Quick Links

Terrell Suggs plans on lining up in 2019, with or without the Ravens

USA Today Sports Images

Terrell Suggs plans on lining up in 2019, with or without the Ravens

Terrell Suggs is entering the 2019 offseason with his future unknown.

The linebacker, who just wrapped up his 16th season in the league, completed his four-year, $20,700,000 contract and will become an unrestricted free agent when the new league year starts March 13. 

Drafted by the Ravens 10th overall in the 2003 NFL Draft, Suggs has become the leader of the No. 1 ranked defense while maintaining his level of performance. In 2018, the 36-year-old played in all 16 games totaling 25 tackles, seven sacks and one forced fumble.

But now general manager Eric DeCosta and the Ravens are faced with the question of whether or not to re-sign the physical and vocal leader of their defense. If it's up to Suggs, he'll be back in Baltimore.

"I would love to be a Raven for life," Suggs said after the team's Wild Card loss. "I’m healthy, and I still feel like I have some juice in the tank. I would love to be a Raven for life. We’ll have to see what happens. It’s a long time between here and March. So, we’re just going to enjoy it and hope we can work it out. If not, I’ll be lining up for somebody next year.”

In 16 seasons, Suggs has become the Ravens' all-time leader in sacks at 132.5 and is tied for 13th on the NFL's all-time sack list with Hall of Famer Lawrence Taylor and Leslie O'Neal. He's an seven-time Pro Bowler, Defensive Player of the Year in 2011, a two-time All Pro and Super Bowl XLVII champion. 

It's natural to think that retiring as a Raven will be of importance to both him and the organization. The tricky part, however, is that Suggs is among 10 unrestricted free agents on the Ravens' roster and keeping the Ravens in a really good salary cap position in 2019 and going forward is one of DeCosta's top goals in his first year as GM.

Among those URFA's is 2014 first-round draft pick C.J. Mosley, who the team is expecting to re-sign, and OLB Za'Darius Smith. The Ravens could also free up cap space by cutting safety Eric Weddle and cornerbacks Jimmy Smith and Brandon Carr. 

Without Suggs, the Ravens would be left with not only a gapping hole in a position that's been dominated for years, but without a veteran leader in a new era for the team. They of course could draft a defensive player at No. 22, like NBC Sports Washington's Ben Standig has them doing, or there is free agency where Green Bay's Clay Matthews and Tennessee Titans' Derrick Morgan could be on the market.

At Suggs' age it'd be hard to expect a lucrative deal, but with or without the Ravens, he has no plan of stopping.

“It’s pretty much out of my hands," Suggs added. "Like I said, I would like to be a Raven for life. It might not happen that way. Unfortunately, we’ve had to see some Raven guys line up in other uniforms. I hope that’s not my case. If it is, so be it. I chose nothing. I’m a football player. I was born, and this is what I am. Like I said, I plan on lining up in 2019. So, hopefully it’s in the black and purple.”


Quick Links

Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Ravens rank higher than expected in preseason rankings

USA TODAY Sports Images

Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Ravens rank higher than expected in preseason rankings

Kick off your Wednesday with the latest Baltimore Ravens news including a high preseason ranking for the Ravens.

Player/Team Notes: 

1. The Ravens ranked higher than expected in Peter King's preseason rankings. King ranked the Ravens at No. 12, surprising for a defense that is working on development during this offseason. However, with the Ravens' signing of All-Pro safety Earl Thomas, maybe he will bring the fire the Ravens need on defense.

2. With day 2 of OTAs in the books, the focus has been on quarterback Lamar Jackson. Ravens writer, Kevin Eck noted that during the offseason, Jackson had been working out with Ravens quarterbacks coach, Joshua Harris along with receivers Jordan Lasley and Jaylen Smith, so it remains to be seen throughout the summer on whether or not he has improved namely his passing game. 

Looking Ahead:

July 15: 4 p.m. deadline to get a long-term deal done with designated franchise tag players.

The 2019 NFL schedule is set! See the Baltimore Ravens defend the AFC North at M&T Bank Stadium this season. Get your tickets now at www.BaltimoreRavens.com/tickets.

Credit: Baltimore Ravens for news points.


Quick Links

Reaction: Peter King picks Ravens 12th in 2019 Power Rankings

USA Today Sports Images

Reaction: Peter King picks Ravens 12th in 2019 Power Rankings

With OTAs underway, Peter King has released his 2019 NFL preseason power rankings and of the biggest surprises is the Baltimore Ravens landing at No. 12 on the list. Although stud Lamar Jackson surprised people last season, given the substandard state of their defense and the burden on Jackson to shoulder the load offensively, King may have the Ravens ranked a few spots too high. 

Let's start with the defense; it's got more holes than a slice of swiss cheese. Most notably they lost linebacker Terrell Suggs, the heart and soul of their defense for the past decade. Although past his prime, Suggs is still a productive player and they will undoubtedly miss his leadership. They released defensive back Eric Weddle, who was coming off two straight Pro-Bowl appearances. Their justification was that he's 34 and by releasing him, they could allocate the money to re-signing All-Pro linebacker C.J. Mosley. Solid reasoning, if Mosley didn't sign with the New York Jets in the offseason.

Credit must be given, however, to the four-year, $55 million contract given to former Seattle Seahawks All-Pro safety Earl Thomas. Coming off a broken leg, he is easily the biggest X-factor for this defense. If he produces like the Earl Thomas of old, it'll more than makeup for the loss of the Weddle. They'll also be getting back defensive tackle Willie Reed from injury, who's young and hungry.

Although last years' defense was one of, if not the top unit in the NFL, all anyone could manage to talk about was the dynamic offense led by rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson. Coach John Harbaugh threw caution to the wind and handed the reins to Jackson in Week 10, and the Ravens proceeded to win six of their next seven games behind a run-dominated offense.

It's a toss-up if they'll be able to replicate that success this season. On the one hand, the unconventional attack took the league by storm last year and one could argue the league just needed time to adapt to this new-look offense. On the other hand, the Ravens did add some electric new pieces to the offense to replace the losses of wide receivers Michael Crabtree and John Brown. 

They added Mark Ingram who is one of the best dual-threat running backs in the league when healthy. Their first-round pick, wide receiver Marquise Brown, is one of the fastest players Todd McShay has ever evaluated. Third-round pick wide receiver Miles Boykin was one of the 20 fastest players at the draft and fourth-round pick  Justice Hill registered the fastest 40 time for running backs at the combine. Adding young, electric talent will enhance Jackson's already stellar playmaking ability. 

At tight end, they're one of the deepest teams in the NFL, headed up by Nick Boyle and Hayden Hurst. Keep in mind, however, that this is the NFL: it all starts with the quarterback. Jackson completed passes at a 58.2% clip last season. If the Ravens are serious about building around him, he'll have to improve as a passer. 

Taking the defensive deficiencies and questions on offense into account, and 12 is too high for the preseason power rankings; 16 is more appropriate. In his article, King writes about the Ravens saying, "They could win 11. They could win six." If I had to choose one outcome I'd take the latter.