that Ravens head coach John Harbaugh and his staff will be coaching the AFC in the Pro Bowl.

Baltimore had an NFL-high 12 players selected to the Pro Bowl this season, but at least one of them won't be in Orlando in two weeks.

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