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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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Baltimore Ravens Roundup: C.J. Mosley and Terrell Suggs reportedly moving on from the Ravens

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Baltimore Ravens Roundup: C.J. Mosley and Terrell Suggs reportedly moving on from the Ravens

Yesterday marked the start of a very busy week in the NFL, and a lot has happened in those 24 hours for the Baltimore Ravens. 

Here's the latest Ravens news you need to know.

Player News:

- Monday at noon marked the start of the legal tampering period before NFL free agency officially opens Wednesday at 4 p.m. ET. One of the biggest free agents to hit the market is linebacker C.J. Mosley. Mosley made it clear he wanted to remain with the Ravens and his teammates were doing the best they could to ensure that happened with #StayWithTheRavens and #SignCJ.

Their efforts didn't prove effective as news broke early Tuesday morning that Mosley is expected to sign a five-year, $85 million contract with the New York Jets

- After 16 seasons with the Ravens, linebacker Terrell Suggs is expected to sign with the Cardinals, according to NFL insider Ian Rapoport. In what was reportedly a surprise to Ravens officials, Suggs is an Arizona native and attended Arizona State. 

- The Ravens exercised cornerback Brandon Carr's 2019 option Monday, according to sources of ESPN NFL insider Field Yates. In 11 seasons, Carr has never missed a game or a start. 

- The Ravens are among five teams interested in linebacker Brandon Marshall, according to NFL Network's Jesse Palmer. Marshall played in 11 games in 2018 recording 22 solo tackles, but zero sacks, zero forced fumbles and zero interceptions. 

- Ravens players have been busy recruiting this offseason. Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell is set to hit the open market, and safety Tony Jefferson and cornerback Marlon Humphrey are actively trying to get him to #ComeToTheRavens.


Looking Ahead: 

March 13: New league year begins at 4 p.m. ET

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

April 15: Voluntary OTA's may begin 

MORE RAVENS NEWS: 

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

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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.”

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