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Best highlights from Terrell Suggs' legendary career in Baltimore

Best highlights from Terrell Suggs' legendary career in Baltimore

When looking back at the career of a Hall of Fame athlete, there are bound to be countless moments that stand out. It’s true for everyone, and Terrell Suggs is no exception.

The linebacker/defensive end hybrid spent 16 incredible seasons in Baltimore, an eternity by NFL standards. In that time, he wowed Ravens fans time and time again with his athleticism, big moments, and fun personality off the field.

With Suggs playing in Arizona this season, he’ll be visiting the Ravens on Sunday to do one of the few things he has never yet done in his storied career: play in Baltimore as a visitor.

In honor of Suggs’ time with the Ravens, let’s take a walk down memory lane to revisit some of his most iconic moments and accomplishments.

9. Recording a sack in first four career games

Suggs would set the tone for his career early, tying an NFL record by recording a sack in each of his first four games. His first career sack came against the Steelers, which would prove to be quite fitting.

The talented rookie also recorded an interception in game three, giving him an overall terrific beginning to his Hall of Fame career. Suggs went on to win NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2003, after accumulating 12 sacks and forcing six fumbles in his first season.

8. Every single sack of Ben Roethlisberger

Suggs-Roethlisberger is perhaps the most indelible individual rivalry wrapped inside the NFL’s most physical rivalry.

Including the postseason, Terrell Suggs recorded a ridiculous 20 sacks in 32 career games against the Steelers, most of which came at the expense of Big Ben. He also recorded three interceptions, but more on that later.

Given the history between these two players and teams, it was impossible to pick just one sack. So, we went with all of them.

7. Recording three sacks on Thanksgiving night against 49ers

The first of two 3.0-sack games in the span of three weeks, Suggs completely took over on Thanksgiving night against one of the best offensive lines in the league. The Ravens won the Harbaugh Bowl 16-6 behind the strength of Suggs’ three sacks, two tackles for loss and a forced fumble.

The major storyline was John Harbaugh taking down his brother Jim, but it was Suggs who played the biggest role in the Ravens’ victory. 

6. Kicking off the season with a monster Week 1 against the Steelers

2011 was an incredible season for Suggs, as found higher on this list. He set the tone right off the bat in the Ravens’ opening week demolition of their biggest rivals.

Baltimore jumped on Pittsburgh early and never looked back. Suggs ended up with three sacks and two forced fumbles, in addition to three other QB hits and a tackle for loss.

It was one of the most memorable opening weeks in the Ravens’ short history, and Suggs was the leading force for a thoroughly dominant Ravens defense.

5. Using his legs to intercept Big Ben in the playoffs

I promise this is the last time we’ll focus in on the Steelers, but frankly, it’s hard to ignore the storied history between Suggs and that franchise.

Unlike most of his other fond memories, this one came in the form of an interception, not a sack. And it was quite an unusual interception, at that.

This is one of the most incredible plays you’ll ever see, and it stands out in a rivalry full of dramatic splash plays. Suggs had a knack for stepping up in the biggest moment, and this postseason interception was no different.

4. Playing a big secondary role during iconic AFC Divisional Round game in Denver

This game will forever be known for Joe Flacco’s 70-yard toss to Jacoby Jones to send the game to the first of two overtimes. The Prayer In Thin Air. Mile High Miracle. Whatever you call it, it was one of the greatest games in NFL history.

Suggs may not be the lasting memory, but it was still one of his greatest playoff performances. He sacked the notoriously difficult-to-sack Peyton Manning twice during the game, while also forcing a fumble. He also recorded a whopping 10 solo tackles, twice as many as any other postseason game in his career.

3. Winning Defensive Player of the Year in 2011

Suggs has received plenty of accolades in his long career, being named to seven Pro Bowls, one Second Team All-Pro, and one First Team All-Pro in addition to winning NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year. But the standout award came in 2011, when he was named NFL Defensive Player of the Year.

It was a well-rounded season, as the only category in which Suggs lead the league was forced fumbles, with seven. But he also added 14 sacks and two interceptions, all while leading a top-three defense in the NFL.

It was a year of standout performances, as three of his five career three-sack games came in 2011, including two found lower on this list.

2. Leaving as the franchise’s all-time sack leader

Terrell Suggs recorded 132.5 sacks in Baltimore, nearly doubling up Peter Boulware’s second place mark of 70.0. He surpassed Boulware early in 2011, a fitting season to break the record considering his DPoY award. He is one of just 33 NFL players to top 100 sacks in his career.

Obviously, when you have the 12th-most sacks in NFL history, there are a lot to choose from. But setting the record, then proceding to blow so far past it, is a momentous accomplishment in an organization so consistently dedicated to high-level defense.

It’s also a sign of his longevity and consistency. Suggs never lead the NFL in sacks in any single season, yet will still walk away as one of the most prolific pass rushers the league has ever seen.

1. Winning Super Bowl XLVII

Could it ever have been anything else? He only recorded a single tackle, with no sacks, in the Super Bowl itself, but it doesn’t matter. Suggs enjoyed such an iconic career in Baltimore, it would have been a true shame if he never won a ring with the Ravens.

Of course, what makes this moment all the more impressive was Suggs’ injury before the season even began. He tore his Achilles in the offseason, and some doctors said he would have to miss the entire season.

Instead, Suggs made it back by Week 7, a remarkable recovery. He didn’t have his most impactful season statistically, but Suggs undoubtedly played a key leadership role on defense during the team’s epic postseason run.

Many players have reached impressive heights and accomplished a great many things, but few have won the Super Bowl. Suggs did, and that moment will forever be his most cherished in Baltimore.

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What Roger Goodell said about death of George Floyd, protests

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What Roger Goodell said about death of George Floyd, protests

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell sent condolences to the family of George Floyd, a black man killed in Minneapolis by a police officer and said that there is much more work to be done in the NFL and our communities in a statement issued Saturday.

His statement: 

"The NFL family is greatly saddened by the tragic events across our country. The protesters' reactions to these incidents reflect the pain, anger and frustration that so many of us feel.

"Our deepest condolences go out to the family of Mr. George Floyd and to those who have lost loved ones, including the families of Ms. Breonna Taylor in Louisville, and Mr. Ahmaud Arbery, the cousin of Tracy Walker of the Detroit Lions.

"As current events dramatically underscore, there remains much more to do as a country and as a league. These tragedies inform the NFL's commitment and our ongoing efforts. There remains an urgent need for action. We recognize the power of our platform in communities and as part of the fabric of American society. We embrace that responsibility and are committed to continuing the important work to address these systemic issues together with our players, clubs and partners."

Goodell's statement came a day after an op-ed was published by former NFL spokesperson Joe Lockhart calling for an NFL team to sign Colin Kaepernick, the quarterback who lost his spot in the league after kneeling in protest of police brutality and inequality in America. Many, including LeBron James, have cited Kaepernick's message - and the consequences he suffered for delivering it - throughout the unrest and response to Floyd's death.

"Do you understand NOW!!??!!??" James wrote on Instagram with a side by side photo of Kaepernick kneeling during a game and a police officer kneeling on Floyd's neck. "Or is it still blurred to you??"

In a statement to Pro Football Talk in response to Lockhart's article, current NFL spokesperson Brian McCarthy said that Kaepernick is a free agent. “Clubs may sign him if they choose to do so," he said.

McCarthy also pointed to the work that the league has done with its Inspire Change social justice initiative, which has included millions in grants to non-profits around the country.

 

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Edge rusher Matthew Judon and Ravens agree to compromise on franchise tag

Edge rusher Matthew Judon and Ravens agree to compromise on franchise tag

What position Matthew Judon plays makes a bit of a difference when it comes to how much the NFL says he’s worth. In fact, it’s about two million dollars of difference.

If Judon was classified as a defensive end, he’d make $17.788 million on the franchise tag. If he was a linebacker, he’d make $15.828 million. 

Judon’s position as an edge rusher means he’s a bit of a hybrid, so that’s exactly what he and the Ravens agreed to. Judon will make $16.808 million next season, the average of both salaries, the team announced on Friday.

Now, the Ravens and Judon can continue negotiations on a long-term contract until July 15, at which point he’ll play under the franchise tag and be forced to wait until the end of the 2020 season. 

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Judon, who had 9.5 sacks last season, will be 28 years old when the season begins. He’ll likely start opposite Jaylon Ferguson, a 2019 third-round pick who had 2.5 sacks in his rookie season. 

If the Ravens agree to a long-term deal with Judon, it will likely be the first in a line of many long-term contracts to come on a team loaded with young talent. That deal would likely allow the Ravens to spread out his cap hit over multiple seasons and increase the likelihood of re-signing other future free agents on the roster.

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