Designated as the Ravens’ franchise player for the second consecutive year, Suggs is expected to play this season under a one-year, $10.2 million tender.
The Ravens have entertained paying Suggs in the neighborhood of Minnesota Vikings defensive end Jared Allen, but that hasn’t bridged the gap.
Although that blockbuster offer sheet has been on the table for the past few months, Suggs and his agent, Gary Wichard, haven’t been inclined to sign off on it.
Allen signed a six-year deal with a maximum value of $73.26 million that included a $15.5 million signing bonus as part of a package of $31 million in guaranteed money, according to NFL Players Association records.
Allen’s 2009 base salary is $7.75 million, but he has an $8 million roster bonus in addition to his scheduled $6.3801 million base salary in 2010.
In 2011, Allen is due $8.979 million with base salaries of $11.619 million in 2012 and $14.28 million in 2013.
Wichard also negotiated Indianapolis Colts defensive end Dwight Freeney’s six-year, $72 million contract that included $30 million in guaranteed money.
Suggs told the team’s official Web site last month that a deal was close to getting done, but, at this point, it doesn’t look it’s going to be close enough to culminate in a new contract.
General manager Ozzie Newsome, who’s on vacation, has reiterated several times that signing Suggs to a long-term deal is one of the Ravens’ top priorities.
After this season, the Ravens can use the franchise tag again on Suggs to prevent him from becoming an unrestricted free agent. However, that would entail paying him as much as $15 million for the 2010 season.
Of course, that might wind up being an uncapped year unless a new collective bargaining agreement is brokered between the NFL management council and the NFL players’ union prior to the next free agency signing period.
Because Suggs is an unsigned franchise player, he skipped the Ravens’ offseason training program and minicamps. Last year, he missed the Ravens’ entire training camp before reporting and signing his contract.
A three-time Pro Bowl selection, Suggs recorded a career-high 102 tackles last season and registered eight sacks, two forced fumbles and two interceptions.
The former NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year and 2003 first-round draft pick has recorded 53 career sacks.